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Birthday in The Amazon

This Yak is (regrettably) overdue simply due to the spotty reception one tends to experience when one is in a rainforest with no radio towers to be seen within a ten-mile radius of oneself (although this is only speculation).

The previous night had been spent by us, the students, eating pizza wheels, playing mafia (I was the mafia 😎), buying crêpes with our money (which was not allowed), and subsequently trying to lick the evidence off our fingers while running through Cusco traffic (don’t blame us- there are no crosswalks or traffic lights at intersections for some unknown reason) in time to catch the night bus.

During our “vulnerabilities in an object” activity from Midcourse, one of the fears I expressed was that I would be cold, tired, and homesick on my eighteenth birthday- and one might think that turning eighteen on a night bus with no blanket and no way of contacting one’s family might induce such feelings, but I truly found that the book on my lap and the people I had come with were enough- and so I lay awake at 3 AM, contentedly contemplating my newfound legality in this world (and trying to ignore the looming realization that I would have to use the bus toilet in an hour, which had no toilet paper and no remaining soap).

Once we were in the Amazon, we went on a walk through a nearby part of the jungle, where we learned about the flora and fauna that lived and grew there. I took many pages of notes in my notebook (which I lost two days later). I was surprised with a bar of quinoa chocolate, a signed card, and delicious chocolate cake after supper, into which Sami smashed my face so forcefully that I (realistically) should be concussed right now. It turns out that not being concussed is the best birthday gift of all, because I was able to enjoy our boat ride under the stars, bear witness to the Caiman-catching, and take some sick photos of it all.

Although I lost my notebook, and although we found out that there was a nine square-inch venomous wandering spider living in our bungalow, this was the best birthday I have ever- and let’s be honest- will ever have. The only thing that could have made it better would have been a phone call to my parents, but (insert wholesome quote about being present due to lack of cell reception to bring this full circle because I tried to think of one for five minutes and gave up).