Being back home in Toronto, sitting with my dad at the dinner table, he commented on the dirt under my fingernails. I let out a big laugh. I had just been admiring how clean my nails looked, probably the cleanest in months. A few days before I had been talking with Sue about how hard it it to keep nails nice in the jungle.
Being in the city for 6 weeks, my nails were nicely kept. I didn't even really need to make an effort, as there was nothing around to make them dirty. Yesterday afternoon, I looked at myself in the mirror. My hair unkempt, despite having put it in a tidy braid a few hours before. My white shirt was stained, despite having worn it without harm for a few summers in the city, and only having it on for a few hours in the jungle. My legs were smeared with mud even though I washed them off before coming upstairs, and my nails... My nails were black with dirt, and I was happy.
When the clouds parted for a little while, Sue had taken me through the back trail, to pick some water apples for the evenings dessert (imagine a radish, shaped like a pear, that tastes like a water logged granny smith apple). It had been raining a lot the day before, and in spurts yesterday, so a part of the trail was ankle deep, swampy mud. When we got to the tree, Sue found the large stick that passers by use for poking the fruit off the high branches, that can be found nearby most fruit trees. I felt like a wide receiver on a football team, waiting for the ball to drop. I was standing at the ready as apples were falling from ten foot high branches. I had to lunge on a few occasions, trying to catch the apple that came loose, before it could drop into the mud and fallen fermented fruit below. Once we bagged enough for the nights desert, we left the giant tree, and headed back to Casa Cayuco.
The dessert was absolutely delicious, Sue turned the water apples into an apple crisp with a warm caramel sauce. There was a special bowl with a sparkler for a special birthday guest. Some of the guests stayed around the table after dinner for the birthday, and we all played a hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity (we've only played the game once before with guests). It was a great way to be welcomed back to Casa Cayuco, and I can't wait to see what happens next!