I’m sitting in a circular stone house about 30ft in diameter in the middle of the jungle. 12 wooden windows and 2 doors line the walls, most of them open to some extent. Wooden furniture and a mostly stone kitchen furnish the open area. Upstairs sits a queen bed, a bunk-bed, a broken green wicker couch covered in dog and cat hair, dresser, as well as an open stand up shower, toilet and stone jacuzzi that may or may not work.
This has been my living space for a little over a week now. After leaving Veracruz I took about an 18hr bus ride to reach the small town of Tulum. Tulum is built off of tourism. It’s a small coastal town with white beaches, brilliant blue water along with the only ruins from an ancient civilization that can be found on a coast. The Mayans occupied this region and still live here. Their language and culture are strong and they tend to, for the most part, stick to themselves.
I sit here frustrated and writing on a moist piece of paper with a pen that I hope keeps putting down ink long enough for me to get these thoughts out.
Why am I writing on moist paper?
(By the time you’re reading I will have transcribed this painstakingly on a French laptop that the other volunteer has let me graciously borrow.)
As I said earlier, I’m living in the JUNGLE. Literally. Paths and roads have been made through thick jungle to have room to get around. These 60 acres, 6 km from the actual town of Tulum, house 16 spider monkeys, 4 horses, 1 stubborn mule, 2 rabbits, several parakeets and around 10 white tail deer.
I’m currently volunteering at the Tulum Monkey Sanctuary
Being that this is the jungle, the humidity is ridiculous. The first day here my laptop displayed a boot-up error. I restarted it and got back in action. The next day I woke up to the same error that eventually mimicked the matrix numbers taking after my screen. Around the same time the other volunteer ran into the same boot-up screen. With my laptop not functioning I sent it away to get checked out by a local PC guy. Meanwhile, the other volunteer’s battery is fried and he’s running it from the power cord directly plugged into the wall.
This brings me to now. Sitting at the wood table downstairs, hand writing on moist paper due to the extreme humidity.
I bought a box of Frosted Flakes and brought them to the house. Within 48 hours the box was so humid it was drooping and almost toppling over. It’s pretty difficult to stay dry, any motion brings moisture to the skin.
I don’t say this in a negative light, just to get the point across. Dense jungle, random showers, captive and wild monkeys, species of reptiles, snakes and caterpillars I’ve never seen. And oh the bugs…mosquitoes especially. I stopped counting, but I have over 50 bites on my left leg alone, all from the past week.
These are all things I’ve been dying to write about and show through my photography. With a broken laptop I’m SOL. here I sit frustrated. I’m awaiting the news on my workstation and contemplating figuring out how to fly back to Colorado.
Why back home?
I still have my desktop there that has the same programs installed on it. Depending on what I find out, I may not be able to fix it or buy a new laptop. I could figure ways to borrow and work from somebody else’s stuff, but I can’t do it.
I have a difficult time relying on others and the amount of stuff I have to do in regards to writing and photo editing is ridiculous.
I need to figure something out to stay here. maybe I’ll try to get a job bar-tending or something. If it is humidity, I’ll volunteer some place else where my laptop will work and cut my stay here short.
I don’t know, stuff is crazy in regards to that aspect of my life right now.
On a separate note, working here has been a realization of how amazing life is. Sounds cheesy I know, but wow this is beautiful. Its had me looking back at my experiences and really appreciating everything.
Earlier today I was treading water in an underground cave. Also know as a cenote, this sanctuary has a couple of them. From within the cave sun rays shone down in the large opening and multiple other small ones. The sun shining through crystal waters illuminated varieties of fish, meanwhile above the water, fruit bats flew all around me. Shear beauty
I wish I could show you all. Hopefully soon. Tomorrow I hope to have an answer on my laptop and a decision on what my next move is. This is life, best to go with it than against it.
(After I wrote this I was able to get some snapshots. The image of the jungle where it looks blurry and humid was how all of my photos were coming out for a while. Eventually things were better and I was able to get photos I was happy with.)