There are some experiences that just can’t be documented. If I had a picture or video of what happened after we saw the sand dunes or behind the waterfall we visited I would. I can post the pictures of what we saw and the touristy group photos we took in front of various attractions but I can’t post pictures of the experiences I had. While this trip has been filled with incredible sight seeing, food consuming, and friend making, nothing will beat the physical memories I am making.
Tuesday, Mar. 11: After a day of many frustrating curve balls we arrived at our final attraction of the day. It started with a 15-minute hike under a light drizzling rain on a muddy path and ended at a rather small, muddied waterfall. Just as we were finishing up our photo shoot on the shoreline, Nate had an idea. Within minutes Nate, Grace, Seth and I stripped down to our underwear to wade into the muddy water and explore the cove behind the rushing waterfall. As we got closer to the falls the current got increasingly stronger. Nate took the lead followed by Seth and Grace. As I made my way toward the falls my adrenaline began to pump. With the water spraying relentlessly into my eyes, my group mates ensured I made it into the cove safely. Sitting on a bed of wet rocks and sticks in nothing but a thong and a sports bra, behind a vicious waterfall, I couldn’t catch my breath or find the words to describe how I felt and the experience I was having. Not only was this occurrence not documented but also it’s been days and I still can’t find the words to explain how amazing of an experience this was.
Thursday, Mar. 13: Another experience that was not documented but equally as inexplicable was on our drive back from the sand dunes we visited. Descending from the peak of the dunes was only the first task to complete on our way back to the main road. The next task was a two-mile hike through swampy puddles, mini sand hills, and tall bug-ridden grass. When we finally got back on our trusty bus, all that was left was a ten-minute drive back to the main road. The path we had so swiftly conquered on the way to the dunes was slightly more treacherous this time. Dipping in and out of each mud puddle our eyes were wide with fear that the worst would happen, and it did. The bus got stuck. Our tour guide quickly escorted each of us off the bus and on to the side of the dirt road. Frantically translating the bus driver’s orders, our tour guide told us we needed someone to push. Instantly, almost every member of our group ripped off their already wet and muddy shoes to trudge into the puddle to push. Collectively, we were able to push the bus back behind the puddle. On the second attempt to plow through the mud, the bus got stuck once again. The driver thrust the bus back and forth as we continued to push and run, trying not to get run over. Finally, with only four of our strongest team members pushing, the bus drove free. It was an incredible feeling to have come together with a group of people, who were strangers only a few days prior, eager and willing to work together to overcome an obstacle we never could have foreseen.
I have done my best to describe two of my favorite memories from my trip this spring break, but these words seem weak in comparison to being in the moment itself. No words, no pictures, and no videos could ever do any life changing experiences justice.