The strategy was to grab on the edge of the pool and go from the shallow end to the deep end until the lifeguards kicked me out since I didn’t know how to swim at that time. Bit by bit, I was learning and getting there… my friend and I were two little mermaids.
We only got out of the water to eat and when the pool was closed. There was one time when we went there at night with other friends, which was of course prohibited.
And I went on as such, I became more and more connected to the water. During my trips, I spent so much time in the water that I felt like a fish sometimes. I got out of the water after snorkeling with my back and back of feet completely red.
To complete my happiness of being under the water, I’ve had incredible animal encounters several times. And those are the ones I will talk about today. There were so many however, from throwing myself in a river in the Cordoba Mountains, fully dressed, to catch some frog, take its picture and putting it back into the water, to swimming with an elephant in Thailand.
In 1999, I went to visit Eugenia in Florida, we swam a lot, so much that our bags got stolen from the car in a moment of carelessness, while we were snorkeling and observing see snails… thankfully, within a few months the police brought us our handbags back with almost everything that was in them.
Also, we spent a lot of time looking for manatees everywhere. Finally, we were able to see one at a park in the Everglades, after asking to any park rangers we met where we could see manatees.
Author: Helena Aroyo