Monday, May 22, 2006

Salsera sidelined in freak dancing accident

Last weekend, experienced salsa dancer Twinkle Toes was knocked out of the game early due to a stress injury to her big toe. Thinking it was only a strained tendon, she ignored it completely for 3 days, expecting it would heal itself. After the third day, when she could no longer pick her toes up off the floor, TT went to the physio only to discover she had dislocated a small bone in her foot. Evidently it is an old injury that has been continually aggravated by repeated foot abuse in the form of dancing, running, and even walking, and has resulted in an arthritic toe and weakened tendons. Intensive torture in the form of electrotherapy and bone manipulation is improving movement in the affected areas. She is well on her way to recovery, and has been cleared to run again, but she is still experiencing odd tingling sensations in her left foot. With 4 days left in her rehabilitation program, TT hopes to be better than ever shortly.

(This will teach me to dance for 4 hours in high heels.... seriously, this is one of the most bizarre things that has ever happened to me.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

It's life's little accomplishments....

... that mean a lot. Last Sunday I ran a 5k. It damn near killed me, as I haven't really trained, nor have I quit smoking. But I did it. And I did it in 25-28 minutes (there's no official time because the idiots at the finish line weren't recording anyone's numbers with their times. Well done, fellas.) I couldn't have done it without my running partner, whose encouragement kept me from giving up and walking on the last kilometer. Thank you, sir!!

Note: this photo was staged, as our photographer missed us actually crossing the finish line. We were already having coffee by the time he showed up. Oops.

As proud as I am of me, the real kudos go to the Queen of Sweden and the Kiwi Fruit (he's going to kill me for that nickname, but whatever). They both ran the half-marathon, and she ran with no training. The Queen is still limping 4 days later, but she finished. The woman is a machine!!

I blame the Kiwi Fruit for my new found obsession with exercise. I have been going to the gym a lot. For me that usually means going at all, but I've been trying to go at least 3 times a week, and I am actually enjoying running. I really never thought I'd say that. Ever. But it makes me feel good and my ass is starting to crawl back up off the back of my thighs and back up to where it's supposed to be. (Gravity sucks.) I haven't felt this good physically in a long time. I even discovered a stomach muscle yesterday that I could swear wasn't there two weeks ago. My goal, by the time I leave here in 4-6 weeks is to not ache after every time I go to the gym, but I think that's just a part of getting older. *sigh* Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 08, 2006

Winding down

It's almost over. And it's just now starting to truly sink in. I've spent the last two years of my life in a place I'd never really heard of, doing a job I never thought I'd have, for reasons I never thought were important to me. I'm not sure who has learned more in the past 20 months, me or my students, but I know I'll walk away from Kosovo a changed person.

I arrived here optimistic, idealistic and fully energized to change the world, thinking I knew it all and ready to impart my knowledge on the good people of Kosovo. I am leaving knowing that having the know-how to affect change is one thing, actually getting it done is something different all together, and that change isn't always what is necessary - sometimes it's just a little empathy.

I arrived here full of desire to share my world-view. I'm leaving having shared in the world-view of others. Sometimes it was tragic, sometimes inspiring, sometimes infuriating, but it was always from the heart.

I arrived here alone, a one-woman side-show in a circus of international insanity. I'm leaving with a circle of friends (well, family now) that will be with me for the rest of my life.

I arrived here a teacher. I am leaving here a student.

My life has been touched by every person I have met and every experience I have had. Although it hasn't been easy, it was worth every moment in the dark, and in the cold, and every flight of stairs I had to climb carrying 50 pounds of groceries, for the people who shared their stories with me. I arrived with my knowledge, I leave with their wisdom.

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg
Originally uploaded by mgaston123.
Just a little note to let everyone know that I've finally uploaded the pictures from Russia. I'm working on Prague next, but don't rush me. ;P