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, March 31, 2009
As you can imagine, I am asked on a weekly basis to support a certain cause. I am not a wealthy man by any stretch of the imagination, but I have always given when I can. If it means giving up a coffee during the week or a dinner out with Meg...we would rather have it that way. We are both dedicated to making a difference in this world and will do whatever/whenever we can. That being said, we do struggle with not being able to do and/or donate more. We both said that if we ever won the lottery, we would pay off our debts, donate to charity and save enough so that we could give up our jobs and volunteer for a living.
We are aware of our financial limitations so we do everything we can to give back in other ways. For starters, Meg works her ass off at the American Cancer Society and she is training for a triathlon and fundraising for her mom who is battling stage 3c Ovarian cancer. I am not lucky enough to draw a paycheck for my cancer work, but I do volunteer and fundraise for LAF, Imerman Angels, and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I also do quite a bit of public speaking for LLS about my experience with cancer. I am also the president of the CancerClimber Association and actively spread the word about iy, Vital Options, Ulman Fund, No Stigmas, St. Judes, Tigerlily Foundation, among a few others.
I am not stating that to impress you. I state that to challenge you. There are many ways we can give back to whatever it is that we are passionate about. It is not always about money. You can donate your time, talent and resources and make a difference in people's lives. In 2009, I wanted to challenge myself and give back in a new way. I wanted to get more involved in the lives of those who are currently battling cancer. One part selfish and a hundred parts altruistic. Perhaps I am trying to make up for time lost when I had a hard time talking about my cancer experience, but nevertheless, I have already improved by leaps and bounds...you know how much that cost me? Nothing.
Find your passion and find a way to give back. Donations are fantastic and a total necessity to fund a cure, but times are tough, if you can't give any money, dig deep and find a way to give back. It may mean more to the people you are talking to than a simple donation. LiveSTRONG, Be Well, and Keep Climbing!
Joe Schneider15 year Burkitt's NHL survivor
President, CancerClimber Association
Chicago LiveSTRONG Army Co-Leader (Melissa Wilhelm Rocks)
7 year LLS fundraiser and volunteer