My Challenge

May 17, 2017

In the summer of 2009, my friends and I went to Water Country USA with our parents. We were having an amazing day, but we quickly got tired. We rode every single water slide we found. Waiting in those long lines made our feet ache and our stomachs’ grumble like we had just ran a marathon. We needed some type of relief. So, while we were walking toward the food courts to rest our legs and eat something, we spotted a lazy river. Just by looking at it made us feel relaxed. There were a bunch of people in the river laying on tubes. I told my friends, “Yo, guys! This is exactly what we need. We can sit in those tubes and relax our feet!” My friends were all impressed by the idea. I desperately asked all of our parents if we could go into the river.  Our parents said yes so quickly that we were all surprised. I guess they were tired too.
Then, we all got tubes and got into the Lazy River. Splashing water and clearing our minds of everything else, we had so much fun in that river. However, we got distracted. Our parents were way ahead of us to the point where we couldn’t even see them anymore. We tried to catch up to them so we wouldn’t get lost.
Our tubes flipped over and we were stuck under water. We could not breathe. I felt the water grasp my body and pull me into a trance. I could not get up; the water current was too strong and fast. I saw my friends who already got up try to help me, but they could not. The water was too powerful for us, a group of 10-year-olds.  Finally, with the help of the lifeguard, I could reach the air.
After all the racket, my friends and I were calm again. However, during the chaos in the river, we lost our parents. So, a new problem erupted, one we needed to solve immediately. As soon as we saw the exit of the river, we got out to find our parents. Our parents were nowhere in sight. Now, fear came among us on top of the panic we already had. I could feel adrenaline pumping through my blood rapidly. We were expecting our parents to be waiting at the exit, but they were not there. Now, we all got sad because we felt abandoned.
None of us had phones; we put them in some lockers our parents had rented out. We did not how to read a map to find a safe place to go. No one at the water park would help us. It was up to us to be reunited with our parents.
Because we were kids, we had creative minds. For about 10 minutes, we created a plan to reunite with our parents. First, we thought about the possibilities: our parents could either still have been in the river or left us thinking we were following them.
Plan A: get back into the river and try to find our parents. Even though we were now frightened of the river, we realized that staying in the river would be the safest option because there would be lifeguards and other adults to look after us incase anything happens. We got back in the river and took one lap around as fast as we could to see if we could find our parents. Then, we stayed near the exit to see if our parents would show up. We had no luck.
Plan B: try to think like our parents and find out where they went. We asked ourselves: where would they go after the river? We went to the food courts, locker rooms, and showers to find them. Finally, we found our parents at the help desk while we were walking toward the locker rooms. We were happy and thrilled that plan B worked.
Then, we left the amusement park proud and hyped about ourselves. This experience made us more self-reliant and taught us how to work together as a group. Even though we were leaving such an amazing place, we were still happy because we felt like heroes.

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