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A Journey through ….

November 28th, 2010 7 comments

Nov 2010 is Native American Heritage Month. Instead of the standard speech and fun run, the Equal Opportunity crew decided to run an Adventure competition.

Our Vet, one desk down from me, saw the flyer and convinced three of us in the office to form a team. We signed up as the ClinOps Clowder (now you understand the strange discussion of cats and groupings of cats from a few days ago) for today’s competition. The basic requirement was a team of four, minimum of one woman a team. Travel by foot, bus or bike allowed. Travel by NTV or hitch-hiking was an automatic disqualifier.

So there we are, the four of us; me, Sherry – the Vet, Rich – the XO and Jayme – the comptroller. Sherry and I were on the original team, the two guys were talked into playing yesterday when two of the original team went on the road and our substitute became ill). We show up to the meeting place between Koele DFAC and Disney Drive.

The Milling Crowd

Eleven teams are signed up and it looks like even more than that milling around. T-Shirts are handed out at the beginning. Rather than carry ours around, Sherry and I decide it is easier to wear them. Finally, we get the opening proclamation followed by the instructions. Here is when it starts to get funky.

Like a scavenger hunt, we are to go from place to place on West Bagram following clues and performing tasks. I space out (which turns out to be a really bad idea) when the organizer starts talking about historical native competitions and how this one will be scored. It sounds like about 19-21 tasks, but she will not say how many locations we have to visit.

Then the penny drops. One of the historical tasks was to carry a 100# bag of grain. Since the organizers couldn’t get any, there is a small substitution – four 25# bags of sand. All of us wander over to the pick-up truck. I can’t even get one out of the back. Jayme kindly hauls one out for me. We look at each other. Carry this how far?

You want us to carry these how far?

The whole way? Down to Craig Joint Theater Hospital (well over a mile) which is where our first clue takes us. Hummm, I might be able to manage that and still be able to stand and sit in the morning.

No, the whole bloody time through the rest of the competition. Furthermore, you can’t empty the bag, or lose the sand without being disqualified.

Looking at the ground next to me, there is this tiny but growing pile of sand. Mine is not the only sandbag that is leaking. Three hours and the bag will be empty. My rucksack is at the other end of post in my B-Hut. No one else has a ruck. Our original idea of bikes would have been totally insane.

It is now 1315. Three/four team members have not had lunch. None of us want to haul a sandbag around for three hours. At minimum we have 20 years on all the other team participants and probably more. Hunger wins. We thank the nice people, take our T-shirts and bail.

Since three teams didn’t show – we will finish the competition in 8th place!

The brave team that wasn't

(Rich, me, Sherry, Jayme – outside our HQ)

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