Wrapping up Indonesia
So as I’m sitting here trying to come up with the words to express how disappointing the last trip to
While I was in Indonesia, I started a list of “things that went wrong” and started to get depressed, but I’m glad I did, because now I can type it out and laugh at everything because I had absolutely no control over all of these things and it’s only something that could have happened in a movie.
After booking the original trip of trekking to Base Camp (BC), it was cancelled because the villages we were going to trek through wanted more money and wouldn’t let anyone through. A week later, I was told we couldn’t trek in and had to go via helicopter, requiring more money (fuel for those things isn’t cheap), and a change in flights from
So when I arrived in
It’s expensive in
So I took off from Bali to Makassar, but in Makassar, I was told that all flights were booked to
So after the fuel was “found” and after we could use the Kamov, they decide that the Kamov needed some sort of “anti-freezing” instrument placed on the blades because of the altitude. Great. Another part. Well that part was ordered, got there quickly (quick enough) but they didn’t have the tools to put it on either. Wonderful.
So back to the Kamov… fuel is there, crew is ready, we’re ready, part is finally on… we still can’t take the other heli, so we head up in the Kamov. After about an hour of flying up to base camp, we see it, but can’t land because the clouds are too thick and it’s too dangerous to land. We discussed us jumping out and the crew tossing us our climbing gear, but they weren’t too keen on that idea. So it’s back to Nabire.
Weather the next day wasn’t great, so we didn’t go anywhere and enjoyed the 103 temps with 100% humidity. I think one of my ears is a little lower because it melted a little and slid down my head.
The next day we attempted the base camp again. No dice. Back to Nabire again. We figured we’d try again tomorrow, but guess what… no fuel. We’re out. By this time the “inspector” for the smaller heli showed up and looked at the “part” they put on only to say, “great. Looks wonderful. Now take it off and put it back on in front of me so I know you did it right.” Sigh. Another 2 days of playing around in the jungle heat waiting on something that might not happen. In the mean time, we wanted to meet with the pilot because we heard he was going to be back on the island. We were told he was, we went to meet with him (but he was actually the co-pilot – pilot was in
The next day I took off from Biak back to Jakarta, changed my flight out of Jakarta to a few days later (when I thought I’d actually get back to Jakarta), and spent nearly 10 hours in the airport trying to fly standby to get to Seoul to Chicago. Midnight comes rolling around, I sleep in the airport for a while, finally find a hotel, take a taxi there, check in, sleep for an hour or so, and get ready to head back to the airport again and fly home. That worked, and 2 days later I landed in
Looking back at it, it’s one frustrating trip to say the least and I didn’t even cover everything that went wrong because this novella has gone on long enough. I did, however, get the opportunity to meet some incredible people and they have become some good friends...
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
"Live, Love, Laugh, Learn, Lead by Example." --Sean Swarner
After putting in a few runs on the ice skating rink and sliding back to Vail Village, the rest of the group got into town and we were all getting ready to head up. Ryan did some introductions, explained the day, and we all headed up the lift. This time around, about 45 min after Bryce and I got back to the base, the heat melted the frozen taters into mashed potatoes and the snow was slushy, but a lot of fun. In fact it was so heavy and thick that I dropped into a run and somehow ended up falling straight down the mountain head over feet. I popped up and was fine, but while Bryce was laughing at me he tumbled and did the same thing. Can we say “karma?” haha.
We put in a few runs and then all got together for lunch at the top of the mountain. I floated around and chatted with as many people as I could and we all shared stories about cancer, what we went through, etc. Ryan played my ESPN piece (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVQGAg-k4bw) on the bus while they were heading up, so everyone there knew my story and it was a true pleasure answering all their questions about Everest, the mountains, and my cancers.
What really hit me was while I was talking to everyone (all ages really) is that they’re a lot like everyone I know with cancer, or anyone who’s had cancer. They all like to enjoy life and they all had a smiles on their faces. They all know what life is about and they all enjoy every moment. As well, they’re not afraid to talk about scars, treatments, pains of cancer, etc. We all shared stories of pain, of bone marrow treatments, swapped stories about scars, and even talked about how I was “old school” with my Hickman Catheter and the piece of plastic that’s in my chest still. I was told they now cut those out and don’t pull them out like they did when I was having mine removed. That would have been nice huh? No, “hold your breath while I yank this tube out of your chest.”
Anyhow, the main thing I noticed and what I wanted to share with everyone was that sometimes it’s great to be serious about everything and understand the meaning of life by getting deep into thought and emotion. Sometimes it’s great to not worry, not think, and just laugh. Just being yourself, not worrying about anything and being goofy. That’s one of the 5 “L’s” I live my life by: Live, Love, Laugh, Learn, Lead by example. You can’t take life too seriously sometimes, you have to laugh at yourself and have a good sense of humor. Enjoy the day…. Relax a little. Take some extra time to just laugh, spend time with loved ones, your friends, etc who you can share those moments with and truly treasure those good times.
Happy belated Easter everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!!
1st Cancer Survivor to Summit Everest
International Inspirational Speaker
Author: Keep Climbing