11 November 2010

I'm a survivor

I'm a survivor

Our arrival in Chiangmai Mai, Thailand took everyone by surprise. It had only been 3 days and we were already in country number two! New currency, new language, and new challenges!

We were whisked away to Pang Soon Lodge, which is nestled deep in the rainforest an hour north of the city and just 40 kilometers from the Burma border and wasted no time, diving right into our survival challenge.

The group was divided into two teams of 8. After a brief overview the bell was rung, giving each team 90 minutes to build a shelter, start a fire, make dining utensils, and prepare dinner. In our leader briefing it was explained that each team would also need to catch, kill, prepare, and cook a chicken. For some reason I thought he was kidding. False. We approached to find two penned chickens waiting to be turned into supper.

As one might imagine, this task - a real challenge for an all non-veg group to confront what they eat - proved to be rather overwhelming.

While one team zoomed right in while the other - facing major internal debate - decided to go vegetarian, placing their bird in a cage that it would later escape from and flee into the woods.

With 30 minutes remaining, the tension mounted. It was a perfect example of what happens when you get 16 high-functioning individuals together in a small space: 16 chiefs and no Indians. That almost became a metaphorical lesson in and of itself. That is, what happens when I can't be in absolute control - something people diagnosed with cancer must consider each and every day.

With just five minutes left both teams had fully united around a common cause: WINNING. After having our local guides grade all elements on a scale of 1 to 10, the teams miraculously TIED (which meant I had to come up with twice as many prizes!)

This camp survival challenge was coupled with an emergency procedures challenge this morning. Each team had to build a stretcher and then race their injured group member 200 meters down a jagged winding path. It was fast paced and exciting to say the least! We finished the day with a 10km trek through some extremely varied terrain, arriving at a zipline center called the Flight of the Gibbons where we proceeded to race along the canopy from platform to platform by zipline, suspension bridge and absaling. It was death defying and absolutely incredible! Very special shout out to Madonna and Jen, who faced their very real fear of heights and powered through every portion. You go ladies!

In terms of our leader board, Ian and Peter are in 1st, with both Renee and Madonna and Greg and Fiona rounding out the top three.

More to come!!!

-- Posted from my KyPhone

Location:Taphul Rd,Siem Reap,Cambodia

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