On Thursday morning, my medical school roommate's mom (who is much fun, and just got inducted into the the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame) picked me up for brunch the next morning, and then swung by her house with me and completely outfitted me with all the winter sports gear I needed - what a blessing!
I took a shuttle up to Keystone, where the crew was staying - we had rented two condos. My friend from high school, Clay, was spending the week in Vail, and came over for dinner Thursday night, and then came back over the pass Friday to hang out.
I am a complete snow sports novice, and decided to try snowboarding. Clay snowboards, and spent Friday morning patiently teaching me. If it hadn't been for him, I don't think I would have stuck with it - he's a fantastic teacher! (and apparently doesn't need a coat)
Clay got to board by himself that afternoon while I took a lesson, and became quite familiar with planting my tail whenever I felt like it (and sometimes when I didn't). It's a lot easier to sit than stop! :)
This was the crew (or a substantial bunch of them) at lunch - we would meet up and chow down together between morning and afternoon runs. I was amazed at how dehydrated I got!
I took a second full day of lessons on Saturday and became more proficient at standing up all the way down the hill - I find it much easier to go down forward (heel edge) than backward (toe edge)! Definitely still a beginner, but thought I made a lot of progress - sorry I don't have a picture of me looking cool on the snowboard. :) My friend Mark came Saturday for skiing (he's not a boarder) and dinner.My tracks! It snowed a LOT on Saturday, and Sunday dawned bright and clear, so I went snow shoeing. I climbed up about as far as I could make it, sat down on the snow for a while, and had a good chat with God. It was spectacularly beautiful!
Mark came back over the pass to pick me up for the ride back to Denver on Sunday - the combination of clear blue sky and lots of fresh snow over Loveland Pass made for some great photo ops!
I think I'm going to try snowboarding again - improving, however slowly, at something that challenging is sort of addictive! So what's next? I have a CRAZY spring schedule!!!
March 17-31: Madagascar
April 1-9: back to Kenya
April 16-23: EIS Conference (I have to make a presentation on my Niger work, and recruit my successor!!)
April 30-May 15: back to Madagascar
May 16-30: Lord (and ERC) willing, back to Kenya
June 2-8: Paul and Christy (my brother-in-law and sister), my niece Jessica, and my nephew Casey in town!!!
June 28-July 2: in Dallas for my sister Laura's wedding
July 3-July 7: in Madras (India) for my former roommate Aruna's wedding!
I will try to keep this updated! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!!