The rain dominated the lodge last night! The stream underneath my lodging is audibly flowing into the Amazon River. Rain continues through the morning so Dr. Bee and I are not able to take a bird watching tour this morning.
Instead, we post up in the library room, (my coffee room), and listen to the grass roofs amplify the light consistent rain. A crew from Malta, a tiny island off the coast of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea, is hilarious this morning. They wake up and immediately crave cigarettes, coffee, and sarcasm. We have a blast hanging out. Yesterday was our last day at the hospital, so today we explore the jungle. The destination today is a location they call the terra firme, which means land or Earth. Here, we are supposed to see poison dart frogs. On the boat ride over, Dr. Bee and I talk about life and creating genuine connections. She is very sweet and compassionate. I can tell she loves being a doctor and helping people. From the boat dock, I follow Claudio and Fredrik because they have been coming to this spot for some time studying the poison dart frogs. There are carved out paths that we follow, but the jungle is so incredibly dense. The leaves and trees glisten from rain and this place is absolutely majestic. For the first hour and a half, we only see one frog. Yesterday they saw many, so we were wondering what had happened today. Maybe the massive amounts of rain pushed them away? The frog we find is brilliantly colored!
(She decided to take a ride on Claudio's shoulder, Freddy told me how to tell if they are male or female. He is a really bright biologist and has done his homework on these little frogs)
We travel a little deeper in the jungle and start to find many things. The jungle is so dense; this makes it difficult to see many animals and bugs. Leaf toads, poisonous wolf spiders, and bats are just a few things we find in the deeper jungle. There is even a downed log where tons of bats reside during the day. I pull up my pants, grab a headlamp, and walk through. The bats fly straight into me or right at me, which is very intimidating. At the end of the log, Fredrik finds a very rare Amazonian leaf frog. He has not seen one here yet. This makes him very excited, and we stay here for a while snapping photos of Freddy and the frog. Apparently, the frog only comes down out of the trees to lay its eggs for only two weeks out of the year.
It spends the rest of its time in the treetops about 25 meters in the canopy. After visiting a few more spots we make it back to our dock around two and eat a very great lunch that couldn’t come any sooner. We quickly gorge ourselves and then head back onto the boats for the trip home. We stop by the side of the river to take a look at some red titi monkeys.
Everyone loves saying titi monkeys, it’s kind of funny; bring out the giggly kid in us. They are beautiful and thankful for the banana snacks. Angels of the Amazon rescues them from the black market in order to rehabilitate back into the wild. The guides for the organization are in charge of feeding them after every terra firme trip. We make it home in time to play soccer underneath the lodge, which is brilliant. It’s a small muddy court where we play 6 on 6 and small goals as well. This is like an ideal situation for me; a Long day in the jungle hiking and exploring to come home to play soccer with some really amazing players. #heavenonearth After a few goals we all go jump in the amazon river, swimming with the piranha, and make it back to the room to change before dinner. After dinner, we had the choice to go hiking with Freddy and Claudio, but Dr. Bee’s hip had been hurting her, so I decide to stick around and work on it a little. A few stretches and exercises later, she says it feels better. She was happy to have the help and I am thankful to be of any assistance to such a great doctor. Today is an amazing day. Buenas noches selva (good night jungle)!