in the jungle before the rain

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The balcony doors are open to the gardens at the Tropical in Manaus. There are birds calling to one another and it sounds like an argument. Minutes go by and more and more birds join the fray. Soon other animals start screaming. They might be monkeys or capybara. I hear grunting that sounds like a wild pig but is probably the tapir that live on the far side of the hotel grounds. Finally there are roars. It sounds close and you hope it’s a Jaguar and you’ll get to see him somehow. The crescendo builds and builds to a tense, overwhelming cacophony.

Then silence. Complete silence all at once.

The suspense is eerie and lasts only a few moments – then deluge. Not a sprinkle that grows into heavy rain. All at once. Like solid water from a faucet. More water than you have ever seen coming from the sky.

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