I went off with City of Z explorer Percy Fawcett across the Amazon jungle over spring break. Hiram and Percy led us through "insatiable thirst, skull-splitting headaches, and uncontrollable shivering," as we were "spitting up mouthfuls of blood." We tramped through lands with tribes of natives who "captured prisoners...they either kept...forever or roasted them to devour in their banquets." Swimming in the waters of the Amazon were not only the feared piranhas, the so-called "vampire fish of Brazil," but the horrifying candiru, a creature that is known for lodging in human orifices. Some of us contracted espundia, which "destroys the flesh around the mouth, nose, and limbs, as if the person were slowly dissolving" and others found maggots growing inside our open wounds.Delightful, right?Somehow I have survived all these horrors though we never found the golden City of Z.