Tusa: Manaus, Brazil
Tu Fein: Venezuela
Tu Fein: Costa Rica
Tu Fein: Santa Anna
Tu Fein: Guatemala


Dearest Tusa,

Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine that ten months into our journey, a time would come that Mise and I would have to say goodbye to you.

And even now, while I am writing this, it feels so incredibly strange to think that we will have to do without your company from here on. I keep on telling myself that you have gone on to an even greater adventure and although I know that you will be in spirit with us, for every single mile that we continue to cross through foreign lands, it just doesn't feel right that you won't be there.

This space is too small and time too short to share all my memories of you dear old Tus but they are with Mise and I, never to be forgotten...

I remember in particular your special relationship with Mise and despite the little bites (some of them causing quite a bit of damage) she would give you, you never retaliated, always continuing to be her faithful and loyal companion. When we spent six days on the river boat recently, coming through the Amazon, I saw numerous times how she would push your head away to get some of your food (she must have thought yours tasted better because she had a bucket of her own or maybe it was just her way to show that she likes to be close to you!) and I would be amazed at your generosity of spirit, letting her get away with it, pretending that nothing had happened.

I will never forget the first time the pack went lopsided on you. We were in the middle of the mountains, going uphill and the next moment you came charging past us, kicking and bucking as if your life depended on it. I got such a fright and I am sure you were terrified too. You ended up with a few gashes on your legs and I with torn saddle-bags and all our belongings strewn over the road and when it happened a second time a few days later, great was my surprise when you stood completely still, waiting for me to rescue you.

How you made me laugh that day when we were traveling through Beni and our destination kept on staying out of reach. We struggled through fatigue, heat, hunger, sweat and horse-flies and I was in tears more than once. I found a bottle with drinking water that was seriously warm at this stage and after I had taken a few sips, I poured the rest over you and Mise's heads. The next moment you pulled the most hilarious face I had ever seen, curling up your lips and exposing your huge teeth in an open grin. I looked at your funny face and laughed out loud through the tears!

The difficult times we had, me giving out to you when you kept on pulling on the leading rope, you sometimes simply turning back with a "I've had enough" attitude, the new year introductory kick you gave me when we tried to get you onto the boat to cross into Brazil..... all these are so insignificant when I think about how much you had contributed to our TATA and added spice to all our daily adventures.

Mise misses you badly and her big eyes are full of sorrow. She was so attached to you and I know these are difficult times for her too. Our new companion will never replace you Tusa. But we need him so that Mise and I can fulfill our dream. I know you will understand. There will never be another one like you old Pal. Ever.

Wish us luck. You stay in our hearts forever.

With much affection and the fondest of memories,
Miss M and Mise

Tu Fein,

Mise and I have such warm memories of Tu Fein who joined us in Brazil where he became quickly and effortlessly an important part of the TATA trio. With patience and lots of tender loving care, his initial paranoid and over-sensitive demeanour soon changed to an equine companion who was loyal and always ready to serve. He also travelled with us through Venezuela and Central America and he really proved his worth when we crossed into Mexico, going through rivers, over mountains and rugged terrain.

He was a star.

May he rest in peace.