Sani Lodge Pt.1 – The People

Posted on January 2, 2011 by Tim 3 Comments

I wrote in the ‘thank you’ section of the homepage that my travels, the herping, and the photography, would not be possible without the assistance of the great many people that have assisted me over the years. There have been friends and family, academic mentors, various researchers, and of course countless locals that have helped me get into and around forests. Readers of my site may get the impression that my goal is to get frog and snake photos. While that is certainly the end result I will say that in reality it is the quest of learning and experiencing life that counts. As many authors and philosophers have pointed out (and to quote Neil Peart), “the point of the journey is not to arrive”.

A mother and her child returning to the Sani Community from a visit to the only ‘city’ around – Coca, by the only transportation available; a boat.

I visit other countries to experience the peoples and cultures as much as an outsider can in a brief span of time. I want to learn about their lives and to learn from them. And, where I can, I want to teach. I don’t like to travel as a tourist. I want to be a guest – or a ghost. I’m a strange apparition to my various hosts as I sweep in, do crazy snakey things in the forest, ramble on about the science and biology of these animals, and then in a flash I’m back in the canoe heading away. I’m assuming I’ve touched a few people, even if they don’t remember me. Hopefully, they will remember some weird guy who came in telling tales of frogs. Certainly, there have been many people who have touched me; their life stories and struggles, their kindness and assistance, their willingness to teach and desire to learn, have all been inspirations to me.

Two of Sani Lodges staff. Regrettably I don’t have their names.

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  • Rob Wilkinson says:

    Dear Tim,

    It was a great pleasure to meet you at Sani Lodge just before Christmas. And I have enjoyed browsing the images and words on your site, especially the sensitive comments about the team there.

    I wish you all good luck with your wildlife recording and conservation efforts. I mentioned my “London bestiary” and some of the reptiles that happen to make up some of that old city’s iconography. You can see the whole thing at this site:

    … along with my snaps from Sani and other places in Ecuador.

    All best wishes,


  • Cassandra says:

    Interesting perspective on the people of your destinations. I loved Jamaica and the dive experiences one could have, but my fondest memory was going to our bellman’s home deep in the high rainforest. Spending the day with Earl’s family and the local villagers meant more to me than any other trip taken. Thank you for bringing back that memory!

  • Stefan Fourier says:

    Hi Snakeman,
    we met in Sani Lodge together with Karin, Mikey and Marcie. I’m very impressed about your reports and the pictures in your website. Good luck!

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