Saturday, November 24, 2012

Don’t Panic

batam003Once again I find myself hurtling 35,000 over the earth inside a metal tube coming back home.

Our trip to Singapore was an eventful one on several levels. Our work with teachers and students at the Singapore American School always pushes us as writers and teachers. We've come away with great ideas each time we have visited the school. Some ideas are hatched in the van on the way to school chatting with other visiting educational consultants, some are cooked up over dinners with teachers and others just pop into existence in the classroom when an unexpected assembly cuts instruction time short.

batam004Working in the international school community also pushes one culturally. We discovered economical breakfast options hidden amidst the bling bedazzled high end shopping district of orchard road attended a yoga laugh therapy session in the botanical garden and survived a mountain bike trek into Indonesia with SAS teachers who's seeming goal was to run me into the dirt.

batam001First off - the bike trip. One does not want to hit a 300 pound pig while careening through a jungle at breakneck speeds on a rented bicycle. My friend and extremely fit 30 something Reading and Language Arts teacher Brian instigated an excursion to the island of Batam to take advantage of the day off from school afforded by Hindu holiday Deepavali. Seven of us took the 50 minute ferry across to the island and mounted our cycles and headed into the Drak Mountain Bike park.

batam005Not to make excuses (here comes my first excuse) due to travel I had not been on a bike for almost a month and the first 45 minute uphill climb in the humid 90 degree heat just about did me in and I had to take a break while the rest of the crew sliced into the jungle for a loop I would never experience. I rejoined the gang and kept pace for a bit headed downhill and on more level ground through twisting turns on a narrow jungle path. I kept up that is until catapulted over the handlebars when my front wheel met an intractable cluster of roots which I landed amidst deflating my lungs, leaving me gasping for air and hoping not to have broken my ribs again. Luckily no bones were broken and along with the wind a little bit of pride were also knocked out of me. Just enough to let in some sense. I picked my battles with a little more discernment for the remainder of our day, taking breaks and copiously hydrating and really enjoying the rest of the day, only taking one more spill.

batam000 I took solace in the fact that I had no more effort give - I had pushed myself as far as I could go. Oh yeah, the pig ran across the path just as we were a.most done for the day. I swerved ever so gracefully, close enough to get a good whiff but we both escaped unscathed. Of course I was bringing up the rear of the group and there were no non-porcine witnesses to my most elegant move of the day.


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