Day Three, the Diamond Mines

What we learned at the diamond mines was that there are some people who take the dig very seriously. I overheard two men discussing the hole they were going to dig, and I had to marvel at their dedication to the task. We, on the other hand,  rented the basic kit, and my husband and Noah spent two hours digging and sifting in the freshly churned dirt. In the meantime, Gabe and I went on a “jungle” exploration. That is to say that we went on a walk on the hiking trail around the crater. I assumed when we started out, and I never managed to learn whether or not I was correct, that the trail was a circle that would bring us back around to the crater. It had been my intention to walk the circle with Gabe to give Phill and Noah time to dig. Gabe was thrilled to be on what he considered a safari. There were moss covered fallen trees all around us, and he was certain they had been felled by a herd of elephants. We searched for the elephants for some time before it started to occur to me that the trail didn’t seem to be leading us back around to where we had begun. I wanted to turn around, but Gabe was more interested in moving forward where he thought the elephants were hiding. He sat down on the trail and flat refused to go back the way we had come, and I had to decide whether or not I would pull him all the way back. I opted to give the trail more time to come around, and we set off again, farther from where we needed to be. I had left my phone in the car, so I couldn’t tell my husband where we were. I pictured him looking around for us, ready to leave and not knowing how to find us, and at last I decided that we had to turn around whether Gabe liked it or not.

Phill’s official story is that he almost found a big diamond. I like that story, so I’ll leave it alone. Gabe came away with an armful of leaves and a head full of wonderful memories. He’s always loved leaves, so it wasn’t surprising that he wanted to keep them. I asked what he was going to do with them, and he told me that he was going to plant a jungle in his room. It was one of the many moments when I wished that, just for a little while, I could live inside his head. Once again, Gabe had enjoyed the day more than the rest of us had. He had chased a herd of elephants through the jungle and collected the means to grow his own jungle in the process. We didn’t find any diamonds, but the trip was worth every penny.

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~ by Rachel McMahon on October 8, 2010.

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