When I was interviewing for this internship we were told we were going to be camping in the dead of the wilderness for 12 days at a time. This information jump started my heart and I wanted to be in Panama right then and there, but, there was still that chance that it was overly talked up. That chance that I would arrive to that set up tent in the living room and some people roasting marsh mellows in the fireplace while the A/C is set to 73. That thought lingered in my head during the overpriced food in Terminal D, in the background of Tolkien’s magical words in The Two Towers on the plane, and growing even more so climbing that last hill on the hike out of San Miguel. Oh how that worry was wrong.
Seeing basecamp for the first time was everything I hoped and dreamed for. Only the largest grin could be held on my face while walking up to this site of 10 tents, 2 locally made structures with the floor hovering at about 10ft in the air, and 1 perfectly makeshift structure of cut trees, bamboo, tarp, and rope. This is all enhanced by the background of foggy jungle covered mountains in every direction and the sounds of the simultaneous river, hundreds of species of animals, and seemingly constant sound of thunder whether there be a cloud in sight or not. And that was just the first intake. As the days went on, my love for the Valley we increased as we did many laboring tasks to mold our campsite into something we could call a more personalized home. From just hiking the property to harvesting bamboo in order to construct ourselves a better rain-guard around our tents, with every task it was becoming more and more MY valley.
Everything we did was not a command either, everything was a suggestion and after a short time the best suggestion of them all was made aware, that we should write out our ideas for basecamp and impliment our own ideas. Almost any idea of mine is an idea they are willing to let transform into reality and I can’t wait to get as many ideas into this basecamp as I can!