The Jungle

We were awake before 5am and lie there in the darkness listening to the jungle around us stirring. I read that the different species of cicadas have different calling times and that their songs are so distinctive that some indigenous tribes still use them to tell the time of day with the accuracy of a watch. They are so loud and almost drown out the other noises of the jungle. Simon gets up and sits on the veranda, Langur monkeys swing along the bushes of the cliffs and gibbons call in the distance. I was always of the opinion that zoos and safari parks were as good a place as any to view wildlife and of course it is guaranteed. I wasn’t prepared at all for the thrill of seeing animals in their natural habitat and how it would make me feel. Seeing a pair of giant hornbills in a tree beside our hut is really indescribably exciting and for me one of the highlights of our trip so far.

Despite the wonderful surroundings nothing can detract from the fact that I am feeling really shit and I go back to sleep and don’t wake up until 10.30. We had planned to hike to a waterfall today but I can barely hike to breakfast and we give up on that idea quickly.
Always looking for the worst case scenario I wonder if I have malaria and the idea that I may snuff it in the jungle does cross my mind. Simon is completely unsympathetic to that idea though and reminds me that the likelihood of that is very low and I have in fact just got a cold. We have taken our malaria tablets religiously and I’m pleased we haven’t forgotten them once so I guess he’s probably right.

We spend the day very quietly; Simon does some science with the kids. The biology section of the science curriculum is now completed and I think what an amazing place to learn about plants and photosynthesis. We are ahead of schedule and have eight and a half months left to complete the chemistry and physics modules. It’s a satisfying feeling knowing that we have, despite our initial doubts taught our kids and I know they have been taught really well.

In the evening we eat by the light of oil lamps. As usual the food is really great and I have 3 glasses of white wine in a kill or cure attempt. Tomorrow we have arranged to go and visit the site of the flowering Rafflesia. This is an amazing opportunity to see the world’s largest flower and we can’t miss it due to me feeling crappy. I take Maisie off to bed leaving Simon teaching Alister how to play backgammon. A few years ago Simon won us a days bar bill in a backgammon bet, whilst on holiday in Turkey so I don’t fancy Ali’s chances much.