other bits of blog

Sunday, May 23, 2010

too tired to talk

Right now, I'm really tired. I just loaded on 200 photos to my computer and deleted 130 of them. Then I finished all my homework, practiced a very hard song with an out of tune piano, and now I'm here, writing.
Earlier today I went to a little party to celebrate my sister.
I practically followed Sadie and Rosie around, everywhere, clicking away on my camera. I ended up with 334 photos. Not kidding. I spent about 45 minutes deleting 100 of them, then an hour deleting more.
And on Friday I had a dance recital, and I'm still tired from that. Really tired.
So I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I don't really want to talk right now. I'll post a couple pictures, and, of course, words. No, Words. Capital 'w'. As I said before, I don't want to talk, so, here goes...


The plane did land on that tiny strip of something that Jade couldn’t exactly call a runway, or even a road, for that matter. It was more like a dirt road. One of those back ‘roads’ that you see all the time in the country, Jade thought.
The runway-thing was somewhat, well, soggy. That was the best word Jade had for it. The somewhat paved (more dirt than anything else) road was wet with rain and—soggy. Jade could feel the small puddle-jumper that he was in sink into the ground as it landed on the packed, gravelly road.
Rain much around here? Jade thought. But the announcer was telling them all to gather their carry-on luggage and get ready to unboard the plane, and he didn’t answer his sarcastic question. Instead, Jade looked at his dad skeptically. ‘Unboard’ was not a word.
Ignoring the captain’s bad grammar, the passengers of the small plane collected all their belongings and tensed in their seats, ready to stand up and leave the tiny, claustrophobic space.
Jade got up slowly. He wasn’t eager to get of the small plane. He wanted to stay there. If he got off that meant he would have to live in the Amazon. It would mean it was really true.
So he decided to wait for a while, and let his mind go blank, for once. All he wanted to do was sit there, and never to get off the plane.
But his dad got up and tapped Jade’s shoulder. Jade suddenly felt a rope in his stomach that was tying itself into giant knots that would never be untangled, never. And his Adam’s apple was suddenly the size of a baseball in his throat. He choked on it, and felt his eyes go hot.
He tried to push away the tears, but it didn’t work. Little drops of liquid fire burned down his cheeks. Jade felt like the whole plane was watching him cry, and his face turned pink.
“Honey, are you okay?”
That was his dad. Jade couldn’t say anything, but he nodded, even though it wasn’t true.
Jade didn’t know exactly why he was crying. He knew that he missed his home and his friends and his pets terribly. He knew that he wouldn’t go back there for a long time. He knew that he would be living in the Amazon for that long time.
But most of all, Jade was disappointed at his parents for letting this happen. He had at least thought that when they were confronted with something like this, they would consider his opinion, but they didn’t even do that. He was angry with them, that was it. And he didn’t want to live in the Amazon Jungle, but now he had no choice.
Trying to stop the stinging flow, Jade lifted his arm with effort and wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his sweatshirt and stared ahead. He bent down and took hold of his backpack. Then, straightening his shoulders, Jade turned briskly and walked out of the plane onto the mud. His feet squelched and sunk in it, and he fought to stop more tears.
He looked out at his surroundings. Wet. More wet. And still more wet. It was all humid and hot and wet. There was a forest about six or seven miles away—visible only in the distance, if he squinted—and even that was insanely wet.
Focusing on the forest, Jade realized that it was his nightmare: the Amazon, with a thick branch of the Amazon River running through it, and through the mud and a small village close to the runway.
Jade sighed and mumbled, quietly reassuring himself that it would all be okay. But he knew it wouldn’t be.


