Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 24th 2015 Contents It was disgusting and embar-
rassing; a sad reflection of our
people I thought. The vivid mem-
ories still linger like scratch marks
left across the surface of my mind,
leaving me compelled to address
this issue here.
At first, my bare feet sensed the
terrain beneath me, grounding me
and connecting me to the earth.
The primal sensations of the moist
fallen leaves, mud, and slippery
rocks under me pulled me into the
moment, triggering the type of
aesthetic scrutiny that can only
come from the true appreciation
of nature s beauty.
We had barely began to proceed
up the path to the popular Three
Pools Waterfall near Blanchisseuse
before we encountered the abuse.
There, like an alien artifact, com-
pletely out of place amongst the
thriving lush undergrowth of the
tropical rainforest, lay a discarded
plastic water bottle. It was upset-
ting to say the least. I resolved to
pick it up on my way out.
As we continued, so did the pro-
liferation of litter. Landmines and
booby traps in the dystopian forms
of plastic water bottles, smashed
shards of glass, plastic bags and
wrappers lay in wait for us around
every corner of the winding path.
Naturally we attempted to com-
prehend the kind of consciousness
or lack thereof that could be
responsible for purposely destroy-
ing the very reason for visiting this
beautiful place. As futurist Alvin
Toffler had predicted; "consumers
increasingly would evolve into a
throw-away society, buying dis-
posable products designed to meet
temporary needs, driven by fads
that were consciously created to
Now it was proving to be true.
Not only were people discarding
their single-serving disposable
items, but in doing so, we were
also regrettably turning the Three
Pools Waterfall into a single-serv-
ing disposable experience.
On our late afternoon trek we
came across returning pilgrims clad
in smiles, towels and swimsuits.
"How was it up there?" I asked in
a friendly, non-threatening man-
"Wonderful, so fresh and cold,"
a middle aged woman replied.
I smiled in anticipation.
Further along, the trail finally
gave us closure as the teasing sound
of flowing water became the antic-
ipated visage of a sunlit, deep, cool,
clear, gently flowing stream bor-
dered on both sides by steep rock
faces interspersed with dense green
jungle. From afar, it was an incred-
ibly beautiful sight. However, upon
closer inspection, the thrill of
exploration was robbed from us by
the ever present scattered
reminders of previous uncivilised
hikers and river limes.
Opening my eyes under the cool
water, I could make out the dark
shapes of fish scurrying away
beneath me, as I proceeded to swim
up the stream and around the cor-
ner towards the loud roar of gush-
ing water and playful laughter.
There, liming ahead of me on the
river bank, was a group of six
young men. They seemed surprised
to see me as I emerged from the
swift flowing stream onto their
The liming party was obviously
having a great time. There was
KFC, and judging from the big glass
bottles at their feet, I assumed the
white styrofoam cups they held
were filled with liquid courage.
They cheered and encouraged a
timid friend up on a rock ledge to
take the plunge and jump off. I said
hello and then dove into the next
pool continuing to swim upstream,
driven by an innate desire to know
what other natural beauty and sur-
prises lay waiting just around the
Finally, after much difficulty we
climbed up above the falls and
swam ever further up the river until
there were no longer any traces of
human contamination. We had
finally found the pristine Eden that
I had promised my visiting foreign
guests. It was only after paying the
higher price with our intrepidity
that we were able to find it.
The setting of the sun behind
the mountain called us sadly back
to the path, the road, the car and
to the world. It was getting late as
we made our way back down with
the current to the falls. Jumping
into the pools, we once again
returned to the bank that was pre-
viously occupied by the limers.
The young men had vanished,
but to our horror, in their place
they d left their scattered styrofoam
cups, their empty bottles of alco-
hol, food boxes, a bag of potato
chips and a crumpled cigarette box.
My heart broke from the sadness
left behind by the modern dispos-
able single-serving experience.
I just couldn t let it go. It upset
me. These people who we must
share this island with, who made
the effort to trek all the way to this
location for its natural beauty, then
destroyed it, not only for me but
for themselves and future visitors.
My rage subsided as I remem-
bered the old mindful maxim: "We
must not attribute to malice what
can be attributed to ignorance"---
and in this case, laziness as well.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Limers destroying natural beauty
The young men had vanished, but to our
horror, in their place they'd left their
scattered styrofoam cups, their empty
bottles of alcohol, food boxes, a bag of
potato chips and a crumpled cigarette box.
My heart broke from the sadness left
behind by the modern disposable
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