I've never been one for the jungle as a story setting. It always seems to take control of the plot, and is so exotic that it's hard to relate to. When I heard there was a good deal of jungle in our mission, I was excited to visit something so different, but not ridiculously anxious. We recently spent a couple days there for a multi-zone conference. My perspective changed a little.
Let's start with the air. The atmosphere is thick and hot, opposite to the Junin atmosphere so thin that oxygen comes at one breath's worth of air for the price of two. The air was sweet, and reminded me of vacation. Strips of evaporated water floated around hills of jungle forestry framed by the branches and vines of nearer plant life stretching into the sky. We stayed in a hotel where a thin sheet replaced the five heavy wool blankets I'm used to, a refreshing fan blowing over the room while we watched church videos on the TV. Cold water is all they have for the showers in the jungle, but it hardly matters at all. We had nothing to do while we waited the night before the multi-zone, so we played cards, caught up with other zones who were staying there as well, and played foosball. I was in paradise. Our dinner was spread on wood tables outside underneath a covering. Bugs hummed in the background. It was the most refreshing experience I'd had in a long while, and I think I woke up the next morning smiling. It continued as we had an enlightening conference with our mission president.
When I returned, luckily, the successful work load of the remaining week kept my mind off of paradise. We're happy where we are, and we're looking forward to the progression of the area. I wouldn't mind serving in the jungle one of these days, though!
Ah. Did I take pictures? Hum, I suppose that's all for this week! Till next time! I go back to the jungle for another conference in three weeks!