I’ll set the scene:
Me (purple, floaty trousers, black and green Hawaiian shirt, slightly tanned, curly hair tied back), lying in my hammock in the “porch” of our “mansion”. It is HOT today, so hot in fact that I got in the “shower” earlier fully clothed just to cool down a bit. The sun is shining and the river flows idly, the grass is quite overgrown and bright, little seeds cling to my socks and trousers whenever I walk anywhere. Insects are constantly buzzing about, jumping up from the grass and circling through the air which hangs heavy and still with humidity. Frogs and mice occasionally peep out from their homes and the geckos in our “mansion” crawl silently across the walls and the ceiling. The crickets are buzzing and the birds chirping and every so often the rumbling of a motor crawls past as members of the community travel up and down the river. The giant leaves on the banana trees rustle slightly in a gentle breeze, and the sound of the shallow water dancing over the rocks in the river floats up from the bank. I can smell the rich scent of tropical nature, almost cloying and almost sweet. And I feel calm. The heat has soaked into my bones and it is bliss to lie here, embraced in the warmth of the air and the peace and serenity of the trees.
I have spent the morning working on my project. Hours and hours and hours of data collection and analysis, with hours and hours and hours to go. My ears are ringing from listening to my music too loudly, my mind is buzzing with thoughts of work, and my fingers are sore from clicking and dragging and typing. I’m taking a break. Whether it’s well-deserved I’m not so sure, but the heat and limitless time we have make it hard to concentrate.
Heather and I have been at the station for 9 days now. Just us. Here. Alone. In our paradise-like prison, or prison-like paradise; depending which mood we’re in. We’ve been on rations for a few days now because our food supply is dwindling so meals have been delightfully creative or completely boring. The flies are out in full force so we’re both covered in bites, but I think we’re more used to them now so they don’t bother us as much. Evening is settling in, the air is cooling slightly and the sun getting lower.
I’ll get back to work now. The tab of my spreadsheet is staring at me disparagingly from the bottom of my laptop screen and, as much as I wish they would, the photos won’t start sorting themselves.
*”quotation marks” used to indicate the metaphorical nature of these descriptive nouns. We don’t actually live in a mansion, but a 4 roomed, open, wooden building built on stilts. The porch refers to the area at the front of said building. We have a structure which does a very good imitation of a shower, but in reality is 3 small concrete walls and a shower curtain with a barrel that we pump full of river water when it gets low, and a tap coming out of it.