As an apprentice with One Year Lease, it’s rare to not be in a rehearsal of some kind or another. And with only a month to create a piece, it makes sense! However, the program does have some built in free time, allowing us to explore all the wonders of Papingo. This past Monday (Sundays & Mondays are our break days) we took a rafting trip. Our journey began up in Mikro, where we zipped into wetsuits. We hopped into a van and made the long and winding journey down the mountain until we reached the river bank. We finished our fashionable fits with a pair of water shoes, a life jacket, and a helmet. Everyone was given a paddle, and after some basic instructions, we were off! The larger group was split into 5 boats, and it immediately turned into Splash Wars: Instigators vs. Pacifists TM. The river water was FREEZING, having come from high within the mountains, and I cringed at every drop until the wet suit slowly warmed me up. Our rafting guide was super cool, encouraging our musical antics and explaining the region great detail. As we passed through the gorgeous scenery, the ride felt unreal- never ending rock formations, groves of trees with roots creeping down from the bank into the river, water in a million shades of blue. The area’s perfect beauty felt like something crafted for a Disney World ride, and I kept giving myself gentle reminders that this is nature’s reality. Despite the captivating world around us it was necessary to keep paddling, which required a keen sense of synchronization. As our guide emphasized the importance of being together and listening to commands, it clicked in my head- this was just like Greek Chorus work! Throughout our theatre workshops earlier in the week, we had been focusing religiously on peripheral vision within the group and seeing everyone at all times. This concentration allows one to more easily receive and to react the movement of others, whatever that means in the moment. Once our rafting group realized what skills we needed to apply, there wasn’t a moment that we didn’t start or stop at the same time. My boat mates and I relished the realization, and happily paddled our way down the river (effectively getting far ahead from any splashers). As we neared the end of the relatively calm trip, there was one last hurdle- we had to get past the dam. Being an apprentice has reinforced in me that ‘the only way out is through’—and that’s exactly what we did. As we sat perched atop the dam, our guide urged us all into the front seats of the raft. We bounced and jumped and shimmied our way down the hill until we freely slid our way down, laughing the whole time. This was my first rafting trip, and I’m happy to check it off as a success. It was such a great way to bond and explore, and it was the perfect way to slide us into a fresh new week of work.
-Kaiti Barta, 7/29