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Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Man ( Or Woman!) Overboard!

Class, write a paper about what you did for Memorial Day Weekend...

Have you ever been whitewater rafting?

Yeah, me neither. Which is why I decided to join up with 11 other friends on the class 5 rapids adventure of White Water Rafting, on the Cheat River, West Virginia. WWR goes from 1 (more like canoeing) to 6 (more like Niagra Falls).

Let me inform you that it is called "Cheat River" because it cheats so many people out of their life. And mine flashed before me.

I opted to climb into the boat where some of my more experienced friends were. I should have known I was in trouble when our guide informed us that we need to sit-not on the inside seat-like tubes-ON THE SIDE OF THE BOAT. Midsection down the middle of the outer tube.

He taught us commands which we easily mastered. I was sitting in the middle, with one person in front, one behind me, three across from me and our (cute but extremely talented) guide in the back. I fretted about falling out and the guide said "You are not afraid of the river, the river is afraid of you". Of course! I thought. My name means "White Wave", so I decided "I OWN this river! It answers to me!"

We cruise down the river, and our guide teaches us some cool tricks like surfin' (staying on top of the wave, duh), doing razberries (twirling over a rapid) or slipping between two massive rocks.

Imagine you are in this boat:

and you are sitting on the end that is in the water. Well, you are not really sitting so much as sliding. Well, not so much sliding as you are falling out. Well, not so much falling out as getting sucked under water in the class 5 rapids even though you have a life jacket on that is choking the heck out of you and your fanny is getting hit by big boulders because everyone keeps yelling "KEEP YOUR FEET UP! KEEP YOUR FEET UP!!!". (so that they don't get caught between boulders in the river) (and then you may drown).

I clung on to the front of the boat-which is useless because you can't pull someone over the front of the boat. One of my mates has me by the arms and he looks at me and shouts "I"m not sure I can keep holding on" I felt like I was in some sort of Indiana Jones movie. I somehow found a ring on the side of the boat and hauled myself to the side. The guide-this skinny little guide-grabs my arms and in a 1, 2, 3 yanks me over back into the boat. It's not a gracious move in front of the guide -who, did I mention, looks like Matthew McConaughey.

The front man, Pete had also fallen out and we had to pull ourselves together and start rowing because we weren't out of the rapids yet.

Finally we moved into calmer waters and I had to laugh otherwise I would have sat there and bawled my eyes out. Really, it was one of those exhilterating scary moments that are near life and death. Ok, so I wasn't that close to death, but close to gulping in large amounts of water and getting run over by the boat.

In the end, I decided it was great fun. I'll definately go again!


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