———We rush around like the demented: in the first three days, we were unable to classify anything; we pick up one object to throw it away for the next. . . . [My colleague] Bonpland keeps telling me he will go mad if the wonders do not cease. . . . —Alexander von Humboldt, describing his first forays into the Amazon rainforest in a letter home (1799)
———What is ayahuasca? From Argentina to Australia, from Israel to Istanbul, a once-obscure Amazonian liana, admixed with a few other plants, is now celebrated—and even venerated—as a plant of power, knowledge, and healing that has spawned two state-recognized neo-religions.
——Sranan Tongo is a very different trading language found primarily in Suriname but also in the border regions of neighboring Brazil, French Guiana, and Guyana. It is an English-based creole using Dutch, English, and Portuguese with some words derived from both West African dialects and Yiddish (some Maroon slaves escaped from plantations owned by Jewish merchants, and they had learned some of the owners’ European languages).
Plotkin, Mark J.. The Amazon (What Everyone Needs to Know) (p. 46). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.