2005 had been an awful year and 2006 wasn’t shaping up to be much better. I was in a pretty dead end relationship; all love between myself and my partner of five years had long gone and we were really just hanging in there for our three tear old daughter. I finally found the courage to ask him to leave and there was little resistance on his part. In the weeks that followed my ex started to show an interest in me that I hadn’t seen in a while, but for me it was just too late .
One day while at work he called asking if we could please meet and discuss things further. I agreed, but really only out of pity as it was still hard to hear the father of my child cry. When he arrived I found myself feeling panicked that I may be giving false hope, in what was a pretty hopeless situation. All he did was slide two tickets to Splore 06 across the bench. I was a little surprised as I’d asked him many times to come with me to this type of thing and he’d always said no. I jokingly asked if they were for me and a friend, and the hurt in his eyes made me quickly retract my statement. The offer was simple, one last try. We would go to Splore, spend the weekend together, and if I didn’t feel differently about us after that I was free to go.
So the following weekend we set off. And aside from having to drink hideous amounts of alcohol at the gate (we didn’t know you couldn’t take your own) and having to pitch our tent directly beside the water tank (which made for a lot of toilet breaks), it really was the making of us. It was just an overload of beauty, from the scenery to the people, the art and the music! Who could forget Fat Freddys awesome performance, Talib Kweli’s energy, and of course the absolutely hilarious Cuban Brothers. But ultimately the wairua of that place (Tapapakanga) is what makes it so special.
Splore is a truly awe inspiring event that for us ended the old and opened our eyes to what’s important.Walking up to Buddha hills for a look I remember my now husband looking down with wide eyes and announcing wistfully, “Wow, this place really is heaven.” And I have never laughed so much in my life as I did that weekend.We left there as new people, with a new appreciation and love for each other.
In 2009 we married and have added two boys, Angelo and Sullivan to the equation. We are looking forward to bringing our three children to Splore 2014, and sharing with them the wonder that is Splore.
By Shaylise Tavai
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