Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We Are Definitely Not in Kansas Anymore...

This is what I have noticed after a year of living overseas...

Living is living, no matter where you rest your head, 90% of the time.  There are still bills to be paid (please water company, I've paid you--stop sending me your love letters), a house to still be cleaned (preferably before the in-laws get here), and normal, universal, activities that find themselves into the weekly routine (coffee stop? check, reading time? check, grocery shopping? check).  

But then there comes that other 10% of life in a foreign country, the times when something happens that makes you think, "Yep, definitely not in my previous parameter of experience." 

Dave and I went for a pretty typical mountain bike ride this morning.  We like to bike up a trail (read service road) next to the Cerro Blanco Wilderness Reserve.  The trail, named the 5.07 Cerro, is very popular with local riders and happens to be just down the street from our neighborhood.  Needless to say, it has become a ride we do once or twice a week.  

The ride is usually not too much out of the ordinary...you climb, you descend.  Pretty basic.  But today, about 3/4 of the way through the climb, Dave and I both stopped our bikes and said to each other, "Well, we wouldn't experience this biking in Idaho."  We had found ourselves surrounded by, what I can only guess to be, dozens of howler monkeys.  And boy, were they howling.  We could hear the echoes of their cries for about a mile of our climb, and if I go by the volume of the chatter, they were only about 30 to 50 feet away.  It was incredible, and just one more of those things that makes me stop and remember that I really am on the adventure of lifetime.