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A Jungle Night

by nate on December 8, 2009

I want to share a very vivid recent experience I had in Bokeo Nature Reserve, in Laos.

It was the last chilly night in Bokeo, we were all nestled in our jackets were drinking hot chocolate in our wooden tree house, 40 meters off the jungle floor. As the sun sank behind the distant mountains, a new set of sounds began to consume our surroundings, quickly becoming pitch black for miles around. This night I was determined to finally see the brightly starred sky we got peeks of through the corners of our treehouse. We only had a zipline that disappeared above the noisy black jungle, so we inched out on the 80 meter steel line above the canopy, with little headlamps and a little intimidation.

It’s hard to describe the sensation. To be suspended over 100ft above a howling jungle in total darkness. A sky errupting with more stars than I had ever seen. To be floating between the soundscape and treetops beneath my feet, and a mesmerizing sky; weightless, so small and unprotected. The headlamps were useless once we got too far on the wire, but they were an appreciated comfort.

I stayed out a little while longer as the others inched back to the treehouse. All the senses were engaged, fully alert and analyzing, yet almost hypnotized in a dreamlike state by the sensations. My eyes were open, but felt closed. My body dangling nothing within reach, yet all felt so close. It was beautiful.

Feet, lit by a headlamp 100ft above the jungle.

Feet, lit by a headlamp 100ft above the jungle.

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Ants.

by nate on October 2, 2009

New york ants in Vietnam

Yankee Ant.

I’m making this post for two reasons.

1.  At this point, it is impossible to deny the fact that ants are ever-present and everywhere.

2.  Rachel drew me a picture of an ant.  <3

I told Rachel about the ants recently, and so she drew me this picture of what the ants infesting the room must look like. Love it.

When the rain comes down, the ants come out. Crawling on clothing,on necks, on plates, in luggage, in bed, everywhere.  A bit alarming initially, they quickly become a background texture after a few days.  By this point, I wake up in the morning, follow the trail of ants to my stash of butter biscuits, grab a few, “dust off” the ants, and start my day.

Here’s a video.

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Some Sapa videos

September 22, 2009

This is Zi, our Hmong tour guide for the 3 days. She had an amazingly colorful péonaly.   Thí keyboard does not like me.

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