Thanks Todd!!!

This post is dedicated to Todd Moore (Class 4). I think I’ve mentioned him before in my blog, but maybe not with as much gratitude as I will here. This weekend we went on a rafting trip to Hongzhou. This trip was made possible by the connections that Todd made when he was in Shanghai last summer. Now those of you who are familiar with my blog are probably saying, “she’s already been to Hongzhou so what’s the big deal?” While the last trip to Hongzhou was pretty amazing, this one topped the charts for several reasons. First, it was free! That’s right, two nights in a hotel, six meals, a rafting excursion, a hiking adventure, and transportation was provided at no charge to us. Next, we were able to see the countryside of Hongzhou, complete with beautiful mountains, lakes, hiking trails and wide open spaces. It was truly incredible, and we owe it all to Todd!

Now for the third benefit of this trip. After loading the bus and making our way out of the city we did introductions, stating our names and where we were from. We quickly learned that there were people from all over the world on the bus. To be more specific, Columbia, India, Peru, Latvia, Kenya, China, U.S., Brazil, Ecuador were all represented (and I left off a few). What a mix! We were then told to pick teams because we would be participating in a “Drifting Competition.” Little did we know that not only would we be rivaling our bus (the red group) but we would also be competing againt two other groups (the yellow and blue groups) in bamboo and rubber raft races. Becca and I joined three Latvians and a Kenyan to form “The Dominators.” I am pleased to report that we held up to our name and dominated the entire competition, taking the number 1 spot over all groups! We were given some pretty awesome all-weather jackets to mark our victory.

Trenia’s Finale
I’ve mentioned before that Shanghai is a “concrete jungle”, and one must take on a bit of a concrete exterior in order to survive various aspects of this fast-paced city. I do love living in the city because there is always something going on, but this trip to Hongzhou made me realize how much I missed nature. As a southerner, I’ve taken trees and fresh air for granted because they’ve always been a part of my life. After this summer, I don’t think that will ever happen again!

Despite the mosquito attacks, I really appreciated being in the great outdoors. For two days, my life stood still and I was able to enjoy God’s creation. No to do lists or computers, just birds chirping, butterflies fluttering, water flowing, and trees swaying to the command of the wind. Connecting with nature is such a relaxing experience and tends to create an inner peace that can be difficult to find in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. My point is that we should all take the time to appreciate nature. Go for a walk, do some fishing, take a weekend hike, golf, or even sign up for a rafting adventure. Whatever you do, your body, mind, and soul will thank you.

Thanks again Todd!!!

Welcome to my world…expo-sure!!!

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