Saturday, August 27, 2011
It is so easy to become complacent here, to get desensitized to your surrounding and forget how lucky we are to be here. I wake up every morning and look across the street at palm trees, bright red hibiscus, and turquois clear clear water. Somewhere along the way you forget how beautiful it is. The best way to combat this I have found is to play tourist sometimes and go see something extraordinary. I have tried to do something like this every couple months, New Years in Falealupo, scuba diving, and the trip to Namua Island. Last weekend I have another adventure. A group of nine of us went to the south western coast of Upolu Island to hike the most famous river in Samoa, Sina’s river. There is a legend about Sina one of the great witch queens who sent her children to a village to ask for food and when they refused she sent a bolder down from sky to block the flow of their river and sent it winding on a different path to a village where the people gave generously of their food. You can actually see the old path of the river down the other side of the mountain. So we hiked up the river, taking turns wading through the shallow water, climbing along its banks, and scaling its slippery embankments. Every mile or so we encountered gorgeous waterfalls that seemed to increase in size as we went along. The first fall was only about fifteen or twenty feet but we were all still a little anxious to climb the steep sides and take the plunge into the water. It was cold and clear, even in the dry season. The guide kept mentioning the famous fifty foot waterfall at the end of the hike and we all looked at each other wearily. We plodded along, craping knees and elbows and grinning all the way. After seeing how into it our group was are guide say “I think one of you girls has a good chance of being the first Peace Corp girl to do the big one.” Rivka replied “that sounds like a challenge” and from there our fate was set. When we finally turned a bend in the river and spotted the monster I think we all had second thoughts. Finally we agreed to climb to the top and check it out. After about fifteen minutes of climbing and hiking we got to the top. It was quite a view let me tell you. The guide gave us a few tips and edged of the ledge finding a perch then taking the plummet. I didn’t waste time second guess, I took the lead lowering myself on the perch first. I looked back and said, “ok this is doable” turned looked down again then said “oh F#*k” then with a squeal just did it. It went so fast but at the same time I can perfectly remember being suspended in the air and watching the water rush up to me. Hitting it stole my breath water smacking every limb. The group at the top watched eagerly to see if I would surface whole. When I did grinning like an idiot and waving two thumbs up they all knew there was no turning back, the precedence and been set. Eventually and after quite a few false starts for some people we all took the plunge. A sheer fifty foot drop, it was incredible! The tour guide dubbed us the “badass seven!” I stood in the pool at the bottom watching each person leap and realized that I was fulfilling my fantasies, I was literally living the dream.