By Paula Esteban
It was a cloudy and rainy day, which was refreshing after the heat wave of the days before. We hopped on Eve´s and Nick´s vans on our way to the Whitewater rafting. I was very excited about the raft trip on the Deerfield River as a teambuilding activity and as an outdoor activity in the middle of nature at an amazing spot. The river is surrounded by woods and mountains and there was fog over water. That was magical landscaping and a perfect day for rafting. As we got to the facilities, we wore the life jacket vests and helmets, and got the paddles, we felt like we were going on a real adventure. We got divided into four groups, each group with an experienced instructor on a raft. After all the safety instructions, some of us were scared and the instructors explained that it is a very safe river and a very tranquil trip with only one class 3 rapid. They told us that in the last three years no one has accidentally fallen into the water during this white river rafting. Well, 15 professors from across the world rafting may change that statistic: during the class 3 rapid, one professor fell into the water and quickly the instructor grabbed her by her life jacket vest and immediately she was back on the raft with no injuries, but wet and missing one shoe! That was a real adventure! When we got back from the rafting we enjoyed watching the pictures and spotting all the different faces and reactions during the activity. We had a great time!
After almost 25 days together we have already felt like a cohesive team, but during the raft experience, we could create a momentum that increased our trust in each other’s and enhanced our collaboration. The rafting was a mix of adventure, laughs, and fellowship. I am sure that was an unforgettable experience for all.
All opinions expressed by the program participants are their own and do not represent nor reflect official views from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, or of the Institute for Training and Development, Inc.