Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Great Experiences

In my afternoon class we were talking about a BBC TV programme called '50 Things to Do Before You Die' and my students told me about some of their interesting experiences, some good and some not so good. So, the next day we went to the computer room and they wrote about their 'Great Experiences'.

L - R: Jonas, Riichi, Cristian, Martin, Jiri and Min

A Challenging Walk is the Best.
When I was 20, I took part in a walking program. We had to walk about 500 kilometres in 22 days. 50 men and 50 women made (up) 10 unisex groups. There was a leader and nine followers. 

At that time, it was in summer so the weather was very hot and rainy. The weather conditions were very bad. Moreover, the washing system was terrible and every meal time, we had to make a meal. Also, we had to carry a heavy backpack. As the time passed, we were getting tired and many people had big blisters on their feet but the walking kept going.
Finally, we got to the destination, we shouted and hugged each other. It was really hard work but we had done it. 

My friends sometimes asked me why I had taken part in this program. Whenever I was asked this question, I would say… "I like challenges. Challenges make me happy". If I had stayed home at that time, I would have been very comfortable and cool and could eat delicious food but this can’t make (a) good memory. The walking program was a very hard time, but it gave me great confidence and happiness. Min - S. Korea

Flying Like a Bird
I’m the kind of person who likes adventures and that’s why, one day, I decided to go around my island by light plane. At first sight, it doesn’t sound very dangerous. However, the kind of plane you can take is not new or the airport either and there, you have the risk. For this reason, I reflected on it a lot of time before saying “yes” to my friend who is a pilot and had been inviting me for a long time.

Now, I’ll try to describe my experience and why it was special for me. So, that day, my friends Sixto and Yoni and my pilot friend, Dani took the light plane to take off. First of all, my friend explained to us how we would have to react in case of an accident. At that moment, I felt a bit afraid because we had to imagine we were crashing into the sea and we were in an unusual small plane that looked vulnerable. Afterwards, I became calm and we took off. So, I prepared my camera because I had always looked forward to seeing my island from the sky like birds. Then, I started looking at all the gorgeous landscapes that I had been enjoying from land since I was a child. That’s the reason why I started taking a lot of pictures, above all, Maspalomas dunes, a very big beach with a big lake, great dunes of blond sand situated on the south of the island.

After flying this part we passed by the west of the island. This place is really very windy during the whole year and that day it was not going to be different. For this reason, little by little, the turbulence increased at the same time as my fear while the pilot tried to calm us telling us “That’s very common, in this place there’s always turbulence, in a few minutes we’ll be flying as usual”. In the end, fortunately his prediction was fulfilled and the turbulence stopped. Then, we went on enjoying the views and we passed by my village and I looked at my house and the rest of my town from a different perspective. It was really very pretty and I felt fulfilled. After leaving my village, the pilot kidded us by dropping altitude very quickly in order that we felt the heavy sensation. Then I screamed a lot and he laughed a lot at me but I was really very angry because I had been afraid. Finally, we passed by our capital city and came back to the airport and we landed. On the whole, it had been a great journey!  

I’d recommend this experience to everyone because it’s really nice to fly on the sky to admire the landscapes you enjoy from the ground every day. Perhaps, for some people it’s not a great experience but it taught me the world may be looked from a different perspective to usual.  Jonas - Canary Islands

Tuk-tuk Driving
My name is Martin and I come from the Czech Republic. I am working as a consultant and I live in Prague. I am not the kind of person who likes big adventures but I got an opportunity to spend some time in India. It was just a business trip, but it gave me lots of adventures. One of them was driving a rickshaw.

During the weekend, we decided with my colleagues to use a local taxi -  rickshaws.  They are operated by special three-wheel small cars, which are known as tuk-tuk.

It brought us a number of interesting experiences. For example dealing with ten rickshaws drivers about the destination of our trip or cost. Because they were four of us I had to share a place with the driver. So I got chance to drive and navigate. It was a great experience especially in the overcrowded streets somewhere in India.

I would definitely recommend it everyone who would like to enjoy real local life in India or in a different part of Asia. Martin - Czech

The High Jump
My name is Riichi and I’m Japanese. I’m a student and I live in Tokyo. I’m not the type of person who likes danger but once I jumped from a building (structure) which was 15 metres high into the sea.

When I went to Miami USA, my friends who live there took me to the middle of the sea by my friend’s boat. I didn’t know why we were going there. When I had taken it for about 40 minutes I saw a building in the sea. I though it was a kind of observation tower for the sea. Maybe it was 15m high but actually it wasn’t a building, it was like a big ladder. My friends suggested climbing this one, but I didn’t want to because I hate high places. One of my friends told me ”don’t worry. It’s very fun” but I couldn’t believe it because it was too high for me. Everyone climbed this so I thought I have no choice and when I climbed it I had to jump into the sea. Finally I climbed it while I was climbing I couldn’t look at anything except the ladder. I arrived ate top and I saw the sea from there. It was very beautiful.

The time was coming. I had to jump. I made up my mind and I did it. While I was in the air it felt longer then actually and when I went into the surface of the sea, it was painful. To be honest I didn’t think it was fun. It was just pain. 
Riichi - Japan

Down a Hole
My name is Jiri Hlas and I come from the Czech Republic. I’m an engineer and I live in small town (called) Moravsky Beroun.
I’m not the type of person who likes danger but once my friend came to me and asked me, if I want to experience an adventure. My friend is a speleologist and his name is Frantisek. He asked me to explore a cave. I  agreed but I was very afraid.

My friend brought rope, a lamp and a lot of equipment and we went out to the area where the cave was. When we came into the cave it was terribly dark. My friend turned on the lamp. Everywhere was damp and we could see stalactites around us. We went along a small river further into (the) cave.The ceiling was very low so that we had to crawl.

We were exploring this cave for two hours. I was terribly scared of it and I wouldn’t do it again. I wouldn’t recommend that you go as far if you aren’t (a) speleologist. That was a very great experience for me. Jiri - Czech

Big Waves
My name is Christian Garcia and I come from the Canary Islands, a wonderful place in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I’m the kind of person who loves risk and so one day I went with a friend to search for good waves to surf but I couldn’t imagine the size of the waves that day. We arrived at the point, which has the biggest and strongest waves on the island. Moreover it is the most point dangerous point too because the waves break on a rock reef. I could not believe what I was seeing at that moment, the conditions were incredible!

The waves were very tall but they had a good form. My friend and me were excited and we screamed all the time because the condition couldn’t be better because there wasn’t anybody on the sea point and we had perfect waves to surf only for us.

Quickly, I put my neoprene suit on, took my body board and my flippers and I ran to the water. The first wave that I surfed on that day was 3 or 4 meters and it was very strong. I had a lot of fear and my adrenaline had exploded at the bottom of the wave. Now a big mass of water covered me I was in the biggest tube that I had ever been. All my feelings were on alert for this reason the sensation was more intense. I was sure that I could die if I didn’t make a good decision but fortunately, nothing happened to me.

I would definitely recommend that you do this but you should try on small waves first and you could surf bigger waves if your level increases too. If you like risk then surfing giant waves is for you. Cristian - Canary Islands

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