Hi! You’ve known me as the ‘Reporter’ years ago. For years I’ve travelled the world as a photojournalist. I’ve witnessed wars, disasters but I also want to share the beauties, the colours of the world with you. From now on, I’ll try my best to document the journal of the globe and you’ll hear my stories with my comments on them. Welcome. Coşkun Aral is telling a story. Peru – How did we get away from the head shrinkers? Viewer discretion is advised. This is going to be a different story. This extraordinary story happened in the past in Amazon jungle, while I was covering my tv program “haberci”. It contains extreme adventure, life in the jungle and also funny stuff. It’s 1990’s. My friends Gokhan Acun, Meltem Inan and I hit the road… … to meet the head shrinkers that I’ve heard about years ago. An older Spanish friend of mine called Miguel de la Quadra Salcedo, who’d died several years ago, once informed me about head shrinkers. According to Miguel’s story… in Iquitos Peru, there’s a tribe that shrunk heads… and one was still able to find examples of shrunken heads. I was really curious about the shrunken heads and so I hit the road. I, Meltem Inan and Gokhan Acun arrived at Iquitos… …we bargained enough to hire a small cessna plane to take us to the region. However we couldn’t take off with an amphibian airplane in the morning in Amazon river which was as wide as a lake So the cessna consumed too much fuel and we had to leave Meltem behind with the plane seats for weight reduction. After a two-hour flight on the plane, we landed a place close to Jivaros. “I’m the heaviest, I’m supposed to get in the front seat so that I can balance the plane. We’ve exceeded the weight limit by 66 pounds, so we can’t take off with Meltem on board. She has to wait over here.” A guide accompanied us where we arrived. With the guide, we traveled on the Amazon with a motorboat… … and then we had to move on with another boat. Gokhan Acun, with his long hair and slanted eyes was not the kind of person regarded as a stranger. On the contrary, I was called as “Hey Joe! Are you American Gringo?”… …local people liked to have a conversation with Gokhan, of course in their native language. [LOCAL LANGUAGE] We’ve had the advantages of this… …but what we will encounter was a bit different. There was a wooden longhouse on the river bank, then I noticed a child in the hammock who was moaning in pain. He was sick, he had maggot infestation on his skin. He was probably disabled too. Local people, the Jivaros, were here and there, some fishing some sitting. Our guide told us that we’ll meet the head shrinkers on our next stop. Meanwhile I used my tweezer and other supplies in my first aid kit to treat his maggot infestation. He was suffering, I gave him an analgesic with juice. Of course I may have done something wrong as I’m not a doctor but he was really in pain. After accommodating for a day, we continued our way. This time with a pedal boat. We arrived somewhere and they greeted us, we’ve walked from the shore to the longhouse. Our guide seemed shocked while he was talking with local people. I asked what was happening. He told me that they were suspicious of us as the news reached out to them from our previous stop. They thought that we were Tupamaros guerillas who took shelter in the region and decided to turn us over to the army, even to punish us. But I was puzzled when I heard Tupamaros because at the time, there was a Maoist organization called “Shining Path” and its leader Guzmán was in prison. I asked what that organization was. It was a left-wing urban guerilla group and Gokhan looked a lot like them with his long hair and slanted eyes. I said no, we were journalists. We were comig from Turkey but our guide from Iquitos was afraid, he panicked. He was saying that we were going to be judged and killed. The guide was anxious that we could have our heads shrunken and I tried to reason with him but we had no choice but wait. We waited for hours. People gathered and it was as tough we were in a judging chamber. I assumed they started talking about us because they were pointing Gokhan. In the meantime a long-haired man approached with feathers on this face. From his leg to his sole, it was just similar with the child that I saw in our previous stop. I used hand gestures to communicate and told our guide that I can help him with my first aid kit. I had iodine with me and they didn’t say no. It seems that he was the chief of the tribe. I cleaned his wounds that reached to his sole, used my tweezer to pull live maggots out of his skin. I had tweezers. I cleaned the wounds with cotton buds and iodine. I tried to sanitate my spare socks with iodine and made him wear them. Then I gave him an analgesic. He sat down for a while then left. Our trial continues of course, they’ll decide how to get rid of us. They had someone to carry a message, if there was an ongoing operation for the guerillas, they’d turn us over to the military forces. In this atmosphere of uncertainty the chief came to me with the socks that I made him wear and told me something that I didn’t understand of course. Everyone was looking at me looking surprised. At the same time, I noticed something. Two Amazonian monkeys were tied in the corner, then one was missing and the other one was still in view. Then the chief came to me and touched my shoulder. I sat beside him and they brought a crate. They opened the crate. There were feathers inside. Bird feathers. They took out some weird stuff. All of a sudden they started to paint our faces with natural colours that they extracted from plants and minerals. It was really weird. I asked what was happening and our guide told me that the chief liked us. His pain has gone away and we were rewarded. I said they were about to kill us. He told me not to worry about having our heads shrunk. I asked if there were any shrunken heads. He told me that maybe they’ll give me one but first they had to do the celebration. Oh my goodness, what celebration? I sat down somewhere and we took souvenir photos. The man who accused us of being Tupamaros guerillas vanished. I don’t know what happened to him. Interestingly enough, speed boats arrived all of a sudden and white men got out of the boat. They were guys who made trade with Jivaros, they brought stuff for them in return for precious stones, jaguar fur. These all happened in a few minutes. They put decorations around my neck, the chief looked pleased as he didn’t feel the pain anymore. After an hour or two, they put a stool like table in front of me. There was a tray full of banana leaves and on top, a grilled monkey! They said the chief of the tribe is paying his tributes to me. Bon appetit! I looked at it’s size. This was the tied monkey that we saw a few hours before. So, whether we ate the monkey or the other option. I told what they told me to do and then I had to eat. Of course I don’t want to eat it. This is the mother of the baby monkey that we’ve already seen. We had to leave with the speed boat before seeing the shrunken heads but definitely we’ve returned from the threshold of death. Thanks to what? Gokhan and I spared our lives thanks to my medical assistance. Of course our poor guide was really pleased because his head could have been shrunken. Hope to meet you in another video. I’m waiting for your comments and critics. The ones who’ve known me, I’d also like to share your requested contents with you.