There is something about standing on the edge. This past saturday we had the opportunity to go bungee jumping. All i really have to say is that whoever decided that taking a rubber band, tying it to your ankles, and jumping off a cliff was a good idea must have been a very special person. Ever since we arrived in Jinja the prospect of jumping has loomed over us like some kind of giant anvil that you are sure can't stay up there much longer. On January 3rd we all piled into the small black mini van, and drove about ten minutes to the Nile. When we pulled into the small resort that hosted this particular jump, it became painfully clear what was going to happen.
The resort had erected what appeared to be a giant siege tower like something out of 'Lord of the Rings.' It was a 45 foot tower with thirty five foot arm, and a little gazebo looking thing on the end of that arm. This whole contraption was perched on on a 100 foot cliff. For those of you doing the math thats about 145 feet give or take. To give you some frame of reference thats about a ten story building. So here we are, starring up at this contraption from the the restaurant. We paid at the bar in the restaurant, and started the hike up to the tower.
I was the first one to go. The guys had been kind enough to let me have my desired spot. The walk out to the arm felt like something out of a movie. Two kiwi guys stood out at the end waving reassuring me to keep walking. I made the full length of the arm, and was doing my best to act relaxed. Asking questions like "is that climbing webbing" and "how many times have you jumped", And then saying thing like "Oh yah i climb i know its safe... its good stuff." However at that moment my confidence in the equipment was fading at an astonishing rate. After some more small talk the smaller of the two men said " See the restaurant? after you stand up you are going to hop to the edge and jump to the restaurant." After closer examination it was clear that some one had painted a big arrow on the top of that building, as if saying "if you have forgotten it's this way, stupid." So there I was standing on the edge. I don't know how to describe the feeling of standing there. It was some where between euphoria and utter loathing of whoever suggested jumping.
Then behind me somebody was saying something. It took me have way through "two" to realize that those where numbers, and that something had to happen when he said "one." He said "one" and with all the strength in my legs i jumped for that big arrow. I was hurling towards the earth at a astonishing rate. It all happened in what felt like slow motion. Then suddenly the rope around my ankles tightened, And every drop of blood in my body wanted to be in my face -- my eye balls to be specific. And then i was headed back to where i had just came from. This process repeated about ten times. When i had stopped bouncing they lowered me down to a waiting raft.
The edge is a place that is never a fun place to be, i have decided. This experience was probably one of the most amazing things i have ever had the opportunity to do. i would do it again in a heart beat. But there is something about standing on the edge. It sucks, and it is terrifying, and it is necessary.