Today after we had a break at the Safari Resort to hang out and blog, we had the option to go to ride to the top of Murchison Falls and hike around. Initially, I thought it was a little strange that this event was optional (nothing had really been optional thus far other than the night-life concert), but all of the students opted to go. I also thought that it was a little strange that we were driving to the top when we had just gone on a boat tour to the bottom earlier that day. I guess I forgot that the only falls I had really been to were Gooseberry in Minnesota and Black River in Wisconsin. The second largest waterfall in Africa is not even in the same category.
The ride up to the top of the falls was breathtaking. It reminded me of the times that I had gone to Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park with my family for a summer road trip. I remember getting scared when my Dad would drive to close to the edge of the road and leave me looking straight out the window and down into a canyon. But for some reason the double-edged cliff-sided road we drove our giant bus on didn’t scare me at all. The views that we saw were like the ones from the plane at the beginning of George of the Jungle. Everyone kept saying, “wow we are in Africa” or “welcome to the jungle!” There were solid green jungle looking forests that spread across mounds too big to be hills and too small to be mountains in every direction. The sun was just beginning to set.
When we parked and got out of the bus we had to go down some stairs and across a little bridge to a winding dirt path. We couldn’t hear the falls right away, but all of us were running, skipping, or half-hopping to get to them. When the falls came into view through the trees I distinctly remember Jason swearing and running towards them with his arms in the air. He kept saying that this was the happiest he had been.
And quite accurately, the twenty or so minutes that we spent staring at, climbing on and taking pictures of the falls were my favorite minutes of the trip thus far. All of the emotions, shocking sights and overwhelming moments that we had come across throughout the past week and a half didn’t matter. It would be foolish to say that we forgot them, or that they were washed away, but rather, if I understand it right, we were at peace with them. Gabby said that she experienced a new emotion there. A type of “profound happiness.” Maybe it was the way that the sun hit the mist floating up from the falls and the sprinkle of rain that began shortly after we got there, but I could have sworn that Murchison was pumping out diamonds.
I remember wanting to jump in the water. Not, obviously, as some crazy death wish, but to have that kind of strength, impact and to produce such beautiful results just by moving. By acting. I wanted to cook diamonds from scratch too.