I spent the start of the week with my parents at the house our family is building in Crivitz, WI. This area is known for it’s winter snowmobiling season but also has some great white water rafting in the area. I love white water rafting so I thought why not go. After a few rainy days I was able to join on to a trip of campers going down the river. I was able to navigate a fun yak, which is a blown up version of a kayak and I got to help the guides with the campers. Things were going great and we stopped right before the first major rapid to examine the scene. We pulled our boats over and scouted the fall to see which path our little kayaks could navigate. The kids went down in large rafting boats but the smaller kayaks needed a plan. After looking at it for a few minutes my guide, Rob, informed me that if I wasn’t up for it I could take my boat around. I thought, you only live once so make it interesting. At the first drop I nailed it and it was such an adrenaline rush. I was so proud of myself and so happy to have conquered the class 4 rapid in a kayak. Afterward I thought, I got this. After the second and third drop a groups of kids rammed into my boat and knocked me out of my kayak. This lead to me going down a 5 foot waterfall without my boat. No major injuries were sustained but I was pretty sure that at one point I felt like I was going to drown but I made it. It was a crazy and exhilarating experience. I was glad I had the guts to go even though I was by myself.
After this adventure I went to a going away party that a fellow teacher and some of my students put together. The party was a great time. We spent 3 hours talking about different cultures and how to push yourself to be a better global citizen. The students asked me some awesome questions that pushed me to think about my experiences and how to give them the best answers. It was wonderful time that made me leave feeling like we had open each others minds. It also made me realize I am really going to miss this group of students and our awesome discussions.
This was followed the next day by another great evening, a going away party with my family and friends. I was so happy to see all the people that showed up and to know that so many people cared about me. It was such a good time and chance to talk to people. I will miss everyone but am sure we will all keep in touch.
Well, I leave in 8 days and my passport came back with a visa in it- which is exciting. My good-byes have been said to many and I am now wrapping everything up. In the final days before my departure I am so excited to be going and so happy with the time I get to spend with all my family and friends.
Moral of the story for today (for my students who keep asking me for my deep thoughts):
1) Live every day as if it is your last (Life is much more fun that way)
2) Always cherish your relationships with loved ones (they will be there when times are rough and help you celebrate when times are good- they are the rocks that keep you on steady ground when the river is raging around you.)