Sunday, August 28, 2005

Out of Thin Air (Pt 2)

You can read part one of this exhilarating story here.

So there we were, climbing into a cargo door on the side of a small prop plane with a few other crazies. As Jeremy said, with the long wait, just sitting around watching other people going up and coming down our nerves had pretty much settled down. No big deal. We’re going to get on this plane, strap ourselves to the instructors, and jump out.

No big deal until the plane starts down the runway, and you realize “I’m going to strap myself to this instructor and we are going to jump out of this plane. WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE WE DOING??!!!!”

Because we were first-time skydivers, we were doing tandem jumps, which means you are each with your own instructor. He wears the parachute. You wear the instructor, like a big backpack.

There were two other people jumping with us. A young college-aged dating couple. He had done it before. She was freakin’ out. I heard the guy’s instructor ask him, “Who is your best friend?” “She is.” “Wrong. I am. I’m wearing your parachute.”

So by now the plane has been climbing for a few minutes and the ground is way too far away. There was also a team of professional skydivers in the plane with us. I saw one of them open the cargo door and climb out onto the outside of the plane. Now at this point, it’s a somewhat surreal experience. I’m thinking, “people don’t do that in real life. You only do that in a movie. Hasn’t anybody told this guy that you only do that in a movie?” But the next thing I knew, the whole team of jumpers was gone. They just vanished. Our instructors had us get intimately close to them while they hooked our harnesses to theirs, and then Jeremy and I played paper-rock-scissors to see who would go first. He won… or lost, depending on how you look at it.

About this time, the terrified girl and her instructor make their way to the door. She gave a blood-curdling scream as if someone was about to push her out of a plane at 10,000 feet or something. My guy says, “wow, that was quite a scream. Think you can match that?”

Now, if you don’t know Jeremy, he isn’t a big guy. And by not a big guy, I mean about the size of your average middle-schooler. So his instructor says, “pick up your feet.” And he walks over to the door carrying Jeremy like a kid in one of those baby carriers.

“Are you ready? 1…2…3”

And suddenly I’m alone in the airplane with my instructor. We shuffle over to the door and stand at the edge. I can see Jeremy falling to the earth, already hundreds of feet away. I wait to hear the countdown, but we just stand there watching the others fall helplessly from 10,000 feet, reaching speeds of 120mph. Finally, he says the magic words, we lean forward, and it’s all down hill from there.
After falling for a minute or so, he pulls the ripcord. I can see the others drifting gently to the ground under their bright colored canopies. He gives me the handles and let’s me control our flight for a while. You can actually experience quite a few Gs if you get the parachute turned just right. Then he took back the controls and guided us down for a nice landing. Jeremy was on the ground already. We got unhooked and made our way to the barn, watching the freak-out girl come soaring down with her instructor. She was about to puke… which sort of ruined her boyfriend’s plans for a post-skydiving proposal, but I think it all probably worked out in the end.

We called our mothers and let them know we survived the experience – they were very appreciative – and then we bought some pictures as hard evidence of the adventure. I’d post it here, but I don’t know how.

But that’s the story of how we cheated death.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

New Beginnings

I have a special two-part post in the on-deck circle, but it isn't ready yet. However, there is a lot going on here and I didn't want to let so much time pass that my posts would become irrelevant. The most recent big news is... I started med school this week!!! Praise God!!
It all began last week with orientation on Friday. Then Saturday, after more orienting, we had our White Coat ceremony, where they give us our first short white lab coat, we sign the school honor code, and then all together we recite a version of the Hippocratic Oath. It was a nice ceremony, but watching 280 students walk across the stage one at a time, each attempting to gracefully allow someone else to put a coat on them wasn't exactly an exhilarating experience. Except, of course, when that one student was me... I'm sure everybody loved that part of it. Anyway, this week is a combination of orientation and classes, i.e. Gross Anatomy lecture and lab. We already began dissecting our cadaver. It took some getting used to at first, but my whole group seemed to adjust rather quickly to the idea. So far, so good. I think only one person in my class has passed out so far.
So that's what's new here. Thank you for all the prayers that have been such great support up to this point. Please don't stop - I'm sure my need for support and strength and stamina and courage and hope will only increase from here on out. So thank you.
In addition to all that, I am meeting tomorrow with Dr. Javier Sevilla, who happens to be from Trujillo, Honduras. He is a director of the Hispanic and Latino Health program at IU as well as the faculty advisor for the Society of Latinos student interest group. He is also interested in missionary medicine. We are going to meet together regularly to work on Spanish and to discuss and work on the improvement of health care for the Hispanic community in Indianapolis. It should be the beginning of a good experience. Pray that God would open doors as well as my mind.
I better get back to the anatomy books.
more exciting news to come in a few days... remember to check back.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Thanks for the Quiz, Niki

is it accurate?

You are Proverbs
You are Proverbs.

Which book of the Bible are you?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

End of the Line

Well, I haven't posted in quite a while. But this week is the final week before school begins. I actually have orientation this weekend. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. But it will be great... I hope. This week promises to be full of busyness and excitement.
No exciting stories right now, but I feel a few coming on, so keep checking back.