Posted by: jordanermilio | February 8, 2010

VU Engineering Reflections from Waslala Part 1

The first in a series of reflections from past Villanova Engineering students and professors who have visited and been touched by the people of Waslala…

The Waterfall

Jordan Ermilio, WfW Director of Water System Engineering

The most amazing part of our trip to Waslala was hiking out of a rural community on our way back to the main town of Waslala. After spending three days in Las Nubes (“The Clouds”), we were all very excited to head back to Waslala centro where we could wash up and get some rest. Being that Las Nubes is an area without any water supply, electricity and limited sanitation, our desire to return to town was understandable.

About two hours into the hike, I began to get the feeling that something special was about to happen. Perhaps it was the dense nature of the forested mountain trail or perhaps it was the body language of our local companion. More probably however, it was the distant sound of falling water that continued to get louder and louder as we descended. Eventually, we came around a bend in the trail and there it was – a cascading waterfall coming out of the sky through the forest.

Waterfall in Waslala

We could hardly contain ourselves at this absolute wonder, hiking closer and closer, observing it beauty from different perspectives. The excitement almost became overwhelming when we arrived at the bottom and frantically took off our shoes to jump into its pool of water. Looking up, you could see tiers of waterfalls cascading almost a hundred feet high, surrounded by an amphitheater of tropical vegetation. Eventually, we were climbing on its rocky face laughing and carrying on like little kids.

Needless to say, after that, we were not as excited to get back to Waslala. In fact, there was a hint of sadness as we left to continue our hike, in near silence, down the mountain, back to town.

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