Monday, March 23, 2009

I'll never forget it.

awesome [aw-suh m] -adjective 1. inspiring awe: an awesome sight. 2. showing or characterized by awe. 3. Slang. very impressive: That new white convertible is totally awesome.

Today was truly awesome.

We spent the morning and part of the afternoon preparing for tomorrow. We had to go through the pharmacy kits and take inventory of what was in there. We did a lot of counting pills and restocking.

After we finished, we all loaded up in the pick up and Bryan took us to do some sight seeing, Jungle Medic-style. We drove many, many miles down a bumpy dirt road (which they are actually in the beginning stages of transforming into a paved road) until we came to a small river in the middle of the jungle. Bryan had asked two boys from a neighboring village to meet us there with canoes. The canoes were hand made, hollowed out tree trunks. The boys paddled us up the river, which was flanked on both sides by cliffs so high you could swear they were touching the clouds. It looked like something from Jurassic Park, with vines hanging from the trees and monkeys jumping from tree to tree overhead. Bryan explained that the area had once been a giant cave with water flowing beneath it. Over time the water eroded the cave so much that it collapsed. There were giant boulders everywhere; once jagged fallen pieces of cave rock that had become smooth and unevenly worn over time. We came to some land and most of my team members opted to float back down the river with the current while three of us remained in the canoes for the ride back, keeping everyone's cameras and towels dry (the canoes were a little leaky).

We took a shorter, soggier ride to another spot where we did some light hiking to a beautiful, tropical waterfall. The water falling down was from a hot spring - Bryan said it was probably around 108 degrees. The pool of water beneath the waterfall was perfect bath water temperature. We swam out to the waterfall and in the small cave behind it. Bryan said the hot spring water above is filled with sulfur and is known by the locals as having a quick healing effect. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in my life. It was somewhat surreal; I couldn't believe we were actually there! While half the group checked out some other pools and caves, the rest of us hung back and soaked in the amazement. Bryan baptized three of us in that pool before we hiked back to the pickup and saw the returning scenery with a new perspective of God's awesomeness.

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