October 21, 2011

“Good Morning sa iyo!”

I went with a group of friends to a ropes course while Hiva was on a work trip. We left early on a really old rickety white bus, so I decided I would sleep to pass the time. I woke up to jolting around because there were no shocks on the bus and we were driving through little villages. I thought they stared when Lady Hiva and I drove Boeing through, you should have seen the attention we received when they saw a bus full of people coming through!

Our bus driver wiggled the white beast through tight one lane roads, down muddy dirt roads and across a flat bridge that looked like it was going to float away on the next storm.
Our first activity was team cheers. We were split into two teams for the day’s activities: Team A and Team B. I was on Team B! Woohoo! Our cheer consisted of a really catchy-cheerful, but slightly annoying, advertising jingle: “Good morning sa iyo!” (Good Morning to you!) It is replayed constantly on the radio and television here. Then we added our own verse with the same tune: “Sana matalo kayo!” (Hopefully you lose!) Then since we had several of the ‘screamers’ in the group we put them to use and they used their lungs to share with everyone—and the surrounding villages—that we were TEAM B! Team A had a full on choreographed dance and song routine that rhymed. The judges were diplomatic and slyly did not award a winner…so for team pride’s sake, Team B won!

The ropes course was next. Although all of the activities were only a few feet off the ground, they still had a wear helmets and knee and elbow pads. As I was choosing my helmet, all of which seemed to be sized for little people, I felt hands groping my thighs! I looked down and one of the guy employees of the ropes course that spoke in a high pitch and wore a ponytail and some BRIGHT purple eye shadow and lipstick to match had taken it upon himself to help me put on my knee pads! YIKES! I could not tell him fast enough that I could handle it myself…but thanks.

During the course we saw Mike, who happens to be the manager to some of us, do a full on face plant as he dove through a hanging square—all voluntary too! After that we  all agreed that we would skip that part of the course.
There was a tarzan swinging rope over a muddy pond and as Team A was going, I told Team B that it would be funny to see someone fall in. Sadly, my team did not think that was a nice thing to say and there were more workers (without eyeshadow) catching the people on the other side of the pond so they did not fall in. I promised that I would cheer them on the WHOLE time, even if they did fall in! Nobody in Team A even got close to falling… Bummer…but I was not disappointed. Team B had an awesome display of splashing and mud as each of them fell into the pond…and, as promised, I cheered the WHOLE TIME! Maybe the catcher guys had gone to lunch or something…
At the end of the course we all had to meet at the bottom of a hill to push a HUGE soccer ball to the top. We could not start without the whole team there to push. When we did push, me and one other guy set off pushing and the rest of the team, screamed their way behind us! Oh boy…we made it to the top---we were deaf upon arrival,  but, yes, we made it!
Next we used the zipline. Nobody dared to go first so I offered, however, when I looked up EyeShadow was holding out the waist harness kindly waiting to help me in…I suddenly needed to retie my shoe and when I stood up he was helping someone else. I hurried and put on my own harness before he noticed! Watching some of the teammates go on the zipline I could tell it was a slow, cantering ride. But don’t worry, plenty of screaming accompanied each ride. Both from the people riding and those standing on the ground watching!

So to enhance the experience, when it was my turn I flipped upside down for some spider-man action. The next time I went completely upside down AND let go with my hands! YEAH! The only part that was scary is stopping. You swing wildly and dodge the metal pole above you threatening to bash your head in if you collide with it--So glad I have a helmet on!
They had a rock wall to climb but only a few of us tried it because of fear of heights. Nobody made it far, until Linda tried it and even though she has a fear of heights she made it all the way to the top. With about 3 feet to go she slipped and fell (of course the belay caught her) and instead of coming down, she swung back to the wall and tried to climb again. How is that for overcoming fears?! I climbed to the top too, but about halfway up I thought, ‘This is made out of plywood and the only thing that will save me if I fall is the lone man tied to the other end of the rope that weighs FAR less that I do…hmm. Maybe this was not the brightest idea.

Sumo wrestling was next! It was hilarious watching the duals in the large stuffed sumo suits. The smaller girls looked like they had no legs and had to waddle instead of walk. A few times they fell over without even being near the opponent! Then it took 4-8 people to help them stand up! When it was my turn I was overwhelmed with the smell of sweaty people in the suit! I don’t think they had EVER washed it! The worst part was that it was rubbing on my neck and cheeks so the rest of the day I had other people’s sweaty fragrance with me!
We finished the day with the LONG tarp slide down the hill. It was a blast! Mike and I went so many times I could not count. The last time though was tiring, because with each adrenaline filled ride you had to trek back up the steephill barefoot. Phew. It was a long walk, but you could not stop to rest because the monster ants would attack your feet within seconds.  Ate Cely even did it without her glasses...I had to laugh when all the screamers went down the slide and when they saw the camera coming the screaming instantly stopped and they posed for the photo!

We all cooled off at the pool for a few minutes and then boarded the white beast to head home. I had a headache and whiplash by the time I walk in out front door, but it was a fun day!

Oh, and I did not have my camera on this trip....shocker I know...so thanks Maits and Cathy for the photos!

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