Colleen Hewitt, a fellow volunteer, captured this photo after the games and delicious food had been played and prepared and eaten and most of our TEFL group were still on site and saying goodbye. We had had a day of fun and relaxation just prior to our swearing in day. Since I had taken a fall during the sack race and inflamed most of my inner thigh muscles that are part of my problem with my hip, I decided to get a slow head start up the hill. Here’s what Colleen said when she posted the photo:
There is always a lesson to be learned. Without knowing it, Karen’s epic photo inspired me. Why? Watching her make her way up this hill while in pain reminded me that even when we stumble and fall we have to get back up. But what do you do after you’ve gotten back up and you’re still in pain? What do you do when the wounds have not healed and you still have to climb that hill we call LIFE… You KEEP MOVING FORWARD!
I’m glad she grabbed the moment in words and a pic (I also hear there’s a video and if so, that should be painful to watch). I’m only slightly embarrassed about the fall but I’m thrilled that the takeaway for the day from most who witnessed it, is that we just get up and keep going. I’m also glad to have the memory saved for me. I know exactly what I was feeling with every single step of that immense hill. “Please God, let me make it. I can’t stop now. I’ll take the pain. Just don’t let me have to quit before I reach the top.”
I made it! But the beautiful lesson was not that my strength or willpower was somehow responsible. The fact is my language leader is also a physical therapist. She assessed me immediately and others ran to get ice. At the top of the hill, Colleen was by my side and the rest of the walk back to the highway. At the highway, Jaclyn showed up and let me lean on her. I was never truly on my own.
Alas, in Peace Corps, metaphors are everywhere!