On the morning of Wednesday the 13th, I found myself at the peak of the river, with warm ramen in my hands piercing through the cold wind. I was not at home in my warm bed with my tv on. I was not eating warm eggs for breakfast, and my dog was not waiting for me at the side of my bed. I was in Altai. Why do you ask? It was a school trip. Our whole grade went to Altai, Siberia for a discovery week, where we would observe and learn new things about nature and each other.
Here we were, punk 13-year-olds, waiting impatiently to get back in the river.As we threw away our ramen and said goodbye to the fire that had become our best friend, during the 15 minutes that we were on shore, We walked towards our boats and started to talk to each other about how exciting and amusing it would be to push each other off the rafts.
While the teachers were explaining the rules, I could feel my feet turning into ice as I was standing in the water, ready to get on the boat. In the moment when we got onto the boats and started to paddle away, we were screaming “1! 2! 1! 2!” to get our beat going. As we floated down river my excitement could not be contained; we were reaching the part where we could jump on other boats.
The first to jump was Leo, As he jumped off our boat on to the next one he was instantly pushed off back into the water. A nervous shiver ran down my back like a whip slash cutting through my skin. As the Frenzy began and people started to jump onto others boats, I felt relieved and excited as someone jumped on our boat and I pushed him off with a strong thrust into his chest. He fell into the water with a huge splash.
Now it was my turn to jump as we paddled towards a raft. I was scared. Not just scared... I was nervous like when you stand on the roof of a high building, and then look down in sheer nervousness. But that rush of nervousness disappeared as we were a meter away from the other raft. As I pushed off the raft I could feel the half second of hard wind across my face. As I touched the rubber on the other raft, I pushed the girl closest to me off the boat. As I tried to get back my balance and as someone tried... to push me over I collided with them and pushed all of my body weight onto there's, and managed to throw them in the water. Just as quickly though I screamed out, "ahh," as I felt—the powerful strength of Sasha's arms like a Gorilla's arms, as he pushed me with all his strength, as I went flying off the boat.
The air rushed around my face as I hit the water with my face; a sting of ice and freezing cold water hit me in my face. As it took me a few seconds to realize what to do, I started to blank out. The panic had hit me! I was in freezing water in a moving river in between two rafts. As I looked up and tried to clamber onto the closest raft to my left, they said: “no” (as I had pushed some of them off the minute before). As I swam to the boat, that I had gotten pushed off of and asked for help, They did. As their instructor pulled me out of the water, I could feel the strong wind hit my not-so-warm skin with pain. The frost was unbearable. As we started to continue on the river, I realized how fun and grateful for the experience I got in the freezing cold water.
The rest of the day we were floating down the river on our boats in the icy cold, It was as if This lifetime was trapped inside of an ice cube never seemed to melt away no matter how much time past. As our trip ended and we got out of the water, I could not feel my legs, they Pierced me like blocks of rock and ice. I tried to hit them and it still did not hurt. I tried over and over to make them hurt… but nothing, as I smashed them one last time on the rocks all the pain that had been given to them before hit me. My feet felt as if they had been ripped by a flaming rod. After the pain had ended and I had changed we went back to camp to some warm food. When we got to the camp the food was not too warm, but it was good enough to fill me with relaxation.
As I hung the wet clothes after the rafting adventure I thought about our adventure, how exciting and cold it was. How I would remember it for a long time. And how interesting and amazing this would be. I also thought about the water the sky and dreams I would have about this place.