My name is Wenjee. Here. The D’s are pronounced like J’s. T’s sound like ch. Which is to me, hilarity for when the Brazilians try to speak English. With a hand up, they will tell me to “waitch”.
The trash here is a little bizarre. They don’t have alleys in the city like we do… where we throw our tidy bags of trash into a bin. Everything here goes right on the street. Bags, loose trash, food, flyers.. It looks terrible by the evening, but starting at around ten o’clock, or even a little earlier, they bring out giant brooms and start sweeping. And the garbage trucks come by with enthusiastic, cheerful collectors shortly after.. around midnight-ish and wrap up the collection by six-ish.
The one thing I won’t miss for a second about South America are the baños. No paper is thrown into the bowl. It is disposed of into the ominously large waste can next to each and every toilet. Many times, you have to pay to use the loo. Many other times, you have to pay for the toilet paper additionally and separately, from a dispenser on the wall. Many times, there is no paper.
Anyway, that’s not really what it’s all about..
I’ve seen at least one other female pilot now. I don’t think she speaks English. We just smile at each other..
Most of the pilots here speak at least one other language… French, Norwegian, Dutch, Italian….and Portuguese. There are a bunch of English speakers, but in a mixed gathering, they prefer to converse in Portuguese because that is the common language of everyone here.
I find myself on the outside of many conversations and am frustrated with my inability to join in. In Colombia, I had a good fifty percentage of understanding… And my friends all spoke English. The rest I could fill in with questioning. slow, but I always got there.
My rate of effectiveness here is very low. I love talking to people. I love to know who they are, where they came from and where they are going. Spiritually and physically…… Which takes some serious language skills to understand and absorb properly.
Today I had a tandem flight with Kevin. We flew 42K from here (GV) to Engineer Caldas. (sp?) we had a perfectly linked flight at cloudbase and a super landing… Which still hurt…. I am frustrated with my prior injury. My ankle is not too bad.. But I can’t run or walk in soft sand with it yet. My rib is still very painful and anything but a gentle landing hurts. I am worried that I may not have as great a landing as the last four times I flew. I’ve been pretty lucky.
Actually, I put it in the bushes on my second one. I have no video of the other three awesome landings, but a very good one of the bush plow-in. It was actually the softest landing I’ve had yet. My feet didn’t even touch the ground.
I was counseled that I shouldn’t advertise the video of this event because it would be “sending the wrong message”. which leads me to another thought..
I think that the accident ratio of paraglider pilots is seriously underreported.
As pilots, we rarely talk about our accidents…. Or events. And when we do, it’s usually jokingly… or with the responsibility for an event falling on the pilot alone. I believe that this is generally true as well. Most events can be attributed to pilot error…. But show me the person that has done anything perfectly. Every time. we are humans. we make mistakes. as pilots, we need to make fewer.
Having the inability to keep anything to myself, I told a couple other people with the same affliction… So, a lot of people found out about my tree landing and came up to me the next day.
“how are you?”
“ummmmm. Fine?….. Why do you ask?”
I found out through this exchange that most of the pilots here already earned their “tree T-shirt” or have had very recent near misses and were just checking on me..
I promise to post the video of the plow-in after I have managed to capture some better landings.
I feel a disturbance in the force. I will depart early.
I am calling the airline and switching my ticket to Costa Rica for a little sooner. I will leave by train and then catch either a bus or cab to the airport at my first opportunity. I think I need to focus on healing my broken body and getting healthy enough to fly with confidence again.
I would prefer to do this with a beach, some coconuts and scantily clad women very nearby. I wish i could go to Rio and spend the time, but my budget won’t allow for that kind of extravagance. Again.
I hope there are women that ride motorbikes with heels on in Costa Rica too.