April 14th, 2003

I'm home, I guess

After 34 hours of traveling, I'm here. Safe and sound. Very happy. So now that I've got the fast connection at JC Diggans's place, allow me to share a few photos.

I spent my last day in Australia bungy jumping. 7 jumps from 120 feet in the air. Its not the tallest tower in the world, but (and I think my mom will agree with me here) its plenty for now.

Here's what it looks like when you're standing at the edge, staring at the incredibly stupid way you've picked to kill yourself.

Here I am during my 7th and final bungy jump. In fact excluding dinner and some cab rides, this was the absolute last thing I did in Australia. By this point I had gotten as close to comfortable as sanity would allow, so I was trying more advanced jumps. This was a single backwards somersault. Note that it was necessary to hold the bungy off to my left to avoid getting tangled. This really was a bit more than just falling off the edge.

And here is a chance to put it all in perspective. I was honestly more teeth chattering fun than I can explain. Every jump began with a sincere "I can't do this" and built, slowly then quickly to "OH MY GOD! I DID IT!" then racing back up the stairs, only to find a variation that seemed even worse than the one before it.

I jumped all day with about 7 other guys, and dozens of other people who came for only a single jump. As we gained confidence from watching each other, and then doing it ourselves we'd compare notes. "Did you thing it was worse when you tried to keep still? How about looking up and watching it all slip away versus looking down and seeing it all coming right at you?" No it wasn't a cerebral day, but it was more introspective than you might suspect. I found it very educational to know what scares me more than others, and what scares me less.

And for those who might still have a bit of a shudder thinking about all of the above. A moment of Zen.

Fijian Sunset

Taken Feb 4 2003 at the Garden Island Resort, Tavauni, Fiji.