Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Day 7 - Rain, machetes and caimans.

Rain, machetes and caimans. What more could a girl want?

Rain. Rain. Rain. It’s been raining here all morning, which means that it’s not a good idea to go out. The jungle reacts so much to weather, that when it’s raining and windy it makes going out potentially dangerous. Trees can fall, rivers get high and conditions are unpredictable. Just the other day there was a fresh tree fall on one of the trails, it was lucky that no one was out at that time, but it just shows how much the conditions here effect the jungle – so staying away when it’s stormy is a wise idea.

By the afternoon the weather cleared up, so Zoe and I helped out the herp team to cut a new trail where they heard some frogs the night before. The herp team usually go out at night, so listening as well as using their torches is key to finding frogs, snakes etc. They heard some noises in a swamp nearby a trail, so we just cut a new short trail that went through the swamp so they could get closer to that site the next time they go out at night. It was the first time I’ve used a machete properly. I’ll be honest, I did feel a slight connection to Michonne from the walking dead; pretending that tree stumps were zombies and that I was in imminent danger from the swarm of zombies, which were just twigs and vines that surrounded me (I was probably in more danger due to my over-enthusiastic swinging of the machete than anything else...). That’s all I need now to complete the look is a serious tan and some rippling muscles and badass hair. One day, one day... Sigh.

Me, Harry, Zoe and Tom post zombie apocalypse training

After dinner we went out caiman spotting with a few new volunteers on the boat with coordinator Luix. It was only a short boat run but we saw a young caiman that wasn’t even a foot long. Luix ran into the water to try and catch it but it was too quick and got away. I admired Louix' instant reaction, which was to jump into the water, this definitely isn't the first time he's done that, I thought. Myself and everyone on the boat just stared in amusement at the fully clothed and drenched Luix, who was empty handed. Internally I think we all thought "that's fucking brave", caimans can mean serious business if they want to fight you, it was almost a relief that it swam away. The new guys, who were only in the jungle for a couple of days, must have thought we were all insane. 

Wait, maybe we are?