Saturday, August 9, 2014

Cave Swimming, Coconut Drinking

I'm getting better at sleeping through the night. I feel like an accomplished baby all of a sudden. I am more likely to wake up to the sound of fighting dogs than waking up to the sound of roosters. I think the dogs are just a bit more unnerving.

When I started getting my stuff together to shower, there was a lovely, huge beetle thing lying on its back in my room. I caught it in a soap box. I love Tonga.

Tonight we went swimming in a cave! It was fantastic. I was expecting the water to be freezing since it's inside the earth, and all. But I just jumped off some rocks and into the water, and it was similar to the temperature of a cooler swim pool. We swam around for a bit, and then people started jumping off from about a 15 foot ledge into the water. I turned to Jessica and said, "If you go, I'll go." And the weird thing is I wasn't even feeling scared. Normally just the thought of jumping off something that high (even the high dive at the swimming pool scares me) would make me shaky and scared. But I was feeling super brave, so we climbed up. The only thing I was nervous about was hitting some rocks below and getting paralyzed or something. So when it was my turn, I prepped myself for a minute as I made a plan to go into the water without smashing against a cliff on my way down. And I didn't even feel too afraid of the height. I was so
proud of myself. Then I jumped. Yolo. It feels good overcoming my fears. Fifteen feet isn't super high, but I felt more excited than scared of something that wasn't going to hurt me. And it's new to feel like that with something that's always made me nervous.
After swimming, we ate a little pig that Wes' host family brought for us, along with taro, which is like a mix between a potato and a yam. Then we watched one of the Tongan guys with us climb a coconut tree. It was SO bizarre that a human could do that with such ease. The tree was probably 40 feet tall, and he climbed about 3/4 of the way up, and then just scooted back down. Then he climbed into a mango tree, transferred over to a coconut tree that was right by it, climbed up to the top, and shook out a ton of coconuts. It was awesome. Then Mac, a Tongan staying with Wes' host family, used a machete to cut off the very top of the coconuts, and we drank the coconut water. It was very tasty, and the experience was just awesome. We're just in Tonga, drinking from a coconut. No big deal.

A cemetery by the ocean. There are cemeteries all over the place, along with Mormon churches.

The entrance to our cave swimming experience

That is a baby pig. Its live siblings are adorable.

Before coming to Tonga, I don't think I ever realized that coconuts are in an additional outer shell. Or that there is so much liquid inside. Very yummy!

Banana leaf.

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