#JungleProblems: What I Have Learned About Living in the Jungle
Living in the jungle sounds really exotic and I think people romanticize the idea as some epic adventure. Well I have news for you, it is simply just another place to live, another place to adapt to certain ways of life, and learn certain lessons if you want to lessen the burden of living in the jungle. Just like anywhere else you take the bad with the good, learn as quickly as possible, and get really creative with how to live the life you want.
Lesson #1: Check Yourself, Twice
a.k.a a spider bit my boob a.k.a. there’s a toad in the toilet and the shower a.k.a bugs live in my bed
This one is all about being aware of your surroundings. My first lesson came on day 2. I had hung my bikini top on the line to dry the day before, and was rushing to go swim in the ocean and threw my bikini top on without a second thought or glance. When chomp, something bit me in the left tit and it hurt! I started ripping my clothes off in a fiery freak out fashion, when a big orange spider came toppling out of my bikini top. Luckily he wasn’t poisonous, and I was happy to have learned that lesson early without repercussion, and I threw the little guy out of my room.
A toad in the toilet and shower is obvious, check the toilets and the shower before you sit your butt down or hop your naked bootie into the shower because a toad the size of a cat is probably enjoying their wet new home. A gentle poke to the behind will get them scurrying on their way (feel free to check out the video on that one soon!) Shake out your bed before you get in, tarantulas, scorpions, and other bugs that want to nom on you can wander in pretty easily, even with the mosquito net. I woke up one morning without shaking out my bed and I could literally make constellations out of all the bug bites on my body.
This one also includes never putting your body where you can’t see! Always have a light, because the snakes and toads come out at night.
Lesson #2: When Nature Attacks, Stay Calm it’s Probably Nothing, Unless It’s Something
a.k.a you’ll probably eat a lot of bugs a.k.a beware the monkey’s they throw poop a.k.a how a jellyfish stole my dignity
I have had my fair share of run ins with nature, bugs in my food, ants on my fruit, flies in my hair and on my legs and basically terrorizing my face, but there are some that surpass annoyance. Some are harmless but nonetheless want to be avoided. Like the monkeys for example they look cute, but if you get too close they will poop into their hand and throw it at you. Best to avoid that. (Video of poop throwing below)
Noseeums, the demons of the bug world here are microscopic flesh pets that you don’t know hit you until they have swarmed your entire lower half. These little guys come in drones and cover your legs with little bites that take weeks to heal and never stop burning or itching. Ask The Barefoot Blogger about this one, she knows Noseeums all too well.
Other things that are just a part of living in the jungle is ants on your fruit, in your soup, and in your mouth. I say enjoy the extra protein. If you plan on cooling off the ocean, (and by cooling off I mean taking a warm bath to get your hair wet, to hope the breeze maybe will cool you down later), you will probably get stung by jellyfish and probably more than once. It feels like a slap, or a bee-sting, nothing serious, but when you can’t see into the blue and brown milky water, it feels like something is trying to kill you and death is probably imminent, and therefore requires flailing, swearing, and full frontal freak out. My first encounter ended with holy shit something bit me, fuck this shit, fuck this ocean, I’m out. It barely left a mark and only stung for 20 minutes, but it definitely took one thing from me….my dignity.
Lesson #3: You Won’t Recognize Yourself Sometimes
a.k.a. how heat rash ravaged me a.k.a my jungle hair a.k.a you won’t care what you look like just don’t look in a mirror
When monkey’s are your alarm clock, sunrise on the beach your morning commute to work, and you live in a packing container, beauty tends to fall to the way side. In a place where there is no ice, no air conditioning, no cold water except your early morning shower, energy is put into keeping cool not keeping your hair and make-up looking fresh. I mean you’ll look as fresh as an avocado rotting in the sun on the jungle floor J. My jungle hair has gotten out of control at times, so make sure you have coconut oil, a brush, and a good 20 minutes on your hands if you tend to tackle that beast.
Heat rash, sunburns, bug bites, pimples in odd places, rashes, irritations, limbs swollen from heat, and patches of awkward tan will take over your skin and make it foreign to you until your body acclimates to the heat, humidity, and sun. Organic coconut oil is your best friend, remember this ladies, it’s essential to survival in the jungle. I put it in my hair, my mouth, on my skin, I eat it for upset stomach, the rumors are true, coconut oil = your jungle superhero.
Lesson #4: Be Aware of Your Body and Mind and all Your Shit
a.k.a don’t put your body where you can’t see a.k.a don’t lose your mind
This one encompasses a lot, just keep track of your stuff and how you are feeling. Your stuff because one rainstorms sweep through and if you leave it out it will take about 3 seconds for it to become fully saturated and water-logged, two because yes animals will run off with your shit.
Be aware of your body and mind. Fitness in the jungle is like hot yoga on crack. If you’re like me I love biking, it’s like biking in a sauna, but you also have the added benefits of choking on dust from cars flying by on the dirt road, and bugs trying to commit suicide into your eye, throat, and nose. Make sure you are drinking enough water because the heat can, will, and does go to your head. Being aware of your mind and mood allows you to know what your body needs and to take care of yourself.
Don’t get me wrong though, I have loved every minute of it and found the humor in the moment and hope you do too!