Now that you know all about my arrival, let me take you with me on a walk to the town. It is save to walk here, the streets lie calm and quiet beneath the burning sun. Follow me, as I have followed my new friends so frequently within the past ten days. Come with me to the park of the birds, the Parque Santander, only five minutes away from my casa. Let us cross it, passing by the pink-colored building of the library, as we are approaching the central streets of the town. Shops of all kinds are standing side by side here, and shadowy sidewalks provide shelter from the sun. More motorbikes than cars cruise the streets, Moto-taxis search for customers. Over there you see the market, where local vendors sell fish and fruits of every form. Over here you can refresh yourself with an ice-cold juice, or enjoy some typical Colombian dishes. There is music in the air, and the heart of the town is beating to its rhythm.


As we stroll down to the river, the little port with its floating houses comes into view. What you see here is only a small arm of the Amazon river, flowing around a Colombian island. On its other side, just across the broad brownish waters, lies the country of Peru. Brazil is also not far from here, you can easily walk or drive to the neighboring town Tabatinga without even the slightest form of border control. But let us return to the park of the birds instead.

The Parque Santander is a beautiful place, where lotus plants grow in a little pond and tropical trees are covered with ferns and vines. Let us sit down on one of the benches and enjoy the view. Some children are playing soccer next to us, some military cadets parade by. As the heat of the day slowly fades, the white church on the far side of the park is dipped in golden light. It is around half past five when the first birds arrive.

They come in swarms, returning from the jungle for the night. Green loritos and pinch-black golondrinas circle high above us, you can hear their calls. Like swarms of black flies their silhouettes fill the sky, already there must be several thousands. Listen to their concert, it is an incredible noise. More and more and more are arriving, swarm after swarm joins in.


Finally, the first groups begin to descend. There must be a million birds that settle in the trees night after night. There are flapping wings and angry cries all around you, as every lorito and every golondrina tries to find its place. In the fading twilight you see branches that carry more birds than leaves, swaying under the weight of their ever moving load. And even in the dark you can still hear them, hear the sound of a million birds behind you as we turn to walk home.