I found calm in a storm on the Amazon

Originally appeared on spirituality.com

I awoke with a start, feeling dizzy. My hammock, tied precariously to the boat's rafters, swung wildly back and forth under the intensity of the violent waves.

I was a passenger on a riverboat, traveling down a tributary of the Amazon River, deep in Brazil's rainforest. Locals and tourists often characterized this type of trip as dangerous—I had heard about boats like mine caught in torrential storms and people losing their lives. However, in this region, which lacked adequate infrastructure, riverboats were the most efficient and common means of transportation.

I hadn't given a moment's thought to the possible dangers. As a sophomore in college, I felt excited to travel in a distant land with good friends—and, besides, everyone traveled this way. Now, caught in the storm, fear gripped me.

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