5/24/10: Iquitos, Peru
[Editor’s Note: Today we welcome another guest blogger: Miss Amy Zhang!]
Today, I got to feel like Harry Potter.
Those of you who have read Harry Potter, cast your minds back to his first Quidditch match in the pouring rain. He was miserable. He was wet. The Slytherins were like so many mosquitoes harassing his players, shooting the Quaffle through the goal posts while the Gryffindors weren’t looking. Most importantly, he couldn’t see through his fogged-up glasses and therefore could not catch the Snitch. Which is the whole point of Quidditch, really.
Yes—today, I got to feel like Harry Potter. It wasn’t the most comfortable experience of my life.
Let’s take it back about half an hour earlier. Zhou, Kevin and I were tromping out of the lodge in our knee-high rubber boots, long-sleeve shirts, and pants. The long-sleeved clothing was for fighting off bugs. The rubber boots were for fighting off mud.
Moises, our trusty guide, led our mini-expedition into the rainforest. As he walked, he pointed out interesting trees and insects, like a tree with poisonous sap flowing just underneath its bark, or the leaf-cutter ants busily carrying bits of leaves two or three times their size to their hive. Suddenly, we heard a loud snarling noise.
Moises sprang into action, leading us rapidly off the path in the direction of the snarling. (By this, I mean that he broke into a slow jog, while the rest of us shuffled along in our rubber boots and tried not to fall flat on our faces.) A few minutes later, he pointed up a tree.
Turns out, the loud snarling was a monkey. (Who’d’a thunk?) While we squinted up at the tree and tried to find this loudly aggressive monkey, a light rain began pattering down through the canopy. My glasses fogged up and, frustrated, I took them off. What little chance I had of seeing the monkey was ended right there. Mosquitoes, originally a minor nuisance, came up in swarms to beat at our faces and hands. There were so many that it looked like Zhou was wearing a hairnet made out of mosquitoes. Being the good little sister that I am, I whacked at her head with a hat to get them away.
I began wishing fervently that Hermione would swoop out of nowhere and save us with a trusty spell or two, magicking my glasses clear of fog and our pathway of mosquitoes. Feeling like Harry Potter really sucks when you don’t have magic.
Eventually, our walk ended. It felt so good to return to our mosquito-free rooms and have dinner, after a short nap on my part and some reading on Zhou and Kevin’s. Then, after dinner, we went back outside, climbed into a boat, and went looking for caiman.
Setting the mosquitoes and the rain aside, I thought our first day was pretty awesome. After all, I’m with two globe-trotters in the Amazon rainforest, the most gorgeous place I’ve ever seen. It’s more than enough to make up for feeling like a magic-less teenage wizard (truly a sad kind of wizard). And, really, what more can you ask for?
Picture of the Day: This lucky guy doesn’t have to pay taxes or buy bananas!