Jungle bunny

I was born here on the edge of the Amazon rain forest:

old-hospital

This was the mission hospital in the town of Shell, Ecuador. This picture was taken a few years ago, shortly before the termite-infested (probably) building was knocked down. It’s amazing to see how the jungle just takes over.

I loved being a kid in Shell. We had a lot of freedom to run all over the base where our families lived. My friends and I spent half our time creating vast fantasies with elaborate storylines with forts and secret missions, and the other half holed up in our rooms with Barbies and GI Joes. I have fond memories of rainy afternoons playing in the upstairs screened-in porch of the Saint house, caught up in some story in my head, the mist of the rain flecking our skin as we drove match box cars on the carpet.

k-n-monkey

That’s me, about 3. I thought that monkey was a good subsitute for my baby sister. People always think it was exotic that I had pets like monkeys, turtles and parrots growing up, but I didn’t know any different. That was life. My sister always embarrasses me by telling people about the marmoset monkey I killed (it was an accident!)

On the outside, I suppose I look like a typical American. But as they say, you can take the girl out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the girl.

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