Josh leapt towards the blue sky, and plunged into the quickly moving water thirty feet below. He emerged from the surface with a shout, and began swimming vigorously towards the bank. I looked downwards, standing on the humble diving platform – a small tower with a wooden board and a ladder poised above the river. A few Bosnian kids sat on the rock below; they half-heartedly clapped. I looked across the river at the stone houses dotting the riverbank of Mostar, Bosnia.
We had met the Bosnians a few minutes earlier. I had just jumped in, and a lean kid of about eighteen had reached out his hand, helping me up the last few feet onto the rocky ledge overlooking the river. I clapped him on the back. These were locals from Saravejo. Their English was crippled. There was another kid of the same age, and a third, a pudgy kid of about twelve. The leader, whom I was inclined to trust, had freckles and dark hair; puzzled, I observed numerous parallel scars, apparently self-inflicted, lining his right arm.
I began to prepare to for my second jump. The Bosnians got up to leave. As I looked behind and beneath me, I noticed our bag – which had previously lain hidden away at the back of the rocky ledge, and which contained our wallets, cash, and much more – dangling from the hand of the twelve-year-old. Continue reading