3 Days, 2 People,
Rainforest Entries By:
South America is not what I expected…
As I climbed down from the helicopter, I felt a
plethora of emotions. Angry at my best friend, dismayed
at myself for agreeing to this trip with my condition, and
fright at the dangerous journey that lies ahead.
Colleen’s Journal: Day 1
Below me I could see the ladder diving out of the helicopter and un-
raveling. As I took hold of the ladder and took my first step out of the
helicopter it felt like my heart would burst out of my chest. I saw a
dismayed look on Elena’s face. When I finally landed on the ground I
gave Elena a motion with my hand to follow me and we started walking
towards the forest. I kept looking back to Elena to make sure I didn’t lose
her. She’s always wandering off, looking for adventure. As I ventured
into the forest I saw animals scatter before me. Many species of trees
such as Kapok Trees and Bengal Bamboo Trees were surrounding me. It
felt as if I was being more squished the farther I went into the forest.
Day 1: Noon
All I could hear was monkeys screaming and birds calling. Suddenly, I felt something crawling on my shoe. I looked
down and saw a grey spotted gecko. I’ve seen a gecko in commercials. That is how I knew it was a gecko. I was amazed
that such strange animals live in the rainforest. I saw a black blur rush up a tree. It was covered with black hair and
looked similar to a chimpanzee. I think it was a Bonobo. As I followed it with my eye I caught a glimpse of a shade of
emerald green out of the corner of my eye. It had white bands around it’s body. It was about seven feet long and five feet
wide. I didn’t know what kind of snake it was so I asked Elena who was slowly walking behind me. She said it was an
Emerald Tree Boa and it was completely harmless to humans. I let out a sigh of relief.
Colleen’s Journal: Day 1
Below me I could see the ladder diving out of the Day 1: Noon
helicopter and un-raveling. As I took hold of the All I could hear was monkeys screaming and birds
ladder and took my first step out of the helicopter calling. Suddenly, I felt something crawling on my
it felt like my heart would burst out of my chest. I shoe. I looked down and saw a grey spotted
saw a dismayed look on Elena’s face. When I gecko. I’ve seen a gecko in commercials. That is
finally landed on the ground I gave Elena a motion how I knew it was a gecko. I was amazed that
with my hand to follow me and we started walking such strange animals live in the rainforest. I saw a
towards the forest. I kept looking back to Elena to black blur rush up a tree. It was covered with
make sure I didn’t lose her. She’s always black hair and looked similar to a chimpanzee. I
wandering off, looking for adventure. As I think it was a Bonobo. As I followed it with my eye
ventured into the forest I saw animals scatter I caught a glimpse of a shade of emerald green
before me. Many species of trees such as Kapok out of the corner of my eye. It had white bands
Trees and Bengal Bamboo Trees were around it’s body. It was about seven feet long and
surrounding me. It felt as if I was being more five feet wide. I didn’t know what kind of snake it
squished the farther I went into the forest. was so I asked Elena who was slowly walking
behind me. She said it was an Emerald Tree Boa
and it was completely harmless to humans. I let
out a sigh of relief.
Bird calls echo in my ears…
Colleen went looking for food. Bugs were eating me alive. My skin is not
immune to mosquito bites. The sounds of rushing creeks in the rainforest were
not noticeable when I am distracted by the thump of my heartbeat. While I
sit under our Cohune Palm Tree Hut I recall Colleen saying, “We are going
to the Tropics!” Huh! Beaches, coconuts, and water was what I expected.
Why can’t I go home? Diabetes aren’t enough to satisfy God’s humor? A
crack of thunder echoed throughout the surrounding trees, followed by a
shower of rain. The trickles of rain slid off the Kapok Tree and onto my
skin. Where is warmth when you need it?
Colleen’s Journal: Day 2
Elena and I were searching for a place to build our shelter when we
came across an abandoned hut. As I cautiously wandered into it, I realized
this would make a suitable shelter. It had a couple large holes in the roof, but
we could repair it. We repaired it with bamboo and dried up leaves. We held it
all together with wet mud. I used the Swiss army knife I brought with me to
cut the bamboo down to the correct height. It took some time to repair it, but
when we were finished it was good as new.
