Uncertainty of the Rainforest

     In the two weeks that I was in the rainforest, my understanding of uncertainty has been completely redefined, because I experienced uncertainty from the moment I boarded the plan to Costa Rica. I was uncertain of what I was doing- I did not think I could survive and really be happy in the rainforest. When actually in the rainforest, every step I made I was uncertain because the soil was so unstable and eroded and clay-like, that with every step I took, I could slip so easily. There was one point, on the hike back, that literally slide about 100 meters or so down a slope that was completely made of clay. Any move I made, I did not know what was going to happen next. I thought uncertainty thus can be defined as being not knowing what was the next step or not always feeling balanced in a situation. I never thought that uncertainty could be uncertain that something will exist in the future. This was a new meaning that I learned- uncertain of something’s existence or life.

     While in Costa Rica, I studied Migratory Birds. There is no way to describe what its like to hold a little chestnut sided warbler in your hand- a bird that lives three months out of the year in Connecticut, and then nine months out of the year in Costa Rica- and feel its heart beat start to match your own. There are no words that could describe the sadness I felt, when I realized that this adorable and amazing bird, might not have a home anymore. The uncertainty of this bird’s future existence broke my heart- because its song is just amazing. This was just one example of a moment during my trip, where I stopped and realized how quickly the amazing life and existence of so many different organisms could be destroyed in an instant. What would happen to so many different organisms- birds, reptiles, insects, jaguars, all of them. Would they just simply disappear? This was a new reality that I had to face while in the rainforest. It is a reality that completely broke my heart.

     Walking the seven mile hike down from Rara Avis down to the cities of Costa Rica just proved to help make sure I understand this uncertainty of the rainforest. This is because I literally saw the slow degeneration of the rainforest. I saw the pure and beautiful rainforest slowly become wasteful and useless farmland, which then became land that literally had no purpose what so ever, and then that land become little towns of poverty and poor life. We walked on just open grassland where there literally were no farm animals, for miles. There literally was no purpose for the land- and those rolling hills used to be filled with so much life and an amazing world that so few people know about. All for nothing. What would happen to the world if all of the rainforest were to just disappear? The rainforest produces a large portion of the oxygen we breathe. What happens if that source of oxygen is gone? Where does all of that life go? All of those species and organisms that contribute to overall ecosystem of the world? These are questions without answers. And thus my definition and understanding of uncertainty- how uncertain one can be of the future existence of something as beautiful as the rainforest and the world in general- was completely reestablished in two weeks in which I was gone.

An example of one person’s experience in Rara Avis, Costa Rica:

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1 Comment

  1. I was worried about uncertainty…but you are making a strong case for the word in so many different ways! This is a great entry….your questions are really important. You might give your reader a line or two to synthesize the video (so readers get the general idea)


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