I knew we were in for something harder today!
First off, we just belayed down a building (with ropes) so it was not a really big deal for me. I mention "for me" because in each of the exercises it becomes a real challenge for some of the students, this one is especially hard for those afraid of heights.
Second, a couple of us were put in a car and we raced off with the firefighter driver racing another car (with no students in it, only a driver) We were screeching around corners and we were all yelling "go faster" "beat him" and laughing. Then I saw a some wrecked cars and a wrecked bus ahead of us (all these exercises are done on the school grounds not on a main street or anything). I knew we were going to crash into the cars and I was in the front seat, I braced myself and we crashed (we were not really going that fast). The driver then slumped over in his seat (pretending to be hurt) and I then went in to my "rescue mode". I could not get my door open because we were up against the bus. I then crawled through the window and jumped around the cars to the drivers side. His door was able to open but I couldn´t get him out (he was a big guy) . Biviana was trying to get out of the backseat but they had put her one one side, Katerina on another and between them was Edmond (a very large built guy, who´s feet they had bound). Biviana just crawled over Edmond, over the driver and out. She helped me pull him to safety, while Katrina was still trying to get out the back seat. Once the driver was out they were able to climb free of the car and Edmond had broke through the ties that had bound his feet in the excitement. The firefighters were cracking up because they couldn´t believe he was able to get free. Anyway, it was a great experience and more points for me and Biviana!
3rd Exercise! THis one was a little tougher for me...They blindfolded us (in groups of 7) and then put a hood over our heads. We then were placed in a jeep and they started driving off. I started to get really aprenhensive because I was really imagining that I was a hostage or kidnapped victim. My mind was racing and I started to breath very fast and get teary eyed. I calmed myself down and even though I knew it wasn´t real, I couldn´t stop thinking about how this situation really happens to people! We finally stopped and they got me out and then bound my hands with this plastic dohickey (that you tie computer wired together with). It was tight and really hurt. they then had me (I am getting upset typing this!) follow them for about 30 feet and then the guy said "we are going down about 10 meters". I then thougth that I was going to be put into a hole. I then was told to stand still and the guy walked away. I just stood there (we were told before the exercise that we couldn´t try to free ourselves, or walk away) and tried to figure out what they were going to do. The stupid Bob Marley song "Every little things gonna be alright" and I almost laughed. I couldn´t get it out of my head, so I started swaying back and forth to the imaginary music. A guy then came to me and told me to sit down. I didn´t like that at all since there were ants and bugs crawling about (I knew we were in the forest). I sat there for about 30 minutes and then heard dogs howling. I got really excited but still didn´t know what was happening. This part was extremely hard for those who were scared of dogs!
Finally a dog came bounding up and sat next to me and barked so loud in my ear. He/She then slobbered all over my bare arm. I was really smiling then thinking of Mattie! A guy then took off my blindfold and I saw the most gorgeous dog wearing a Red Cross Jacket and a man wearing the same (just a little larger size :-) I wanted to hug the dog so bad, but realized he was working...I followed the man in silence and we found another student Stephie. The man was speaking German to the dog and Stephie told me he was saying "brave dog" to it. The dog then took off and then the man, Stephie and I looked at each other and we figured we better follow him since we had no idea where we were.
(oh at this point I guess I should mention that I went to the Emergency room on Sunday night because I had, (I found out), overstretched the tendon in my right foot by my ankle. I was okay, but It was hurting a little from all the exercise.) We followed this man up and down this seemingly endless forest. I kept thinking that I was going to die of dehydration or pain in my calves from running uphill! Finally we stopped the man gave the dog some water. I wanted to drink out of his water dish! We then ran up another hill and finally found the rest of the group.
The dogs were Red Cross Rescue dogs in training and so it was beneficial for us and them to work together. I think we get to work with the Red Cross again when we work with the Austrain Army at the end of next week.
That exercise was mentally and physically exausting BUT I am even more sure that I am doing the right thing and moving in the right direction with my education and hopefully with me life! :-)