Sunday, March 4, 2012

Class Trip: Day 5

We spent Day 5 with Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures. They got the kids going and organized with some goofy games and hand shakes. Once we were split up they got us geared up and we walked to the rocks. My group was 8 kids and they were paired into groups with each group having a guide. One student would climb, the other would belay and the guide would spot the belay just in case. It was fun to see which kids were naturally talented and how easy they made it look. There was one girl in our group who was the first to make it up 3 of the 4 walls. I asked here if she liked climbing and she told me, "Not really." It was crazy to see someone that was just naturally so good be so ambivalent to climbing. The kids were great and really pushed themselves.

After lunch we were taught how to repel. We hiked up the mountain to our first repel which was about 10-15ft tall. I could not help myself and sang "Secret agent man" to them as the descended. Some of them found it funny... Next we hiked up even higher into a natural cavern that was in the shape of a cylinder. It was 15ft across and 100 ft deep. Our guides had ropes stretched across the cavern that we zip lined over and then, hanging in mid air, we switched to a repelling line and repelled down 100 ft to the bottom. Some kids must have really been sweating it. I was oddly at ease. Ziplining so much the day before made this feel normal. I actually had the ease of mind to be able to look around and enjoy this activity that should have terrified me... Amazing.

Learning to repel

In the cavern 100ft up zipping over to repel down.

Repelling down.

I felt like I was in good hands and they really knew what they were doing. There was a high level of redundant safety equipment just in case. It is that which gives the students and I confidence enough to do all the activities of the day. All the students accepted all the challenges today; it was great to see every one try. While we were waiting at the bottom a group of young tourist hiked into the cavern. They started asking questions about where we were from and I got to brag about my job. They were really surprised to hear about AISD and asked how I got the job. Yeah, its pretty sweet!

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