Monday, October 15, 2012

Pirates of the Caribbean and Caves

This past Saturday my host mother Una (who is wearing the hat in the picture below) took a group of us (palangis) to the next village to visit an underground cave. The only of its kind in Tonga, this cave has a natural freshwater swimming pool at the bottom. Since the generator was broken, the entire thing was lit by candlelight.


When we reached the bottom of the cave, we were able to swim. The water felt so good as the heat that day was especially unbearable. This is something I need to get use to. Unlike America, Tonga is moving into the Wet/Hot season meaning that December will no longer be filled with Bing-Crosby-esque snow scenes. Instead it will be in the 90s and humid - so more like Florida in July. Anyway, back to the story.

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The entire time I was in the cave I felt like I was an extra in a Johnny Depp "Pirates of the Caribbean" film. It was unreal. You'll note that we are all wearing shirts while we are swimming. Tongan culture forbids women from wearing swimsuits on the beach (unless you are at a resort and let's be real ... I'm in the Peace Corps so I don't think I'll be frequenting one of those anytime soon) so t-shirts it is. I did wear my swimsuit underneath the tie-dye.

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There was cliff jumping and lots of balancing on rocks. It felt very much like something I would have done with my friends at camp (If any of you are reading this, I miss you and this would have been the coolest day-off activity ever!).

Here I am with my Peace Corps friends, Katy and Chiara, who came from Nakolo (3 villages over) to go exploring with me!

Another sweet picture. Are these stalagmites or stalagtites? Is that even how you spell those words? Anybody know? I can't remember. My 7th grade science knowledge is MIA right now.

After a nice swim in the cave, we made our way out to the beach to warm back up. There the water was warmer than what I shower with. It was crazy. And by crazy I mean wonderful. I was dry in 3.2 seconds and had time to head back to Fatumu to talk with Una and eat mangoes. We are heading into mango season here and I couldn't be more excited.

Hope you had a fabulous Saturday too!

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