December 31, 2009

Quote of the day
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
-Mahatma Ghandi-

I knew that Wednesday was going to be one of those days where everything just goes your way. After two days of in depth analysis I finally figured out how to get hot water working in my shower. Once again Grace came through at breakfast and we got shuttle service at the hotel. Although I was disappointed not being able to climb down and up Mount Saint Elena the weather on Wednesday just couldn’t have been better.

At the work site the team showed that it could do it all: indoor painting, outdoor painting, lunch preparation, cinder block moving, path reclamation and thanks to Amanda we even do window frames. I wasn’t even too worried when a pile of gravel magically appeared on the front lawn. I now know that anything can be accomplished when have a lot of Costa Rican pancakes/ arapetas. It seemed like the local people were getting more comfortable with us and our translators; Heidi, Kellie and Emeline were worth their weight in gold in helping us connect to our hosts. Unfortunately I now owe Zeke thirty million colones and will have to flee the country at the end of the week. As usual during the course of the day the hummingbirds put on quite a show.

After the workday ended the team disbursed to walk the canopies of the cloud forest, hang out in Santa Elena or try ziplining through the rainforest. Personally I felt some trepidation as we began the zip line adventure but I wasn’t going to lose face in front of: Devin, James, Zeke, Megan and Kathleen who led the way. I’d also have to say that our team of guides couldn’t have been any nicer. Now because I suspect some of you are going to try this at home lets do a quick zipline review session…

1) Grab the harness tightly with the left hand
2) Put you right hand back over your head, cradle the line but don’t touch it unless you want to break
3) Cross your legs in front of you
4) Lean back
5) Stick your head out to the left and try not to look down.

It doesn’t sound very difficult but on the first 650 meter run over a gorge I had an extremely bad moment. I wanted to chicken out but that Mark Twain Quote had followed me around all day so I pushed off. As the tress fell away and I felt the crosswinds panic set in! Then I remembered that no matter where I was and what sort of trouble I was in Nia had to come and rescue me. Welcome to another day in Costa Rica

-Jim –

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