Jungle Girl

It’s hot.  I feel like it’s all I can talk about.  Every few minutes my mouth just spontaneously blurts out some complaint about the temperature.  I thank God for technology every time I walk in front of a fan.  The humidity kills me.  I hate the way the air seems to coagulate on my skin and in my lungs.  I think gills would do better getting oxygen out of this air than lungs do.  I don’t have gills.

So as I stand in the kitchen leaning into the freezer, wondering how long I can do this before I start feeling guilty that the Earth is melting because of me, I think to myself, This is almost as bad as winter.


Stop right there. This is not as bad as winter.  I hate winter.  I hate the way my bones ache with cold, and the fact that I will have that feeling for at least six months straight.  I hate that even if I burn my feet on a space heater and wrap myself up in two blankets, I can’t get rid of that icy chill.  I hate that the only time I truly feel warm and happy is when I’m in a hot tub.  I don’t have a hot tub.

But now it’s not winter.  It’s summer, and I’m hot.  I know it’s only a matter of time before I wake Yohannes up in the middle of the night and ask him in my most desperate voice if he would please put the A/C in, and RIGHT NOW.  Yohannes is often befuddled by this.  “As soon as we turn off the heat you want the A/C.  Why is there only a five degree range where you don’t need to change the temperature?”


I may be a little touchy when people imply that I’m not tough enough.  4th grade was my first year going to school in the States after living in Kenya for six years.  In gym class, when I couldn’t do a pull-up, one of the guys in my class said, “Way to go, Jungle Girl.”   Since then, I’ve caught myself feeling ashamed more than once because I didn’t live up to the expectations of what a girl from Africa should be like.  When I freak out because a spider is on me or I don’t have a good time camping or am not athletic enough or think that A/C must have been part of God’s divine plan, I feel like I come up short.  I even ate ants one time in the US to impress my friends.

Let me tell you something about growing up in Kenya.  I never ate ants in Kenya.  I never did pull-ups.  None of my friends ever did pull-ups.  Our family did go camping but none of my Kenyan friends ever went camping.  My friends might not have been as afraid of spiders as I am, but they were afraid of frogs, and I once kissed a frog.  Also, I did not live in a jungle.  I didn’t swing from vines or wrestle with tigers (Tigers don’t live in Kenya).  I lived in the plains of Kenya, which is the next closest thing to Paradise on this Earth.  It does not freeze ever.  The temperature is often mild, but even when it gets hot, it is not humid. If there is moisture in the air, it rains.  When you take a deep breath, you don’t drown.  There is simply no comparison between 90 degrees in low humidity and 90 degrees in high humidity.

I will try to improve myself and become less dependent on the energy-sucking machines, but I am a plains-of-Kenya girl, and I am truly convinced that when God invented the nervous system, it was with the intention that humans would never live this far from the Equator.  So maybe go find a real jungle girl and see whether she needs A/C not.


2 responses to “Jungle Girl

  • Ellie

    I just found your blog and love it! I’d just like to say that I can sympathize with your ‘Jungle Girl’ comments. Growing up in Papua New Guinea and then coming to the states I had tons of ‘Jungle Girl’ comments from classmates. In fact, your experience sounds very similar to mine, but I actually did grow up in the Jungle so I shouldn’t have any excuses. Anyway, awesome blog. I look forward to reading more! 🙂

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