This story contains some fragments taken from my diary.
Camp expedition – day 2
It is raining all the time, from morning till morning. Everything, including the sleeping bags are humid. Fire is the only option to get some stuff dry. It will also dry the zebu meat that is hanging above it. The jungle here is astonishing. Nearly pristine forest with big trees. The rain adds to its beauty since drops drips down the mosses and leaves. However it also wakes up the leaches and we become their favourite blood donor club. I’m glad I have boots, a rain coat and leach socks which offer some protection. The meals in camp consist of rice with beans, rice with meat and rice with rice. Today I saw that our cook puts the plastic bags with green trash that will be left in the forest. I made another garbage bin and explained him that from now on, plastic and metal will be put in this bin.
Camp expedition – day 5
After four days of rain, finally some sun. The leaves from the trees become greener, especially in contrast with the bright blue sky. The sun is good for the moral. Fieldwork appears to be less hard. Everything seems lighter. It is needed. My motivation was pretty low. I talked with Jeroen. He too had some hard time. With the sun the mosquitos replace the leaches. The meat above the fire went bad, making the toilets a popular hang-around-place. However, the guides still eat it. We have a little visitor in camp that cheers my mind up. A ring-tailed mongoose (Galidia elegans), with its fire red fur and smart little eyes sneaks up every evening between the bushes to visit our trash pile. I also discovered that our cook hasn’t completely understood the purpose of the second trash bin. I saw him disappearing in the forest with it to bring it back empty. When I went to see, the plastic was laying around in a big hole with the green trash.
Camp expedition – day 8
Another day raining. Things start to mold. Jurian’s belt is now covered by an interesting green greyish coat. Days pass by with ups and downs. Previous days were sunny. General mood goes up. Mine too. I feel the forest again and enjoy each sight of it. I am now the only girl between six men. We form a good team together. Diners in the evening with candlelight, frogs singing around us, rain dripping and fire crackling. We hold each other’s hands and say a small thank you kind of prayer before we start eating. The guides, Jocelyn, Donné and the cook Doré included. Today we crossed the river and walked up the mountain. Jocelyn is very silent because his boy is sick. We learned some new words. “Adala”, which means crazy is constantly used as a joke by Artur and Jocelyn to call each other. Last day. Tomorrow back to Centre Valbio.