Slowly the crowd thinned, cars dispersed and we came upon forests and fields full of green vegetation. The paved road continued for about another hour and we would occasionally pass small communities. Finally, we turned off the road onto a dirt path that weaved several miles through one small village after another until we arrived at the waterfalls. The restaurant takes a while but they made great food. The kids frolicked and swan in the river and we all drove home exhausted and happy with our day.
....well, that was the plan, anyway.
Actually, we only made it to where we turned off the paved road. At that point, some men sitting by the road began to motion to us. We stopped and they warned us not to continue saying that the falls were closed. Confused, we got out of our vehicles to talk to them. Since several of my friends spoke the local tribal language, we scored big points. They began to share that all the villages down the road had gotten together and decided that the owner of the restaurant should drill them a well for drinking water. Until he did, they were blockading the road with trees and sticks and refusing to let anyone pass. My Man and his buddy decided they wanted to check it out themselves. So, they left the rest of us with the villagers there and went to find adventure. They told us to come for them if they were gone more than 40 minutes.
I said if they were gone more than 40 minutes, we were leaving them.
Since the Smith Kids make themselves at home everywhere, it only took a few minutes before they were off running through the village with all the local children, playing with a monkey, climbing in and out of a pit, digging in the dirt and having a ball.
See for yourself.
At one point, Little Aggie was chasing some of the boys with a large stick threatening to...well,ok, actually, hitting them. One of the locals who knows this particular tribe told me that the boys like to beat up on "foreigner" boys as sort of a test to see if they belong.
We were getting up on 40 minutes when our men came driving up in a cloud of dust. They had spoken with the village chief and elders and won their favor. They decided to grant them permission to park in their village and walk to the waterfalls. But he warned them that no cars must come through or the other villagers would likely kill them for allowing people in.
That's where they lost me. We're going home, I declared.
My Man and his friend seemed a little surprised that I didn't want to partake of the spoils of their hard-fought victory.
We loaded up and headed home for a last minute barbecue, swimming, game time and lots of laughter.
So, it wasn't the day we'd planned but as I once again learned...
that is life with a wild Man. (Both of them)