Monday, August 11, 2008

The Rafting Trip

On Sunday, I went rafting up north with my boss Cate, her husband Mark, her daughter Rosie, and my co-worker Matt. We left Gyeongju at 7:30 AM and got back at about 11:00 PM. It was a full, exhausting, fun day.

The river was about a three-hour bus ride from here, which wasn't at all unpleasant (even though that sounds like it should be). Cate and I chatted quite a bit, I had a chance to enjoy reading a book, and we watched a little of the Olympics on the television at the front of the bus. You should have seen the way that entire bus erupted into cheers as the Korean swimmer earned his gold medal! I've never seen such an enthusiastic crowd! I got rather caught up in it myself.

The actual rafting took about three hours. It was loads of fun, since we not only went through rapids, but also had the opportunity to swim in the beautiful, cool river (in our clothes, of course, since this is Korea). I never imagined that I would one day have the kind of boss that one rafts with and swims in a river with!

On the way back, I had a chance to talk with my co-worker and get to know him better, which was nice. We don't hang out outside of work, so even though I see him every day, I barely know the guy. By the time we got back, I was exhausted! I had left my bicycle at the library, so I had to walk back there to get it, and then ride home. I almost fell asleep while riding!

I took some great pictures (Cate loaned me a waterproof bag to carry my camera in), so I will try to get them posted by tomorrow.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"