The Frogs in the Jungle
by Eva Estes
I have an interest with my best friend in supporting his building a healing temazcal (sweat lodge) behind the pueblo of Akumal. He has no problem going in and out on his bicycle, and working to keep it maintained. I have always been reluctant, being a middle-aged woman, to ride along beside him, but this time I thought I would leave my cats behind and my little room in the Pueblo and go with him for a couple of days.
The land where it is built is along the sac-be (white road), with about four miles of beautiful terrain of white limestone rocks, tall trees and many, many butterflies of all different colors along your path. The smells of the flora and the sea air still follow you as you go. There are also birds, lizards, iguanas, and who knows what else watching, such as perhaps the coatis, raccoons, pumas and even jaguars.
Once we got there, the rains came. There are two large containers holding water for the animals, which also occupy this spot, along beside us. There is no electricity, only a small palapa. You sleep when the sun goes down and wake with the many layers of different bird species that start calling before the sun rises.
Little frogs got into the water containers and, when they started calling, it was a reverberating, vibrating concert of chaotic jazz and voices. The first night for me was hard. But the second night, I was hearing all the notes of their communication, along with the stomping of the cattle, the baas of the sheep, the clucking of the hens, the crows of the roosters, and the scurrying of jungle creatures outside the palapa.
My friend finally, after knowing how hard a day was before him, woke up before sunrise and said, "It is time to break up this concert." He understood that frogs are disappearing all over the world, due to environmental changes, so his intent was not to harm them. He went out with his flashlight and emptied both of the containers, coaxing each one out as they came. The rooster crowed in thanks and we had a few hours finally of peaceful sleep.