Nearly a decade ago I moved to where I live now-- a tiny, isolated, town in rural Latin America. Its charms include lush towers of tropical rain forest, rainbows of succulent fruits, and a nightly chorus of a thousand frogs. A single disheveled bus leaves in the morning and returns at night, except on Sundays, or when the road washes out. The place is home to farmers, families, and a spattering of eclectic foreigners. The town's namesake, the Mastate, is a tree that bears a thick white sap which people sometimes drink in coffee, like milk.
The sun rises in Mastatal around 5:30 am, and with the light comes a symphony of sound. Buzzing, chirping, and humming act as constant and steady instruments to the jungle orchestra. Every morning without fail they fill the Hankey with music. In the comfort of my bed, I can hear the roosters crowing and a chorus of bird songs. This natural symphony signals the dawn of a new day. But recently many of the residents of Rancho Mastatal have been unable to hear this daily symphony. Tropical ear has literally blocked the music of the jungle.