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  • I took a trip to the jungle of Peru. At the outer edge of the Amazon basin, I went to look for something I lost quite some time ago. Myself. Where I was going, many before me had already traveled to. I ventured into a world I had never been to before.

    I was nervous.
    Excited.
    Overwhelmed.
    Hopeful.
    Curious.
    Relaxed.

    Every morning I was in the jungle, I woke up pinching myself. Once I was sure that it was real, I popped up and bounced down the stairs to say good morning to everyone else. I recall one afternoon when sheets of water made it's way into every crevice possible. A curtain of white water blocked my view from one side of the river embankment to the other. On a whim a new friend and I decided to row out to the middle of the Ucayali river and swim in the rain. The water enfolded us in her warm, comforting arms. Though dark and unclear, we felt safe. As we headed back to shore, we saw fresh water dolphins playing in the rain too. They were with us.

    There were some days when all I wanted to do was to crawl back to the cubby hole I made and put my head under the covers. When I decided to peek out again, I discovered the sun glistening against the soft ripples of wind-kissed water. Putting one foot in front of the other I embraced what lay ahead.

    The highlight of my trip was meeting the plants. (The plants? Yes, specifically La Madre of all plants. For those who know, know of what I speak). They are alive and can speak to you; if you know how to listen. I didn't always like what they had to say, but with every conversation my heart began to lead me back to what was always there to begin with: me

    I am grateful for what I learned. I am grateful for the teachers who helped me navigate my way through the jungle. Now that I am away from the jungle, I am homesick. The sweet ringing of the cicadas bells, the crow of the rooster, and the neighbors laughter coming from somewhere between the trees.

    I know I'm going back someday soon.
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