Monday, September 03, 2012
I spent the weekend in the jungle. Seriously. The jungle isn't all lions and tigers and bears oh my, in parts of Africa it is really pretty much just woods, or forest, or whatever you call large groups of trees with tangled undergrowth and creepy-crawlies. But for this city girl, it was jungle enough. (Scorpions! Millipedes! Big Spiders!)
We went to a camping/resort type place. Students had the choice of tents or dorm room-type accommodations, while teachers had double rooms. There were flush toilets, and cold-water showers (more like throw a couple scoops of water over your head bucket baths than showers actually). The food was prepared for us, and we spent time roasting marshmallows over a bonfire.
But we also hiked. A lot. In the jungle. In. The. Jungle. Is it really hiking if you have to use your hands?--That seems more like crawling than hiking to me. There were ropes to climb up steep hills, and places where the path was only 8-9 inches wide on the side of a steep and rocky cliff. One of my fellow teachers told me to make sure to cover my face if I fell so I did not lose an eye or my teeth. Comforting, isn't he?
Some of the kids were literally RUNNING through the trees, one kid in bare feet! (He spends his summers working on his brother's game preserve in South Africa though, so I figure he's a special case). I struggled a lot. Because of my weight, and out-of-shapeness, and because I forgot my glasses and had almost no depth perception. It was hard. I want to go next year though, even though I've decided that I really don't like nature very much. I want to go, and be fit, and climb that freaking mountain without panting and being the last one to the top. I want to beat that beast!
Everything hurts now. Everything. I have popped Advil every 6 hours since I have been home, and I can barely get up the stairs. I want to die.