Wednesday, June 30, 2010

River Rafting: Two Thumbs Up

Getting ready to go
Jane and Char

On the first day of the Fellowship, we got up early and drove to the San Juan river where we set out on a rafting trip. Donna, Char and I were teamed with Bev and DJ of the San Carlos Revolutionaries from Arizona, and our guide, Drake, who happens to be the son of Shelly, one of the HNCF faculty. Right off the bat, we were all very impressed with the young people who were our guides on the river. They were well trained, experienced (even though still teens or early 20's) and lots of fun. Bev and DJ are probably two of the smartest people I've ever met and are already amazing leaders in the Native American community. Now this was not just a "fun" river rafting trip, but one designed to enhance our teamwork and problem solving skills. I happened to be sitting in the "captain's" seat as we pulled away so Drake patiently taught me some commands and skills for maneuvering the raft. As the day went on, we all took turns in various positions on the raft, learned to paddle together, to steer and change course, to avoid problem areas and so on. We also stopped a couple of times with all of the other teams and participated in various survival activities. At one point, I was in the position of "adjubell," (okay, I cannot find this word anywhere and have no idea how to spell it) the person who jumps out of the raft as it approaches shore, holding the rope and pulling the raft the rest of the way out of the water. So I was perched on the side of the raft, saying "tell me when to jump," when Bev yelled, "Go for it!" I jumped out of the raft and promptly slipped on the rocks, falling into the water. I had jumped too soon and we were still too far out. I came up, still holding the rope, and tried to pull the raft in, falling again and banging up my knees on the rocks. Up one more time, and into the water AGAIN when one of the other instructors ran over and helped me! We were all laughing so hard by then. In fact, we did not get through the rest of the week without recapping the whole event and dissolving into very loud gales of laughter over and over again. I don't know how many people came up to us at various meetings and asked what was so darned funny.

Drake taught us a game called "The Green Glass Door" which we played incessantly on the raft. There are only certain items that can be seen through the green glass door. For example, you can see the trees, but you can't see the leaves. You can see the paddle, but you can't see the raft. You can see the moon, but you can't see the stars. Get it?? I am not bragging (haha) but I was the first one to figure it out, with DJ right behind me. So he and I joined in with Drake and were driving Donna, Char and Bev crazy. Donna told us she was SO sick of it and didn't want to hear any more. So then I said, "you can see the pooper, but you can't see the party." That did not help. Later, Bev claimed that Donna PUSHED me out of the raft because she was so annoyed about the Green Glass Door.

I don't have photos of the actual trip since I did not want my camera to get wet. I know some others took pix so I will see if I can grab any from them later. It was a fabulous day--I loved being out in the sunshine and warm breezes, enjoying the water and the scenery. We had a great time and were sorry when the trip ended. Next time I am the adjubell, I will know better when to jump!

PS If anyone can help me with that word, please do. I have tried every possible spelling I could think of!

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