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Sunday, July 08, 2007

River Wild!



I am writing from Maine, a great get-away state, full of natural wonders and adventure. Every year we try to go white water rafting as a family. It is an incredible adventure! It appeals to everyone: and it is impossible to feel sad, angry, distant when you are battling pounding waves and skirting huge rocks!

Tomorrow we are tackling the Kennebec River, and it's not an ordinary day: there is a scheduled dam release, which means eight thousand cubic square feet of water will flood the river, causing enormous waves. Adrenaline injected, heart thumping excitement!

Rafting is a great team-building exercise in addition to just being fun. For families, work colleagues and friends, rafting requires excellent communication skills and solid teamwork. Our guide is clearly the leader, and we are his team. He shouts commands while steering the raft, and we paddle, rest and give feedback as he needs it. The constant action as we battle wave after wave, and huge rapids, means that we have no time to argue or question his leadership. As we have children with us, we are constantly watching out for each other, to ensure safety. It's fantastic to watch your child's confidence grow as he or she faces his or her fears, overcomes them, and takes pride in completing a very challenging and often frightening course. I always learn a lot about teamwork and about myself when I raft.

Tommy will infuse before heading out for the day. I know a lot of kids with hemophilia do white water rafting, and it's a great physical activity for kids with hemophilia.

Afterward we'll have dinner with the entire rafting group and laugh about our fears and our adventures. What could be better than this? Well... skydiving! August 18! Stay tuned!

Book I am reading: "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dosteovsky. Considered one of the greatest novels of all time, it is a tough read at 540 pages. The dialog is detailed and intricate, requiring great concentration (one paragraph of one character's speech is three pages long!). It takes dedication but is well worth it. A fascinating study on the actions we choose and their consequences. Four stars.

(Photo: The Kelleys with friend Sean O'Sullivan and guide Steve)

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