this is what i start doing after a certain part. the answer is 15. i can fit 15 pencils in my hair.
this is what i start doing after a certain hour.
the answer is 15. i can fit 15 pencils in my hair.

Four hours with children, a few hours in staff meeting about the children, and then I don’t know what you’ll be on, but I’LL BE ON VACAAAATIONNNNN!!!!!!

Praise Jesus for the speed with which this first quarter has flown by. I love being a teacher most days – I love being around kids and doing crazy things and seeing the lightbulbs go off. I love the people I work with. And I love where I live. But after the general craziness that is starting a new school year and a few weeks of dreary cold days (cold here is about 70. Actually I just checked and it’s 79 at 9:30pm and I’m in a sweater so. I have turned into a total weather wimp, it would seem) everything feels settled and normal again.

And so I am bored and I am SO ready to go on an adventure. An excuse to not put on makeup or shower regularly. A few weeks of “routine” and also I’ve been working out and eating healthy for like three solid weeks so I am getting itchy to travel, to do something weird, to let my cell phone die and not worry about the rest of the world for a few solid days.

So I’m going to the Amazon. Yeah! The freaking AMAZON! It’s gonna be AMAZONING! (that’s the best I could do). Here’s the plan:

its friday eve yall
its friday eve yall

Sunday, 4:45am – go to airport. you can probably expect a random post and surely some ridiculous tweets and snaps that night. God knows I won’t go to sleep – I’ll be making an ipod playlist, drinking wine, and won’t start packing until 2am. It’s just how I do it. Later that day we arrive in Manaus, middle o’ the Amazon. Transfer via bus, jeep, boat, tinier boat. Arrive at lodge in middle of the AMAZON.

Although tempted, I’ve decided to not stay in the hammock lodge. I have to remember I’m not 24 and backpacking through Central America and just expecting bed bugs and to pay for toilet paper. I’m like, single, youngish, and (un)professional (that’s a throwback to my short-lived column at the Santa Barbara Independent. Aw, the FEELS!). So I’m staying in a real bed in a cabin with my friend Tess, her mom and bro. Also my friends the Pratts are coming. We’re going to be a sweet group.

i can't stop.
i can’t stop.

Mon/Tue/Wed/Thurs – our options are endless. They include pirahna fishing, cayman fishing, bird-watching at dawn, canoeing through a flooded river, the meeting of the waters, pink dolphins, sloths, fireants, survival techniques in the jungle, visiting native homes with an option to stay overnight, an option to stay overnight in the jungle in a hammock (EEEEKKKK but like I have to, right?! I don’t know!!!!).

Thurs/Fri/Saturday – My homies all leave on Thursday, and I have a day and a night and a day and a night alone to either stay in the jungle or spend some time in Manaus, which is an old school sweet spot. I’m thinking architecture, I’m thinking river boats, I’m thinking mystery and intrigue. I’m thinking I post up at a hostel full of 20-somethings and pretend I am still one of them and go out dancing all night and regret it the next day but oh to remember that feeling.

i miss this kind of nuts.
i miss this kind of nuts.

Every time I look at Facebook (which is on the decline in my life…so many angry people there! :( ) someone is getting engaged, or married, or on honeymoon, or pregnant, or delivering that beautiful life into the world (like my boo Beth! I can’t wait to meet your little girl and am stupid proud of you from too far away! What are flights like from Brazil to Israel? lol). And sometimes it makes me sad that I am not doing that but then I remember that people that need to save up for weddings or start college funds for rugrats probably aren’t wondering how many pictures they will be able to take cuddling a sloth in a hammock with a cerveja under an Amazon moon while a pink dolphin brings them açai.

YEAH.

this is a gamba. hella scary, right? imagine a baby one covered in vampire placenta. that's what i saw on my run today.
this is a gamba. hella scary, right? imagine a baby one covered in vampire placenta. that’s what i saw on my run today.

Also, the Amazon? Like I never thought I could go there. Where I live already feels pretty jungly already. Sometimes too much so. Where I live can be a little “Romancing the Stone,” with not enough hot young Michael Douglas. On my runs this week I have seen capybaras swimming and walking, dozens of egrets, flying fish, two monkeys, and a baby gambá, which looked like it was drowning.

I’ve stepped on cockroaches on accident and on purpose, scared crabs off the path, seen a spider the size of a dinner plate, been on a boat on a lagoa, run on the sand on the beach, dodged large charging animals called “rude men who would rather a lady go into moving traffic than give up six inches of road space for them.” “HOO-GEE!” I yell at them, silently in my head (how Cariocas say ‘rude.’).

But this will be different. I have a ton of ideas and expectations and hopes. I can’t wait to report back and see what’s come true. Here are my priorities:

  • see a sloth.
  • see the meeting of the waters.
  • see a pink dolphin.
  • see a piranha.
  • watch a sunset.
  • watch a sunrise.
  • meet an amazonian family.
  • speak lots of portuguese.
  • eat everything i am offered.
  • say yes to everything.
just. go.
just. go.

“I need solitude. I need space. I need air. I need the empty fields round me; and my legs pounding along roads; and sleep; and animal existence.”

—   Virginia Woolf, The Diary of Virginia Woolf
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