Not once in my life did I ever think I would be in a tent for any length of time even longer than a weekend; let alone have that tent be in another country, in a jungle, with almost all complete strangers. Now I have spent about the last 9 nights on my air mattress, in my spring green Coleman tent and it has certainly already had some ups and downs.
The girls staying out here in the valley really lucked out. Our Coleman tents are brand new and are about to embark on their first jaunt through the rainy season. The boys’ tents have certainly seen better days and show it by their leakiness during the somewhat daily downpours. That is one of the aforementioned “ups,” about my life in a tent thus far. Another good thing about my tent is that it forces me to be organized; there simply isn’t room to be messy. I tend to think that I am a pretty well organized and clean person, but this change in lifestyle for the next few months will really pressure me to improve on that!
Living in my little green tent has also allowed me to experience the beautiful mornings in the valley of Kalu Yala. Each morning I wake up to the calls of the nearby Howler monkeys and all of the different birds that also call the valley home. Each morning I also wake up to the local campasinos’ cattle and chickens that they are letting out into pasture or rounding up for various reasons.
Those daily occurrences are a blessing and a curse. The Howler monkeys tend to start their morning chatter around 5:30 am (the curse part). That is a little early for me, even though my new bedtime since being in the valley seems to be about 8:30 pm. They do act as a bit of a “snooze alarm” though (the blessing); just a little wake up call to let me know that the Sun is coming.
That is one of the most difficult things about tent life. As soon as the sun has shown itself, the tent turns into the worst place on the face of the Earth! It becomes an instant oven, unless it happens to be cloudy that particular morning. If it happens to be a clear day, I can be in the tent for less than 2 minutes, just sitting there, and already be breaking a sweat.
It is still pretty early in the relationship of me and my little green Coleman and I’m sure many more ups and downs will ensue, and I can’t wait to find out what they are!