Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Yes, We rode horses. We were in Mexico, and riding horses on the beach sounded enjoyable. Mom, Maddie and Elena had already gone once and they could not seem to talk of anything else. The next time Elena and I went. I thought that I would try it, you never know, it could be fun. When we started we only walked, and that was fine, but when we began to trot, I realized why people sometimes complain about riding horses. It felt like your back was going to be broken into a thousand small pieces. Elena tried to give me some helpful horse insight, telling me I had to go up and down, and get the feel for the rhythm of the horse. This did not help. To avoid this pain I only galloped and walked. This was not the best first experience I have ever had. The second time I did not want to go, but mom thought I should go. You see, I do not enjoy intentionally inflicting pain on myself. Never the less I went. This time I had more fun. I stuck to my strategy of not trotting and that helped a lot. We galloped most of the time. I liked my horse, it was fast. When we turned around and started down the beach back towards where we began. My horse suddenly grew wings and began to fly. Not really, but he did start galloping a lot faster. Maddie and Elena who have been taking horse riding lessons, were left in the dust. My horse was so fast that I had to stop frequently to let them catch up. When we all arrived back at the tent they gave me a new horse, and told us to continue riding in the direction we were going. My new horse was slow and required a whip, which at first made him jump when I used it. Soon I got use to the whip and I could use it while galloping. My horse was again faster than the girls. Despite the blisters on my hands that are still healing, it was a lot of fun. I still don't like trotting though.
Monday, January 16, 2012
In Acapulco one day we went to see the cliff divers, so we got a taxi and drove up there. Once we arrived, we waited in a little air conditioned shop until it was time to buy tickets for the show. After we bought the tickets, we went to a little shaded area where we could see the cliff. There was another place to watch, farther down, but closer to the cliff, and we decided that it would be nice to go down there for the last few dives. There were about six divers. It took awhile for the divers to all jump off of a smaller cliff, cross some water, and climb all the way up the big cliff. Sometimes the water between the two cliffs was really choppy, and the divers held onto a rope until it calmed down enough for them to swim across. One of the divers (a bigger one) went around to the other side of the cliff where he didn't have to climb. We predicted that he would show off and do a fancy jump. A few of the divers climbed up a slightly harder way, and the rest went a little bit more roundabout and easier way, but they all got up eventually. One by one they jumped off. It was a really long jump. Just as we predicted, the bigger one was one of the first, and he did a flip before landing in the water. The divers had to time the jumping just right, they had to make sure the water was at the depth (the water kept going in and out of between the cliffs) they wanted and it had to be calm. The last diver did the best dive–he went all the way to the top of the cliff (the others went a short way below it), and did a flip. It was extremely high. Once the divers did their dive, they climbed out and up to the entrance by the ticket booth. At the end we realized that we had forgotten to go down to the closer place where most of the people were. It would have been cool to see the really high last dive up close, so it was too bad that we didn't go down.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Panama City, Panama is one of the 2 places we traveled to. We stayed there for 1 week on vacation from school and work. Unlike in the United States, in Colombia, we get 1 month off school for Christmas break.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Friday, January 6, 2012
Monday, January 2, 2012
As I woke up this morning, the sun was streaming through the window of our hotel room. We are staying in the rainforest in Panama. After a relaxing day by the pool yesterday then falling asleep in the hammock on the porch, I was ready for my morning run.
I have found that running through a place gives you a different view of the area. Whether through the neighborhood I grew up in, along the ocean in New Zealand, among the monuments in Washington DC or on the diplomatic enclave in Pakistan, I see the world through different eyes.
This morning my run took me along a river to the Panama Canal. On our way to the Canal, Chad & I ran through a bamboo stand where the long bamboo poles bent over the road in an arch. They swayed quietly in the soft breeze.
To our left, at the fork where the river met the canal stood an old, grey lighthouse up the bank. The door was opened inviting us in. The steps were overgrown with grass, now just bumps leading us up the hill. We approached the lighthouse and peaked in the door. A set of spiral cement stairs filled the room. Mud nests with brown bugs flying in and out of them filled the corners. Chad went first to be sure the whole thing wouldn't topple down around us. He called me up warning me of bats along the way. Around and around I climbed until I reached the top. Large, open windows looked both ways down the canal. The silty water was still with the rainforest surrounding the area.
We continued up the canal into the little town of Gamboa. Wanting to stay close to the canal, I chose a side road. I had to turn back, retracing my steps because dogs guarded the way. We continued a bit into town before turning around, remembering we had to jog back as far as we had come! Bright colored cement homes lined the town road. A bus stop had people waiting at it.
Headed back along the river a ripple in the water caught Chad's eye. He stopped to examine and we were delighted to find a family of river otters. They ducked up and down. The parents chirped to warn their young. They swam in and out of the brush eventually disappearing from sight.
Back on the path again with sweat dripping off my face, I breathed a deep breath in. What a way to begin the day!