A slow mixture of fear was building up inside of me. I was foolish not to follow the group when I knew I had the slimmest chance of survival in a place like this.
I was far behind civilization and my only comfort was my jacket that was zipped up so tight as if I was in a cocoon...waiting to break out of my outer shell and fly away from this desolate forest.
I hadn’t thought to pack much, my idea was to go on a hiking trip with a large group through the Amazon rainforest to experience the wildlife but it was my own fault I had lost them. I got lost around August 20th-25th. I hadn’t checked my phone when I had I got lost. What I had packed was useless - even my phone was useless in a place like this. Then it hit me, if I angle the phone right the rays of sun will produce fire to whatever it bounces off of. I held my phone at a angled position so the sun’s ray would bounce off the phone and onto the dry leaves. The aroma of smoke made my noise quiver. I bent down low and started blowing air at the small flames, after a few blows of air the flames started to rise. My dark brown hair almost got burnt by the rising flame. The once small fire, turned into a big teepee. For the first time in forever I smiled - I had used my head for once and it actually got me somewhere. Dimples formed from the sides of my cheeks. Soon after I heard a faint rustle of leaves behind me, so I turned quickly around and saw a snake's head slithering towards me. Once the whole snake's body appeared I realized it wasn’t a snake, it was a anaconda and it was heading right towards me! I grabbed at stick that was partially on fire and waved it frantically at the anaconda. The anaconda reared up and hissed at me to show its disapproval. By instinct, I threw the stick at the anaconda and it landed on its head. The anaconda retreated.
I had wasted all my time fighting the anaconda that I hadn’t realized that it was getting darker. I hunted for a clear spot and found an oblong branch that was a few feet from the ground. I gingerly climbed on to it, its thick bark made it uncomfortable but it was better than sleeping near two and a half a million species of insects crawling around me.
I wake up face to face with an black fuzzy looking ant, its pinchers were daunting, but I thought it was harmless. But before I could flick it away the small harmless ant stung my index finger and scurried away. Then the pain hit me, my finger turned red by the minute. Beads of sweat started forming. It was the most excruciating feeling I had ever felt in my life - it was as if someone stuck a hot poker all the way into my finger and out the other way. At times I felt the pain would cease, but it would rise up more angrier than ever. It was hard to focus so I took a deep breath to keep my composure.
My suffering had led me to not noticing my current situation. Maybe I could pinpoint my location. I searched for a sturdy tree, then started placing my feet. It felt like I was rock climbing except I didn’t have a belay or a rope to secure myself. I kept placing one feet after another on the edges and grabbing hold of intertwining branches, until I got to the top of the tree. I could pratically see everything from this height. Then I saw something that looked like a small body of water, I squinted my eyes so I could see farther. And then I saw it...the Amazon River! I tried to raise my body longer to see, but my foot didn’t grab hold of edge of the tree and soon enough I was crashing through the trees. Everybody part of my body hit a branch and my face was full of green leaves and twigs slapping my face. Once I plummeted to the ground, my head was screaming. Blood was gushing from both my ears and my nose - not to mention my nose felt dismembered. But one thing I knew was that the Amazon River was north of me. If I followed the Amazon downstream it might reach a village or reach the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean!
Although my nose was broken and uneven I went north and made it to the Amazon River. I forgot all about what lived in the Amazon River - that I grabbed handfuls of dirty water and drank until I was waterlogged. I sat there lazily, my chest heaving up and down, I knew I had no time to waste. So I stood up and started grabbing sturdy branches and flexible twigs and started twisting them around the branches. And soon enough I had a raft...but by the time I got done the sun was falling, so I hooked a long twig to a tree then to my homemade raft so it wouldn’t drift away. As soon as I finished I slumped on to the raft. It was so dark that I felt vulnerable so I grabbed what felt like the side of the raft but instead I got a large wave of electrocution throughout my body and soon enough I was knocked out.
I wake up in my raft, but instead of being tied to the tree I was floating down the Amazon River! My arms are covered with red blisters and my skin is an abnormal color that is starting to peel, my lip are cracked and bleeding and my hair is dry and stiff. I purposely fall off the raft and splash into the mysterious water to cool myself off. I spot a group of vibrant birds nesting in a tree and sloths suspended from trees. Pink dolphins circle me curiously but swim away for some odd reason. A large alligator surfaces from the water and snaps at me - looking for its next meal, I stumble to the shore - inches away from the mouth of an alligator. Instead of retrieving my raft I decide to walk along the river, I come across plenty of pineapples. I rip them from their roots and start digging in. I slurp every drop of pineapple juice I can find until my stomach is content. There are still many pineapples so I pile them into my bag. I walk downstream until my legs give out from under me. I am too weak to move elsewhere, so I decide to sleep on the Amazon floor. I wake up to monkeys howling from the trees, so I stand up and stretch myself out. I grab my bag and head downstream, I find peculiar lizards sprinting across the river on two feet - they go so fast that they don’t even sink into the water. I find weird looking animals that are drinking from the river. I find iguanas blended in with the moss-covered trees and sloths hanging upside down from lianas. I see a large jaguar ripping a bloody carcass apart across the river so I keep moving downstream away from it.
I come across huts and campfires, I spot people. I run towards them, tears run down my face as my heart screams for joy. My heart is in my throat, my heart racing. Although they are indigenous Indians that do not understand my tongue I still try to communicate to them. I show them my swelled-up index finger and depict what stung me once they understand, they bring me sticky leaves to wrap around my finger. And somehow the leaves help numb my finger and reduce pain. They give me hand-woven blankets and hot soup with leaves on the side of the bowl. They offer me shelter. But I tell them that I don’t live here - that I live elsewhere. They explain in there best English accent that there is civilization seventy miles north of here, but say I can live the remaining days with them...
I remember when I was first lost hope - how no one would come looking for me, how I would rot in the Amazon and all the insects would decompose my body so there would be nothing left to find. But now I am with my people...I am not afraid - I am now a full-fledged Indian. I live with them in the Amazon - and I bide my time there. I am one with nature.