This morning I woke up to a beautiful sunrise. The clouds framed the bottom of the sky like a mountain range. They were dark clouds at first, that were soon illuminated by the first light of the sun. They turned red, and the light quickly began to hit everything in it’s path. It peered through spider webs, and wove itself through the tall grass until it hit my face, immediately making me regret my decision to not put on sunscreen.
After breakfast, which consisted of the most delicious fruit I’ve ever had -especially the grapefruit- and empeñadas, Jesús took us to search for anacondas. This sounded cool until Jesús said, “A couple types of snakes here are venomous, but if you get bit, we’ll just go back to the boat. It will be fine. We haven’t had a problem yet.” To which I replied, “Pues, hoy es el día.”
We started trudging around in knee high, dirty brown water, in which I couldn’t see a thing. Jesús then stopped us abruptly saying that we needed to have a good five meters in between every person so as to not splash each other.
Jesús buddy, I’m already bummed you’re not leading me around this snake infested swamp by my hand… and now you want to be further away from me?
Every once in awhile, Jesus would stop and poke his giant walking stick into the water, and we would run to catch up.
Never was it a snake though. After a couple of hours of hiking through the 90 degree humidity, your favorite idiot realized she didn’t drink enough water, and was way too dehydrated to keep going. I must have looked bad, because Jesús asked if I wanted to go back, and with the other two girls looking just as miserable, we returned to camp.
On the way back, we did happen to spot a Cobra that had just finished eating, so our snake hunt was not a total waste.
Piranha fishing was next, and as a vegetarian, I was wary of the activity. Ironically, I caught the first piranha of our group, and it also ended up being the largest. After pulling it out of the river, and watching it flop around, struggling for air, I decided to quit the game. I watched Jesús pull the hook out of it’s little mouth, and honestly I almost threw him back into the river screaming, “FISH ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD.”
I didn’t however, because Grace really wanted piranha for dinner, and I wasn’t sure if we would catch anymore. Grace did catch one though, and was taught by Jesús how to gut and clean them, something I zoned out quite well. I made up for my murder later, by saving a catfish that flopped into the boat, so I felt like the scales were once again even. (Pun totally intended.)
The string with meat on the hook always had a fish biting, but very rarely did we catch any. The piranha would chew just enough around the meat, to fill their tummies, and not my group’s… smart little buggers. It was really cool to see their teeth though, and I didn’t realize they were so colorful. They are intricate and intelligent creatures, and I am proud of myself for sticking around for this.