Sunday, December 11, 2011

out of the bay

early 2005

Under the weight of my full pack and tripod, under the scorching midday sun, I'm thoroughly exhausted. And out of water. It's still a long way up back to the main road. I'm alone. I wish I'm somewhere I know, somewhere comfortable.

Off the dirt track to the right I see a trickle of a small waterfall. I walk over to it, throw my pack down, and put my back against the rocks. I let it pour over me and I feel instantly refreshed. The water is very cool. I sit there for a minute and relax. I get out of the small pool and reach down to grab my pack.

I look up and there is a big shirtless man with one eye, and a machete in hand, staring down at me. He's wearing only a lava lava. I'm startled. I didn't hear him approaching.

We say "malo". I then notice he has a coconut in the other hand. He hacks off the top of it and with a big smile hands it to me to drink. My fear instantly fades. I've never been more appreciative of a drink in my life. I thank him profusely and then am on my way again, and he disappears into the bush.