Up the Chilean Mountain

Oh where on earth do I start! Well, I am still on Chilean earth, still cracked by previous earthquakes. I have been doing some Chilean love tweets. Having never tweeted before I think they are a bit like trying to create a Haiku – looks simple but isn’t at all!!!

I am sitting under palms, bright blue skies and thumping golden sand. I am fitting in a few mini-adventures in amongst my training days. Went horse riding in the Andes. Wow the multi-layered sheepskin rug saddles are very comfortable. You hold rope reins in one hand only, and flick the end of the rope continually on the horses flank to drive him forward. Personally I was happy to amble slowly – but not given the option. Going up is glorious. Huge mountain range, circling condors, cacti – John Wayne by my side. Got carried away by relentless unfolding beauty of going upwards. Completely forgot – what goes up must come down. Oh panic. It is a tiny little dirt track, so dry the horse’s hooves slide constantly. Don’t look, don’t look on one side at all. It is a sheer drop – a drop dead dark ravine. Why are all the descent pathways on the edge. I live my life on the edge. I am on holiday, for god’s sake why am I putting myself though this. “Back” I shout “I can’t do this – I need to go back up. Phone a helicopter, anything” I yell. “Lady, Lady ees ok, ze orse do not like go over edge. Look……” . With that he tried to drive his horse over the edge, kicking and yelling at him. The horses front legs go rigid and he refuses to move an inch. This scene does not reassure me. I am now hysterical. What if his horse suddenly decides his life is not worth living. Thinks “sod it – if the stupid b….d wants me to jump – I will do it”. “Ok, Ok I yell”. I understand – horses never go over the edge. I must trust my horse, it is a bit like those blimmin drama trust exercises, where you were led forward with a blindfold. I always found it impossible to let go of control. I am a control addict. Well, up the Chilean mountain, I let go. Give up. I resign myself to my fate. Me and horse slip slide together all the way down. My shrieks no long echo back to me, the lesson is learnt.

Back at the bottom of the mountain an unknown reward awaits. A little mountain restaurant open, with tables next to a huge rushing waterfall. Delicious food. Superb chilled Chilean white wine and then …….and then……what I have always prayed for and one day I thought I might open – a restaurant that has beds for after lunch siestas. True. Outside in the fresh mountain air they had long sofa beds. I snuggled down on one, a stray dog curled at my feet and off I went into a deep wonderful sleep. ……hours later I was woken up by a fresh mint tea and warm lemon cake. Bliss.

Lesson to be learnt? If I let go of control lovely things can randomly reach me.

Jenny worked in Chile from 28th March – 10th April 2011 – she was working with the Association of British Schools in Chile. Jenny worked with all the directors, heads of school and principal of primary and secondary schools on one day – and then gave six workshops to 36 schools at a big conference. The others days she worked in-depth in the specific schools with the young people and teachers observing. For some of the time she had translators working with her.

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