Amazonian Apprehension

I had always pictured the Amazon as a dark, humid jungle, where one needs a machete to fight off the bugs the size of your hand. My experience was surprisingly quite different from that, except for needing the machete. After traveling several hours from Santa Cruz in a bus and then in a 4×4, we found ourselves in the in the Amazon. It felt more like the forests of Middle Tennessee than it did of a ferocious jungle. The beginning of our four-hour hike was actually spent walking past cows, chickens, and other types of farm animals. I was surprised at how much it felt like home, yet there was something extremely different.

As a self-proclaimed “worry wart”, I could not help but run through my mind what would happen if something disastrous were to happen while we were on our hike. As scary as many of the possible situations I thought of were, I thought also of our two tour guides. They make this trek all the time, yet they had no visible worry when it came to the power of nature. The seemed to have a healthy fear of nature and what it was capable of, yet they did not let it control them in any way.

The guides seemed to have a relationship with nature. It made me evaluate my own relationship with nature, and it made me realize that in a lot of ways, I am afraid of nature. It is scary to me the power that it holds, but I believe that completing this hike helped me overcome the fear I have of nature in some way. I learned to appreciate nature while still maintaining, what I consider, a necessary amount of apprehension to not do something foolish. At the end of the day, hiking through the Amazon was most likely the high point of the trip for me.

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