Day 2: Night
Our beds were made out of piles of leaves from a tree named the Kapok
Tree. It’s leaves shed in the fall. We compacted the leaves together and slept
on top of the surface. We used our rain ponchos for blankets in case there
was a leak in the roof. We made sure we would stay dry and have a soft
comfortable bed so we wouldn’t be tired for more work in the morning. I felt
cold wet drips dropping down upon my face as I drifted off to sleep, however I
didn’t care; my body was too tired to be awoken by the harmless droplets of
water. I figured it was a hole in the thatch roof and I would fix it first thing
in the morning.
Colleen still hasn’t come back, it’s been almost a day. A weak cry for
help sounded. It couldn’t be Colleen… could it?
Walking through the forest is very calming. Animals like the Bongo and
the Cassowary are dancing along as though I’m not there. Another help
sounded. I began to jog.
I sprinted over Bengal Bamboo twigs in the direction of the last call. I
stopped abruptly and it felt as if my heart did also. Colleen was perched
against a Tulang Tree in the bright heat of sun. Her small body,
motionless and pale, was frightening to see. I ran over and felt the pulse in
her neck. It seemed leisurely and unhealthy. I knew she would survive,
Colleen’s Journal: Day 3
I was awakened by the sound of a screeching parakeet. The whole
rainforest was singing. Frilled lizards hissing, Mosquitoes buzzing,
Toucans calling, Gibbons screeching, and Tree frogs croaking. The
wind started blowing rapidly and trees were swirling. I shook Elena to
wake her up. In the distance I could see what appeared to be a helicopter. I
jumped up from the ground, ran to the entrance of the rainforest, and
started yelling and waving my arms so they could see where we were.
Once the helicopter was above us, the ladder dropped down. First, Elena
climbed up. I was right behind her. When I got to the top of the ladder, I
buckled my seatbelt and we took off. I peered out the window and said
my last goodbyes. As I looked back, the rainforest was slowly fading
away. I was going to miss the rain forest, it really is the most amazing
place in the world.
The rain hadn’t stopped. Colleen hasn’t woken yet. Though I am
no doctor, heatstroke is my diagnosis. My blood sugar is low because I
am getting very nervous and irritable so I’ll leave soon to find something
to help these symptoms. You might’ve noticed but Colleen’s a hypocrite,
she says we’re going to have a blast and then she goes off and faints.
Vacation has begun.
This structure, we found near a mountain
was vile, wrecked and abandoned. The roof
had holes in it and the walls were partially
caving in. Once we repaired it with Bengal
Bamboo limbs, and wet mud, we made our
beds. Kapok leaves and our rain ponchos
were good enough to lay on. As I drifted
off to sleep I felt anxious about leaving
I said aloud, “Salty drinks, help you think, when you want to cure, or
endure.” My Grandfather had always said that since he had a heatstroke in
Mexico. Colleen is still out cold and I’m starving. Hog Plums. Damaged and dented
Clementine's, and exact description of the picture I used. Who knew 1st grade
projects can help with survival? “My blood sugar has improved. It went from
163 to 119. That’s very good. I guess God does watch over me.
I look for the Water Vine, there are three different species but all of the
water from each specie can help Colleen. I found the exact plant to help to wake
Colleen from the ailment. I sprint back to her, I find the exact path I took when I
found her. I arrive at the hut to find Colleen eating my Hog Plums. We survived.
Colleen and I are eating the last of our hog plums. We hear
helicopter blades rushing towards us. We scream at the top of
our lungs. Mrs. Dudek was the first to appear… she had a
proud expression on her face as she waved her hands franticly.
She threw down a ladder. We were finished with our experience.
I threw myself down on the pillowed seats, emotionally spent. As
it was in the beginning, I had a plethora of emotions; blessed for
being alive, safe, secure and fearless.
Any copyright of “Survival 101” will be charged $50,000 and 3
essays on why copyright is a terrible, horrible, vile,
repulsive thing to do. Please respect the law of Torrington,
CT, East School, Mrs. Dudek and the students of TAG.
Elena & Colleen