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The following post is from my other blog The Accidental Birder. I finally gathered enough courage to write it. I’ve included the intro here and to continue reading it, jump over to the Accidental Birder blog by clicking “read the whole story” at the end of the intro.

Act 1: The pressure to keep up

Muddy boots in Ecuador

It was 5:00 a.m. and the rain, warm as bathwater, was coming down hard and in giant drops. Thud, thud, thud, on my head, my shoulders, my arms, my back. The drops looked huge in the light emanating from my headlamp. Our group, in single file, walked on the slippery boardwalk over the swamp—a swamp full of anaconda, caiman and piranha.

The unimaginable entered my mind: Right now I’d rather be back at the office doing Powerpoint. No, it didn’t enter my mind. I heard the words come out of my mouth. 

Right now I’d rather be back at the office doing Powerpoint.

Who says that? Like, ever?

The rush was necessary but I was failing everyone around me, making the awful journey slower and more arduous than it needed to be. This death march over the swamp would lead us to a boat ramp. We would take a motorized canoe on the Napo River to clay licks where we would see possibly hundreds of parrots and parakeets. But we had to hurry. Parrots and parakeets wouldn’t wait for slow pokes.

Read the whole story.