Monday, 14 January 2013

The warm glow

This was the parting shot of how we kick-started 2013: a final powder run up on a mountain above Jajce, bathed in the golden light of a glorious sunset. As introductions to a new year go I can't remember one that has been as exciting and satisfying, so exhausting and downright painful. No pain, no gain is a well worn cliche but, this time at least, it was well worth playing through the former to see the later.

I'm not a gambling guy in the Vegas sense but there was a reasonable dose of risk taking involved in organising what we've been up to for the last week. We had to have the equipment in place; there had to be snow on the right mountains; we had to have found people who'd rise to the challenge; we had to hope our snowboarding friend would work well in translation; not to mention trying to convince onlookers that what we were planning was legitimate youth work and not an excuse for play time. As I sit here, nursing my aches, on the other side of this adventure I know a question mark only continues to hang over that last part. The equipment came together, good snow fell, our young people surpassed themselves and Iain, on his first visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, handled teaching with translation like a seasoned pro.

If I have one regret it is that he didn't get as much play time as I had promised, but his suggestion that we use Saturday's day off to film snowboard tutorial videos was too good to pass up. That Saturday was the best weather day for filming so far this year was a most welcome bonus. My job is now to edit these videos and get them online as quickly as possible. His challenge is that if you watch them and apply them you could go from nothing to snowboarding properly in two days. I've seen it work. If you are up for the challenge and need and mountain to practise on I can see one from our kitchen window!

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