Tool Time Blog - 6/7/19

Tool Time Blog - 6/7/19

Good afternoon everyone,

Facing my fears, that is what I have been doing this last week. Now I must tell you, I have many fears, including the usual, heights, small spaces, and eating food with a name that does not tell you what you are eating. I have managed to conquer a couple this week, however food with unknown ingredients, still not my favorite. I prefer knowing whether I am eating fish, uhm disgusting.

The day before flying to Zanzibar I conquered my first fear, heights. Personally, it is not the height itself I fear but things like a building collapsing or a lift (you Americans call this an elevator) falling down. A hot air balloon fits the picture perfectly, especially above the Serengeti where if you fall, you land in the middle of nothing, and if do not die from the fall, you would be eaten by the wildlife!

Right after last weeks blog post I woke up at 4 AM to go on this hot air balloon ride, over the Serengeti to see the sunrise. At about 6 AM, after a long ride to the departure place, it was rainy and cloudy, the balloons were temporarily grounded. About 30-minutes later the rain stopped, we were told to get out of the jeep and partner up. My dad and I decided to go together, he even offered to be my landing pillow if we fell out of the basket! About eight pairs are made and everyone climbs into the basket, which is laying horizontally. To get it up right, we had to do some of the work, and let me tell you, the pullups in our women’s basketball lifting program really helped!

It only took about 10-minutes, and we were already about 40-meters (130+ feet) high. I managed to only let out a couple of tears. I actually enjoyed the ride! The only scary parts are when our driver, which is what they call an air balloon chauffeur, decides that almost landing between dangerous hippos is what all of us prefer to be doing on a Friday morning at 7 AM. Numerous hippos later we finally land, and believe it or not, it was almost as smooth as an airplane! First fear kind of conquered!

The next day we flew to Zanzibar, an island that belongs to Tanzania and is mostly used as a relaxing place for honeymooners. We are on a holiday (you Americans call this vacation) for my parents 20th wedding anniversary, but sitting next to sunburnt couples all week got a little awkward. So, my dad set me up to overcome another fear, small spaces or not being able to breathe. Scuba diving was next! Thankfully the instructor was Dutch, so understanding everything got so much easier. My chances of drowning went down significantly.

One trial dive, and a couple of “what to do when...” instructions later we were all ready to go diving in a lagoon nearby. When I said that the cheetah was the coolest thing I saw (remember my post last week?) this holiday, I was lying! Seeing hundreds of different fish, 6-meters (20+ feet) deep in the sea is way cooler! I even stayed underwater for the entire hour, no way I am scared of this anymore!

Our flight has been delayed so I get to spend a couple of extra hours on the island, but next week you will be getting some introductions from other Lady Mustangs! First up Natalie Thurber aka Nat, and another still to be determined mystery Mustang.

Until next time,

- Elena

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