As I write this post now I am on the back porch of our lodge, which looks out over this green explosion of a valley where camp is nestled in nicely between a few hills and a couple mountains. This is one of the places that feels much like home – I spend a lot of time here reading, hanging out with my summer staff and work groups, and at night the last thing I do before hopping into bed is come out in the dark just to listen to the oratorio being composed by myriad chirping and cheeping and trilling creatures.
Atypically, the mountain at this moment is not covered in fog, but very often, wisps of silvery mist swirl their way about the mountain peaks, enveloping the highest trees in their shimmery fog. It is so incredibly beautiful. Nothing ever dries here because it is so humid, and the rain is near constant, which is bad news for my wool socks’ ability to dry and for my formerly-anticipated summer tan, but it is great news for the vegetation, which is dense and lush and amazingly diverse. There are so many cool plants here, and I would love to tromp through the forest with my botanist Dad to try to identify them! I’m not familiar with the tropical flora, though, so compared to hikes in the states, when we’re hiking here, I seem way less nerdy to my cohorts (or at least less nerdy in the botanical sense. I can’t hide my real nerd self though! Ha. I compensate when we get talking about theology or Spanish grammar. :))
(On the fauna side, fortunately there are no poisonous spiders or snakes here. Phew! Mostly just tons of lizards and lots and lots of mosquitoes with ferocious biting powers.)
A couple times now, we’ve hiked out to the waterfall, which is just up the road and a little bit behind camp. The first waterfall is lovely and you can arrive in about 15-20 minutes. But the second waterfall is massive and glorious, and to get there, you have to wind your way through this tropical rainforest (not sure if that’s what it technically is but it seems like one), crawling your way through dense leaves and vines, scrambling up rocks and roots, and wading across the river something like 8 times back and forth. But when you get there it is so worth it. Besides, in my opinion as a lover of hiking, that adventure to arrive is most of the fun! Standing at the bottom, the pleasantly tepid mist covers you in water droplets whether or not you get in the water, but you can go swimming in the natural pool there. It is amazing. We’ll be leading the work teams on this hike a few times and thus far, it’s one of those things that doesn’t get old.
With the work group at the 1st waterfall.
|With my dear fellow summer staffer Ella|
|The work group enjoys the second waterfall|
|Along the way to the waterfall... glory|
In the words of that song ‘enchanted,’ may God give you “new eyes to see, give you new skin to feel, new lungs to breathe the wonder underneath.”
This world is enchanted. Lean in closer to see it.
peace and blessings,