Tuesday, April 29, 2014
I'm a big fan of rain forests. I love the lush terrain and the creatures that flit in the trees, lurk on the ground and splash in the water. Rain forests are synonymous with adventure and I'm always up for that. So when I learned that we had to traverse Panama's rain forest to reach the remote Embera Indian village, I was excited. Hiking and climbing through a jungle of greenery is my idea of great exercise. I've done it lots of times, in many places. Except, not typically in a maxi dress and sandals. I knew I'd have trouble when our guide gazed at my getup and shot me an incredulous stare. Not a, "oh my, that's a pretty dress and it might get dirty look" but a "mujer, esta una probelema," look. I don't know what I was thinking, except that it was really, really, hot and maxi dresses are cool. Only, when rains flood areas of the rain forest that used to be dry land, and you need to walk over them, then it's not so cool. The only way across the expanse of heavy mud and rain, was to walk across a fallen tree. Did I mention that balance and grace have never been my strong suits? I have been known to trip over perfectly even, flat surfaces so this would definitely be a challenge. I watched as every member of my group glided over the trunk, lightly stepping over the rough wood. When it was my turn, I envisioned falling into the muddy morass so I kicked off my shoes and requested guidance across that rickety tree. It was a slow, unsteady journey but I made it. I never thought I'd try walking on water but it's funny what you can accomplish when your options are limited. What challenges have you taken on during your travels?