Friday, August 14, 2009

Underwater Peter

The snorkeling here in Rarotonga has been one of the most memorable experiences of our holiday. The kids started off by having some free snorkeling lessons in the safety of the swimming pool wearing wetsuits, snorkels, masks and flipper all supplied for free by the resort. They were shown how to use the snorkels and how to blow out water from them after diving down to touch the bottom of the pool. It didn't take long to build up confidence.

The staff member who taught them is an inspirational young man called Peter. He is cheerful and enthusiastic which you kind of expect from staff at a holiday resort. The one thing that it took us a couple of days to notice was the slight limp he has when walking. It turns out that he was in an accident a couple of years ago which resulted in his left leg being amputated. He hasn't let this stop him do anything and he sat down and talked to the kids about it telling them that if they are really determined then nothing can get in the way of their dreams, even if they need to change their dreams like he has had to. It has been a real eye opener for the kids seeing someone so young be so positive after such a life changing event.

Peter took his prosthesis off and got in the water where he carried on the snorkeling lesson to a bunch of mesmerised kids.

After a break for lunch we all went snorkeling in the sea. There is a shallow clean lagoon around the shore so there are virtually no waves and loads of amazing fish to swim with.

Rhiannon got a free waterproof case with her digital camera last birthday so we used it lots to take photos of the fish and us from the fish's viewpoint!

The kids wouldn't leave Peters side and one by one he swam around the coral reefs with them showing them all the different starfish, sea-slugs and the many types of fish.

I think when we go home we will find ourselves talking about the fabulous underwater experiences and the inspirational Peter.

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