A Woman in the Jungle

The following text is a transcription of a letter published in the Woman Weekend Book number two, 1951 (possibly 1950)

It charmed me with its impression of another age, so close to us and yet also so very distant.   It shows the innocence, or should that be ignorance, of the time. Are we so very different now? We may talk in more politically correct ways and we are more experienced in world travel and encountering other cultures but really we all have tendencies to make the same sort of judgments every day.

From the jungle.
This letter comes to you right from the middle of the jungle, in a wood camp, two hundred miles from our only town, Paramaibo, South America.
WOMAN arrives on the weekly boat, forwarded from my sister in Scotland. I settle to read it by our petroleum lamp, with all the jungle noises in the background.
My husband is a supervisor for a big timber firm, and he leads a Tarzan life, among the trees and undergrowth, though I am glad to say we see far fewer wild animals than in any Tarzan film. With the exception of monkeys, parrots and many beautiful birds, wild things are quite rare here.
I look after my little son (when he isn’t playing with his small black friends), supervise our Indian houseboy and make clothes for our visit to town (once in two months). Time gloes like a dream.
It is quiet here, but very beautiful. The people are primitive, perhaps, but peace-loving and so easily satisfied. In the evening, under a sky blazing with stars, we hear them singing and beating their drums in the jungle.
And very frequently I wonder whether they know best how to live the good life.
Mrs E. B. (Paramaibo, Dutch Guiana)

And the response…

THANK YOU for this picture of wild and placid life. With the pneumatic drills raising bedlam outside and the smell of stale summer London all around us, we envy you those stars, that river and your simple, peaceable neighbours.


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