“The not-so paradise parts of paradise” or “Tourists, don’t be dumb” or “Preachy post is obnoxiously preachy”

I mentioned last year that one of the must-do things on my list whenever I go back to Hawaii is to hike the trail in my old neighborhood that leads to a 100-foot waterfall. And thanks to heavy rainfall in the days leading up to my arrival in Hawaii, the waterfall was gushing and beautiful… and not the tiny drip it’s been on past visits.

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On our way up to the falls my sister and I were so confused by the numerous people walking back down the trail in their swimsuits. Were they trying to get a tan? Were they just overheated? The thought of going swimming never crossed our minds because surely everyone knew based on the signs leading up to the falls… leptospirosis-infested water makes the falls uninviting on even the hottest of days.

Not that I’ve never done it. The waterfall turns into a stream that flows directly through the backyard of my childhood house and so despite angry parents ranting at us, most summer days in middle school you could find me and my neighbors swinging on vines and splashing into the polluted stream below after checking each other over to make sure we didn’t have any cuts… our foolproof method of avoiding getting infected. So I get it, I do.

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Seriously, this picture makes me jealous that I knew too much about the polluted water and sudden rock slides to join in. And I wasn’t alone in that regard, as there was an entire contingent of local hikers standing by me that were muttering similar comments.

But here’s the thing… if you are going to ignore the signs warning about leptospirosis and potential rock falls that have killed people in the past, please please do one thing and DO NOT FILL YOUR WATER BOTTLE WITH THE CONTAMINATED WATER. Why? Just why?

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