Breaking down walls

I can’t swim…

I can float on my back and doggy paddle (terribly)

One of the places I will be volunteering at in the Fall is the Mondulkiri Project. While I am there for two days we will be doing various activities including:

  • walking with, feeding, swimming with and washing elephants in the jungle (no elephant riding)
  • traditional Bunong food and rice wine at the Jungle Lodge campfire
  • sleeping in hammocks at the Mondulkiri Project’s Jungle Lodge
  • full day jungle trek with a Bunong Guide and the chance to see wild deer and monkeys
  • swimming at waterfalls and seeing bats at Leng Ret cave
  • visiting Bunong farms within the jungle and seeing wild rice, fruit, vegetable and herbs


So… I signed up for swimming lessons.

Today was my first one and even though I was extremely tired from the night before with friends and having to battle road closings due to the marathon and the never ending Pittsburgh road work, I still made it.

The first thing the teacher does is asks you to show him what you know, which was not much.  Then he demonstrated various basic techniques which include paddling under water.

This I was not able to do very well.  The instructor asked me if I had experienced water trauma, which I had.

When I was four I fell in a friends pool and my Dad saved me.  I never learned to swim even though he had been a certified lifeguard.  My mom never saw the importance of learning.

My instructor was very understanding and spent time aside from our lesson encouraging me and talking about the process we would work on to overcome my fear.

I left the lesson today with a great sense of accomplishment, grabbed a schedule for individual pool time and excited for next week.

I think about the obstacles we all must overcome to achieve our desires and dreams.  When we work toward removing them, growing and learning the end is so beautiful.




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