Monday, July 23, 2007

Shocking Experience

just a warning: i wrote my blog entry, then went and read katy's recent ones and I feel a little ashamed...the quality and topic of my writing just does not measure up...but its done now, and its late so here goes...sorry in advance

I have returned to the States, and I thought I'd expedite my reverse culture-immersion by heading out to Girl Scout camp right after coming back. I did get over the jetlag first, it always seems to be better coming from east to west, but was still not used to America's wide open spaces, bigger notebook paper, bigger cars (bigger everything!), or people not speaking french.
I was going to camp to help with a rock climbing trip the High Adventure group was taking to the Red River Gorge. I got there in the morning, and after a bit of warm-up climbing at Swiss rock just off camp property, we headed back to camp to pack for the trip (the girls anyway). Unfortunately, as we headed for camp, so did a massive summer hit just as we were getting ready to go, lashing the camp with wind and buckets of rain. Trailz (a fellow counselor) got a call on the radio for us to head for solid shelter, so we ran for the nearest real building, the concrete block bathhouse constructed several years ago. With 2 units of girls plus counselors, it is rather cramped and hot, so everyone was perched just about everywhere, with Trailz and I claiming one of the middle cleaning-closet doors to lean against.
As the storm outside raged, we consciously tried to avert electrical dangers; we turned off and unplugged the radio, and after several warnings, managed to get a rather annoying camper from opening and closing the main bathhouse doors (complete with metal handle!) We were sitting around, talking...when suddenly, there was a HUGE CRACK!!, that sounded practically on top of us, a blue flash of light, a absolutely ginormous thunder clap...and a stream of electricity, running through our backs and out our shoes into the floor. !!!
Turns out the interior doors are also metal, although painted, and Trailz and I as well as two campers had felt some sort of shock from the lightning. It was just under the threshold of pain, not quite but definitely something, and it definitely moved from my back to my feet. Our backs tingled for 2 hours!!
Needless to say, we moved away from the door...when the storm ended, we ventured forth to find a tree about 50 yards away had been struck, was completely shattered on one side and fallen limbs were everywhere. Not to mention free wood chips. If it did that to a tree 50 yards away and we felt it, I don't want to know what would have happened if it had been closer!! Welcome back to camp, Gemini!

...and while I've heard of reverse culture 'shock', I don't think this is what they meant!!

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