I want to tell you about the day I almost taught my sister to swim.
We were sitting under a gogu tree, next to the broken foundation of our family house in Gataivai.
On a hot sunny Sunday afternoon.
The toonai was had, the children were at sunday school, the adults were napping and we, young ninjas
we sitting under a pungent gogu tree, watching the waves crashing onto the lava,
and the river inviting us over.
Savali wiped the isupe from her face and exclaimed,
"I'm hot, I want a swim"
We sat some more...
And we sat for another while longer,...
Looking at the waves
Looking at the river
Looking at our feet
Squashing rotten fruit under our chan mow jandals.
Savali removes hers and steps in a rotting gogu
"My foot is dirty, I must have a swim"
We looked and looked and looked
and slowly edged away from the gogu, silently creeping behind the laukalokalo
Towards the cool waters
I led her to the banks further from view
And we quickly removed our sunday best
and and our eveni undies
and stepped into the water
firstly on the shallow banks
then further into the deep
while Savali hung onto me, excited and scared, but more so in glee.
I stood her on the rocks and showed her the swimming moves
She's ready! "me thinks"
And tossed her into deep.
I watch her little hands, flapping up and down
And her head, bobbing the same way
With the look of excitement in her watery red eyes
I think to myself, what a good sister I am, for selfless teaching her to swim.
My thoughts were rudely interrupted by panicking adults and screaming women
All jumping to the rushing current to reclaim Savali
Who was no longer smiling.
That was the day, I almost taught my 5 year old sister to swim.