We have gone to a swimming hole about five miles from Altamira several times with the kids from the mission. The kids really enjoy this place (“it rocks!”) because of the fast moving water. There is a large lake and swamp that drains to one culvert that takes water under a road. During the rainy season, the water rushes through this culvert (about the width of a one lane road and about 10’ tall) with a force that creates all the fun for the kids. The kids jump into the water on one side of the road and are pushed quickly through the “tunnel” (about 20 meters) to the other side where they crawl out through the branches and rocks, only to do it again and again. So far, they have not at all tired of the experience and want to go back as much as they can.
The other day, Luke spotted something in the creek that this culvert empties into. It was around a bend and he called us over. What we saw took our breath away. It was an Anaconda and its size made our hearts stop. After observing it from a distance for a few minutes, we realized it was dead and the kids resumed their playing (!). Some kids later came by and told us that the snake had been there since the previous day when it was killed with a machete by the rancher who owns the property. Apparently, the snake had killed a calf, prompting the rancher’s reaction. I can’t imagine the adrenaline surge involved in confronting this thing with a machete! We (the dads) had to get some pictures and these will be up soon. It measured six meters! The local kids and one passing man who lived in the area said they had never seen one this big. They said that last week one was killed, however, that was about three or four meters long and they showed us the remains. The next day, Kevin and I returned and some kids had dragged “our snake” up onto the road. It was beginning to get bloated but we took some more pictures. One never knows at the outset what new experience a day might bring.