Ok, so Pucallpa is obviously geographically in the Amazon Jungle. But I would like to strongly argue that Pucallpa is not the truest representation of what the Jungle is like! We just returned from Contamana, Peru, and that my friends, is the Jungle. We arrived in Contamana last Thursday afternoon and the climate was comparable to Pucallpa. I didn't actually think too much of the fact that my hotel room seemed a bit on the hot side, even for the evening. The only main difference I noticed was that Contamana sits kind of on a mountainside, so its considered "high jungle" and the bugs there were bigger and more plentiful(look at my pictures on facebook). But Friday held a big revalation for all of us! The heat and humidity every single day was hotter and more intense than anything Pucallpa had put me through! And I tried in vain to cool down my hotel room by opening the window in the evenings when it was cooler and running the fan non-stop to keep air moving, but to no avail....I felt like I was baking. It was so hot that the showers weren't even as cold as Pucallpa, but were slightly warm. I realized very quickly that I had been gravely deceived and that we were NOW in the Jungle...
Aside from the intense heat, the people of Contamana were extremely gracious and fed us well! Aside from the group of people that would run through the streets at 4:00AM with a partial band playing, albeit, decent music, and the perpetual tardiness of all events which caused some very late nights, everything else was very charming/welcoming. If it was only cooler.....I aquired the habit of thanking God perpetually that He has called me to Pucallpa, and not another Jungle region (like Contamana :). I used more sunscreen during the 4 days there than I have used the entire rest of this trip - but it was successful! I am not sunburned. I was officially a representative from El Refugio the entire trip, but I did not compete in any of the sports competitions. This was defintely an advantage for El Refugio. lol :) We did have individuals place in the top 3 for quite a few events! We also placed 1st in co-ed volleyball and 2nd in both women's and men's futbol. I know we placed in the top 3 for other events as well, but I can't remember them all....
Overall Contamana was beautiful and the trip yesterday to "Aguas Calientes(Hot Waters)" was amazing! Although we had to walk THROUGH the jungle for 4 hours, it was entirely worth it. Because of the lush rainforest "ceiling" it didn't actually seem as hot as well! And with my friends Liz and Margarite by my side, we made an adventure out of it. Although Liz likes to test me and see what I will try and not try to do, etc. She's a lot of fun. :)
The only "negative" thing that occurred during this trip was that my stomach did not fare very well. It started Sunday and continues even now....I will feel completely fine at one point, then all of a sudden feel like I have an upset stomach. The 4 hour trek throught he jungle and the boat ride back didn't affect my stomach at all, and I have been able to eat, but only in small portions. The only problem is, when I eat, I feel like I have an upset stomach, but nothing happens and eventually it passes...until I eat again. But when my stomach is rumbling cause I'm hungry, its worse if I don't eat. I thought at first that it was just some adverse reaction to the crazy heat, but all day today I haven't been in that heat. I was able to eat a small amount of lunch today without that quesy aftereffect, but I haven't eaten dinner because my stomach is not feeling so great. I've just eaten some fruit, granola, etc.I haven't quite figured out what this is, but please pray that it passes quickly.
Other items that I would really appreciate your prayers for are:
- Direction as to where I should live when I move here
- Knowing what questions to ask and wisdom as I figure out the logistics of living here
- Overall Health
Thank You soooo much for your prayers and support! You guys are all in this with me!!