The stars at night are like fairy dust, there are so many. The vastness of the country, the green and golden plains, the silhouettes of sharp trees against immense, empty can feel your soul expanding. The animals - things you have only seen in the zoo, roaming freely, masters of their own space. Brightly-coloured birds popping out of the bush like confetti. From the tent, lying in your silken sleeping bag, just listening to all the sounds of the natural world - the calls and hoots and thudding of hoofs, the wind through the leaves, the crackle of the campfire. Absolutely magical. - Min

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stairs 19 Nov

We had a full turnout for stairs on 19 Nov. All 5 of us. On a Friday night!

After a month of stairs, we have settled on a 3 set pattern. Going up the Pinnacle twice, taking a rest and after 3 sets, we've gone up 6 times. Takes about 2 hours to complete the whole routine.

Gets really boring climbing stairs so sometimes we break into conversation or into song but even that peters off when we run out of breath. It's like a looong upward march and after what feels like forever, we reach the 50th floor.

On the 50th floor, Cheryl, Su and I will sit on the floor looking like we need medical aid. Min does her stretches. Bhaskaran always manages to look quite fresh.

Then Min calls for the lift, so that we can start climbing all over again.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Row for your life

Gary offered me a sailing experience. My first one on board a boat.

I jumped at it. Took urgent leave. When the leave got approved, they asked me what it was for.

"Going sailing", the words fell off my tongue with absolute conviction that this was worth putting the rest of my life on hold.

The sea was calm and the sunset was breathtaking. I tried my hand at putting up the sails - steering and navigating. I was dizzy, this must be rapture? When I started to recognize it as sea sickness, I thought to myself that altitude sickness is going to be a bit like that. Maybe worse.

Figure that going to Kili is a bit like that. Taking many urgent days off
to endure the hardship and cold. I can sense the fatigue and splitting headache a mile away and still out of sight.

Can't help but row for my life towards it.

You are young. So you know everything. You leap into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me. Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me. Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and your heart, and heart's little intelligence, and listen to me. There is life without love. It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile away and still out of sight, the churn of the water as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the sharp rocks-when you hear that unmistakable pounding-when you feel the mist on your mouth and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls plu
nging and steaming-then row, row for your life toward it. - West Wind #2 by Mary Oliver