My little brother, the young Singaporean scientist, from Asia to Amazon
*Cue in ringtone, ding ding ding*
It’s 11.40pm on a Singaporean Monday night and I pick my phone up. For a few seconds, the connection sucks (Blackberry to iPhone relationships are always love and hate), but soon enough I hear some noise. A Caribbean flute band plays in the background for a while before a familiar ‘hello’ floats in.
My 22 year old little brother is calling me from South America, where he is for a university research trip across the Amazon river and Honduras jungle. So unimaginably physically far away, but emotionally in my heart every day. He anti-socially deactivated social media connections, I haven’t spoken to him in 4 months, and I did worry like a wreck at times.
I swear he could hear my silent smile, his mood is good and the Caribbean music continually chirps happily. The voice is the same, but accent slightly tainted – English more proper, not so Singaporean anymore.
I guess that is what catching alligators in the Amazon will do to you, or spear fishing with locals in the raging river.
“All that and more, I have so many stories to share with you but not enough time. I saw pelicans today. I’ve made a good friend too, he’s a really cool 30 year old English dude. I didn’t want to leave the Amazon, it’s amazing.”
“We pray for you everyday, it is God’s grace you are still safe and quite alive.” I told him. He told me to send Mom and Dad his greetings, along with a note that he is spending apparently a lot of money on food.
“Tell them sorry I am eating as much as 3 person’s portions per meal!”
The boy needs his energy… I wish I could perk him up with some Zesta – after all, it is the pulse of the Amazon? 🙂
My brother is now in Lima, capital of Peru and one of the busiest coastal port-of-calls in South America.
A little surreal… I get ready to go to bed as he strolls about his 10.40am balmy morning with his new friend, and I chat with him about the poor man’s version of Galapagos Islands that they had just been to.
It’s basically like a slice of the real Galapagos Islands heaven at a fraction of the cost, which whets my brother’s insatiable appetite to see wildlife on the cheap. Galapagos Islands is where Charles Darwin explored in September 1835 and stayed for two months.
One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind! Only, my man is but a boy.
“I am happy, but tired from the travel. I got ripped off the other day. No one speaks English here, only Spanish”, he explained. Maybe they communicate with more than words… I hear the Spanish are a passionate people… 😉
Lil brother had to go, his next leg was to Honduras jungle (more updates next time!) and it was about time to bid him goodbye. I can’t describe my happiness and relief with this simple phone call that he has made, just to send me his love on my actual birthday. I don’t know when I’ll see him again for sure, but I hope it will be soon.
And it was time for me to finally say to him, “See you later alligator.”