Quarantining in the Amazon rainforest

I made plans to travel across South America and I left Colombia (home) on March 9th. Went down a bit to the south and then crossed borders to get into Ecuador where I found a volunteering opportunity in the Amazon rainforest at a hotel. Two days after I arrived, everything changed, there weren’t guests coming anymore and lockdown took place. Thus the employees were sent on holidays and I stayed there locked because all flights were cancelled and borders closed permanently. We were 4 people all by ourselves, 4 volunteers. An American girl, an Argentinian couple and I.

I was supposed to help with the website, but the situation turned everything into surviving mode, so we all were in the maintenance of the whole place, cooking and looking forward to going home.

The first to go home was the American girl who two weeks later found a flight. Then it was justtjust 3 of us looking after the place, which was a pretty demanding and life-changing. I say so because I even got to deal with termites coming up to the huts, the whole place was made of wood which attracted them, thankfully the guys knew how to get rid of them by spraying oil all across their highways. They were all but city people I mean they knew how to plant and grow stuff, how to deal with insects and everything I wasn’t used to. It was very challenging to me, I’m from Bogota which lies on the mountains, it’s cold and insects aren’t quite around, it’s hard to impossible to find scorpions, rats, grasshoppers, monkeys, mosquitos of all kinds, bees, wasps, frogs, toucans, tarantulas and much more.

Everything went by this way until they received a call by the Argentine government saying there was a humanitarian flight taking Argentinians stuck in Ecuador down to Argentina. Two days later I was all by myself in the jungle, termites coming up whenever they wanted, big ants, mosquitos, rats, difficult cleaning tasks, cooking, and the vast sound in the darkness at night thinking I was gonna be eaten by too many bugs hanging around the place. Two weeks later I was feeling fever which got me preoccupied because the administrator of the hotel often went there with his relatives to stay the day to cook and enjoy but very unaware of the virus thing, never wearing a mask nor keeping safe distance. I immediately went to the doctor, which fortunately diagnosed me dengue. Dengue is transmitted by a mosquito and makes you feel weak, all joints get in pain, you have fever and some red spots appear on the body. So how was I supposed to cook and maintain the place feeling that way? All I did was to seek help to leave ASAP.

Thank god my parents knew some Catholic priest in Ecuador, they helped me out to find a way to Quito where I stayed until the humanitarian flight to Colombia took place. I stayed at a monastery of them, and got spoiled over there until finally I came back to Bogota.

A day after I arrived in Bogota I started to feel fever again even though dengue was fortunately gone, so I got preoccupied and went to the hospital urgently. I was tested for COVID 19, the results came to my inbox 4 days later saying I wasn’t infected. Thank god!!


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