He was jostled as the small amount of people bumped into him, trying to get onto the ground. They acted like they wanted to want to bruise and batter him, just to tell him that he would never leave. Maybe all they wanted to do was give him a welcome present—the best thing he would get on this journey.
“Come on, Jaybird, this’ll be fun!” his dad said, trying to convince Jade of something that, in Jade’s mind, couldn’t be changed. Jade only scowled at the use of his babyish nick-name, and said nothing.
They walked for what seemed hours through the vines on a small dirt path, but it was probably only Jade who thought it took that long. The walkway leading to the village was long and skinny, but the twelve or thirteen of the passengers endured. Jade looked down at his sluggish feet and sighed.
“Where are we?” he asked.
“Um…somewhere near Manaus, going toward a village called, hmm, I’m not very sure…” his mom answered.
“Mom! You don’t even know where we are?” Jade yelled.
“We’re in the Amazon Basin, okay?” Jade’s dad inerrupted, cutting off the fight. “Look, Jade, remember when we landed in a city to switch planes and stretch?”
Jade nodded. “Was that Man-ows?” he asked, mispronouncing the name.
“Yes, Jade, and right now we are going to a little village, Mura,” he said, looking at Jade’s mother, “near there.”
“Then we’ll find a guide and go into the rainforest via the river. He’ll help us set up a jungle home!” his mom said excitedly. “Oh, what an adventure it will be!”
Jade wholeheartedly disagreed.
About half an hour later, the party came to a village, Mura. It was very small, only seven tiny huts clustered together. Grubby children played with sticks in the dirt, while dark-skinned women were making some kind of meal. It looked more like gruel than anything else to Jade.
They all moved closer to the village, looking around as it started to get tropically hot. Jade was sweating profusely and had to take off his sweatshirt. As they walked, the villagers stopped what they were doing and turned toward their visitors.
In some Portuguese dialect, a tall man with feathers in his hair and only a loincloth covering him said something like ‘hello’. Jade thought it sounded a lot like the gibberish games he had played in his acting classes back home.
But his father, not even looking over the half-naked man, said, “Hello,” except it was in Portuguese or something, so that the man who seemed to be the head of this Mura place might under-stand him. Then Aden and the chief had a fast-moving conversation consisting mainly of words Jade didn’t know. Once they stopped, the headman smiled and welcomed the visitors with a wave of his hand.
The tall man motioned them to a hut made of bamboo reeds lashed with vines from the jungle. The roof was made of giant leaves that seemed to be somehow sewn together. There was a small opening in the front of the dwelling, which was covered with a skin of some sort. Jade wondered if it was jaguar skin.
Jade’s father, obviously the only one who knew Portu-guese, asked if they should sleep inside. The tall man nodded and motioned to the sun. Jade could see that it was getting dark. But he was apprehensive about sleeping in some weird hut in the middle of a weird gibberish-speaking village in the middle of the Amazon Jungle.
“Mom,” Jade whispered at his mother, “how are we going to eat?” He was looking over at the children and women and other men, who were eating the gruel-like mixture rudely with their hands.
“When in Rome, do what the Romans do, honey,” his mom whispered back. She motioned to the leader of the village and made eating signs with her hands, pointing to the other members of the village.
Something was exchanged between them, and then suddenly the whole group was shuffling toward the bowl. Jade took one look and decided to be hungry for the night. He told his father he was tired and not feeling wonderful. He wanted to go to sleep. Jade’s father nodded and told him to go lie down, the humidity was probably getting to him.
Jade slowly and carefully wandered over to the hut. He really didn’t want to be bit by something poisonous tonight, but if he did, it would all be his parents’ fault.
The hut was dark and small, but there were skins on the floor of it, and they were soft. Jade quietly took off his boots, then put them back on again. What if the bug found him through his socks?
He lay down on the makeshift bed and tried to go to sleep. Darkness comes early here, Jade thought. It must be the trees. Then he mentally kicked himself for thinking about such stupid things. He was going to sleep in some dirty hut in the Amazon Jungle, and he would be leaving on the Amazon River tomorrow, and he had no idea what would happen next.
Again Jade went over in his mind why he was even there. His parents hadn’t told him yet, and he was pretty sure they wouldn’t for a long time. Well, I guess there’s no use in thinking about it, because I have no idea, and I’ve wondered about it too much, Jade thought.
Finally, with pictures of spiders and bugs that would kill him overnight, Jade fell into a restless, dreamless slumber.

And that's all. Good night. Oh, and I hope that poisonous bugs don't kill you overnight, because they might to Jade......