(THIS IS NOT GOING TO REPRESENT MĀHINA AND THEIR GOVERNMENT ACCURATELY THEY WERE USED FOR PLOT PURPOSES ONLY)
Cold. All Auau could think was cold. How cold she was. Auau lives in Māhina, French Polynesia to her mom Ura and her dad Ahurei. Her mom was pregnant with Auau’s brother. But Auau knew that couldn’t deter her, she had to leave.
Māhina was corrupt, in debt, and had low budget schools, Auau wanted to do things, good things. But she couldn’t, at least not here. Auau knew she had to go to America so she could go to a good high school, so she could go to a good college, so she could reach her potential. She had to leave, even if it meant leaving her family.
As soon as it seemed dark enough, Auau grabbed the sack full of stuff she had pre packed which included: a blanket, a jacket, pants, shoes, water, food, a map, and 1,000 CFP franc. She looked one more time at her house, was she really about to leave everyone, everything behind? What would her family do? Would Māhina track her down? She pushes her worries aside and knew she couldn’t think about that, she had to get to America, even if she died trying.
She ran to a row boat that her uncle used and undid the lock, she had to pretend to look for her shoes to steal a spare set of keys. She put her stuff in the boat, she moved to the side of the deck and jumped in the water. She climbed into the boat, wet and cold and then realized, when she jumped, the water had hit her sack. Her blanket, jacket, and pants were completely wet. Her map had smudged a bit and her money was soggy. She cursed under her breath, but knew she couldn’t do anything about it now.
So, then started the rowing. A whole lot of rowing. She knew that America had extended the “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy to Polynesian islands. Wet foot, dry foot meant if you’re found in between American waters (Wet foot), you are sent back to your island, if you make it to American soil (dry foot), you are taken in. Now getting to America would take days but, she had to get to America
Cold, all Auau could think was cold. The wind was strong tonight rocking the boat, daring to tip over. It didn’t help that Auau was wet from getting in the water to get into the boat. She shivered, she was so cold. Her teeth chattered together as if magnetized together.
She rowed throughout the night, knowing falling asleep would be a bad idea. She looked at her messed up map and she thinks she is going the right way, hard to tell when everything is dark blue. The water dark blue, the sky dark blue. The only light she had was the stars, the beautiful, beautiful, stars. The moon was covered up with clouds and was a waxing crescent moon, so everything was pretty dark. She took a sip of water and continued Rowing.
Auau didn’t know what time it was all she knew was it was sunlight now. Which was also like light at the end of the tunnel because now she can see and dry off. Unfortunately, she is so tired, hungry and thirsty and while she has water and food, she has to ration them. She has no clue how long it will take to get there and she can’t risk running out of water or food. Her idea is to drink one sip every 4 hours, well she thinks its 4 hours. For food, eat every two days. She has 4 canned food and 6 water bottles.
She knew this was going to be far from enjoyable but, America is worth it. Worth it....worth it...... Was it worth leaving her family? She can’t help but wonder what will happen to them, especially since she can’t do anything. Was is selfish to leave them? Deep down she knew the answer was yes, especially since she took a bunch of their stuff. Her mom was pregnant, for God’s sake! These negative thought plagued her mind.
As soon as a tear ran down her face, she knew she had to distract herself from thinking about it. She can’t just cry as that would make her dehydrated faster. There isn’t much to think of, the only sound being seagulls and water. Not much to look at either. She has to find something to distract herself, quickly. But all that comes to mind is her family and how much she loved them. Cursing to herself, she tries even more. Finally, she thinks of something else; her favorite America show that would come on her tv, before they had to get rid of it. Macgyver. Macgyver is about an agent who would beat bad guys with ingenious ideas without a gun. She kinda felt like him, in a life or death situation she had to figure out how to survive.
She thought of some of her favorite episodes and smiled. Maybe she could meet Macgyver is person in America. But for now, she could just row. She also enjoyed Friends, Friends was newer than Macgyver, Macgyver is a decade old but just picked up steam 2 years ago in Polynesia. Friends was an instant success but this year, they had to sell their tv, just before season three came out. She always related to Phoebe, she was goofy and fun and always was the life of the party.
As she imagined what it would be like if she was in Friends, she noticed a bite on her leg. It was pretty swollen. She cursed herself for not bringing a first aid kit. She would be fine right? Trying to put away her anxiety, she focused on rowing. “I should drink some water” She says out loud to herself. She drinks a sip of water and she begins to feel dizzy. She is mentally yelling at herself to stay up. But her body doesn’t listen and collapses.
Auau wakes up after a while but she has no clue how long. She looks down and sees her bite with yellow pus. She panics, she just can’t let the infection spread. She grabs her pants and ties a tourniquet above the bite, she checks her sack and finds a paperclip that held the map together. She grabs the paperclip and uses it on the bite, gently puncturing it. A bunch of pus spews out and the bite seems to shrink down. Satisfied, she washes her leg off in the water and continues rowing.
Her leg doesn’t look to well by time day full starts to come to a close. She is exhausted but she doesn’t see soil yet so she still rows. She has no clue what bit her but she just hopes she will be fine. She knows she close, she has to be. She can’t give up. So rowing is the only option at this point. Near the morning, she realizes her leg is a sickly pale color. NononononONO-This can NOT be happening. She is freaking out. She can only row. So she rows and rows.
Her hands has never been quite as worked as it is right now. She never lets down pace, even though she is so tired. She keeps rowing for hours. Her skin is red with sunburn, does she care? No, she is too focus on not dying. She sees soil. She sees land! She did it, well not yet. She still has to make it on the land. She rows even faster if it possible, not stopping to eat or drink. Just rowing.
After like an hour, she is nearing shore but her leg looks lifeless. She will make it, she has to make it. God her heart rate probably going so fast that is has went around the world since the bite. She is almost there and the people on the land look at her in eithe a disgusted, mortified, or impressed way. She is so close she could swim the rest of the way,
She finally reaches land and as soon as she does she collapses. The Californians call an ambulance and they take care of her spider bite, apparently you aren’t supposed to tie tourniquets around it or stab it with paperclips. She actually worsened the infection but they were able to save her and the leg. After her leg healed, the UN comes to put her through the refuge program. She’s ready to start her new life as a refugee in America