Friday, November 7, 2008

Notes From My Forest Journal (Entry 8)

At least it finally stopped raining!

Our tent held up for the most part throughout the 7 hour jungle downpour, though the mud did eventually seep between the footprint and the tent floor -- thankfully we had the sleeping bag flat on the floor of the tent and it managed to keep us cushioned and dry-ish.

It was somewhat amusing, being a refugee from the rain, as it waged on and on and on. Adam and I passed the time playing Fluxx and reading Eragon and napping.

We’d call to Cleve or vice versa through the storm, across the camp, as we all hid in our respective tents.

Of course, the rain meant that any plans we’d had of catching teh chimps early at the fruiting tree were squashed.

Looking out at the camp, the scene echoed our disappointment -- grey and deep veneer penetrated the entirety of the camp as it sat, seemingly empty, lifeless and wet.

Part of me, secretly, was relieved at the respite the rain provided. I’ve always felt that part of being a scientist involves being sort of sexless, calculated, somewhat inhuman and tireless.

But even after a sound night of sleep, I was tired...SO tired, and very painfully aware I was also female.

I’ve never been one to miss standard amenities-- showers, toilets, toothbrushing -- but to get my period the very night we arrived in Andé, be wracked with cramps, and to then spend five hours the next day trekking through dense forest -- it was a lot to ask of my body.

I only told Adam, mostly because I trust any vulnerability with him implicitly. But additionally, I just didn’t want anyone to think my spirit was weak -- far from -- so in flashes where it hurt even just to sit upright, I would retreat into the tent to suffer silently.

You’re just so ashamed to be here, standing at the precipice of your future, and not be at 100%.

And for obvious reasons, not being able to bathe or use proper restrooms during this time can, understandably, be disgusting.

But it, as anything else, will pass and there will, at least for me, be plenty more forest trips. For Cleve, it will be his last in a long while and I want to somehow, though probably impossible, ensure its proximity to perfection.

No comments: