Thursday, June 28, 2012

Time to Mobilize

Well the bags are loaded with literally hundreds of lbs of chewy bars, peanut butter and dried fruit for the kids to munch on in Costa Rica and Belize. Personal bags have been packed and repacked and hopefully nothing significant has been forgotten although it seems inevitable that something has already been lost among the countless notes-to-self and mental ticks. I'll be flying from San Francisco to Miami this afternoon, spending the night there with other leaders and picking up all the students tomorrow afternoon. We'll then spend another night in Miami with a ton of pizza and team building activities to get everyone warmed up to each other and prepared for the flight to Belize the following day.

From there the basic break down of the trip is as follows:
-A few days sailing on two chartered sail boats to Long Caye
-A few days on Long Caye for the kids to get PADI certified in Scuba diving (I don't get to do this unfortunately as there are a few non-divers that will need to be occupied so it sounds like some beach/fishing/snorkeling is in order. It will be strenuous but I'll survive.).
-From there we will head to Costa Rica and spend three days rafting, zip lining & exploring natural water slides and waterfalls along the Pacuare River.
-Then we'll catch a bus up to Tamarindo for surf camp where we'll spend most of the rest of the trip learning to surf, cook local dishes, exploring the mangroves and dancing a dance that has a name I've forgotten.

-I'll be back and done with paperwork for ARCC by the 22nd with plans to perhaps go backpacking along the Lost Coast or maybe spend some more time in Yosemite.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The advanture strikes California

Alright folks here it is, I almost feel compelled to apologize for not updating as often as requested but after considering the delightful times I have been having away from the interwebz and such, an apology would be entirely hollow. So, where to begin...

As I drove away from security, comfort, friends in Durango I have found myself dripping with sweat as a result of the delightfully warm Arizonan desert and also with unrelated but decidedly sweaty palms. I suppose they were a touch sweaty simply from the anticipatory day dreams of climbing in Yosemite and Utah this fall, rafting in Costa Rica and Scuba Diving in Belize (in a few short weeks); but more than anything, anticipating that which I do not and cannot know at the present moment. Long story short there was lots of driving, thinking, water drinking and far more wind than I care to remember. I ended up passing out at home in a Motel 6 parking lot in Mojave about 12 hours after leaving Durango with a few more hours to finish up the next day before I would be at the site of my first Boojum course this season.

The Boojum course was strenuous but I fortunately persevered and made it through. The course entailed 5 instructors directing 55 8th graders through a variety of games and activities that compiled their end of the year party. This largely entailed working on my tan on the beach and playing lots (read a healthy, not enough to be considered an addict, amount) of bananagrams with the other instructors.  After getting mildly sunburnt and eating the companies food and finishing the course it was time to move on.

With the invitation to have a sleepover in my friend Kyle's place of work, a rock gym, I cruised down to Venture for a night where I also was able to meet up with my old babysitter Val for a quick tour of the Patagonia HQ which was pretty sweet to get to see the inner workings of such a socially and environmentally company. Though I must admit it seemed like a slightly more relaxed and friendly version of most office buildings I have been in.

The last few days have been spent driving, hiking and camping along one of the most offensive and disgusting highways in America, highway 1. The roads keep winding along unrelenting coast, the scenery is dangerously distracting and all the water around is far too salty for my tastes. All those things aside I suppose the area is quite awesome and it's understandable why people come to live/travel here despite the exorbitant 5.20 for gas around.

I am now working my way up North towards San Fransico and Mill Valley where I will get to be trained for my upcoming adventures in Belize and Costa Rica! Hopefully I'll get to see old friends, family and lots of new and exciting strangers before my next post.