Well I Bought 200 feet of Rope

Katie Vogel doing a crazy nighttime rappel with her new rappelling gear, courtesy of Midwest Mountaineering, thanks for the gear and good advice, guys!

And now I rappel off trees in suburbia, Minnesota. My life has changed a lot in the past 2 months! I went to Costa Rica to do the Leadership Semester at Costa Rica Outward Bound , where I earned 7 phenomenal certifications, including and limited to: Waterfront Lifeguard, Scuba diver, CPR/First Aid/AED for the Professional Rescuer, Wilderness First Responder (/backcountry badass), Technical Ropes Rescue Operations, Whitewater Rescue Technician, and Raft Guide Level I-II. Wow pretty cool, eh?

In Costa Rica, we saw things like this: 

And did things like this:

Lifejacket Litter
WFR Class - Litter made entirely of whitewater equipment, including lifejackets, paddles, and rescue rope throwbag.

And slept in places like this:

Hut over the sea, Bocas del Toro, Panama - we slept in hammocks and sleeping bags while a gentle sea breeze cooled us in the tropical nights.

Overall a good time. I will be putting all the pictures on photobucket soon and will send the link along.

Now the eternal question: what next, Katie?

Well now that I have 200 ft of rope and I’m selling all my other worldly possessions at the Vogelian Adventure Sale this Thurs-Sat April 12-14 (see previous post), it only seems fitting that I move to Boston to become a sailor and – perhaps even more excitingly – become a writer and WRITE MY BOOK!

Yes. The VOGELIAN ADVENTURE ATLAS is officially in production! I learned a lot at Costa Rica Outward Bound – technical skills, leadership skills, how  to encounter a sloth skills. But I make a bold posit that the most important thing I learned in the past 2 months is that I am stronger than I know, wiser than I think, and capable of creating great and miraculous changes if only I believe I can do that sort of thing.

At Outward Bound, I learned that interactions with other humans and nature bring out the best and worst qualities in you, and you grow from recognizing those qualities, discarding the ones you don’t need, and developing those that serve you and others around you. I learned that I am a great teacher. In fact, everyone is a great teacher – even the people I thought I would never EVER get along with (spending 24/7 time with 9 people for 2 months is a TRIP) became my closest friends and advisors, and the fact that we started with little in common means I learned all the more from them.

This mysterious picture, along with many other mysterious pictures, will appear in the Vogelian Adventure Atlas

I have collected many stories of all the teachers I have encountered in the past 5 years, and it is high time they were published, because they’re hilarious and heartwarming and beautiful and wise, and of course humble and ever confident, as is the Vogelian tradition. Many maps, many poems, many stories of crocodiles,  broken spirits, pirates, Mississippi River vagabonds, and ultimately redemption of human folly by the undeniable beauty of – as so eloquently stated by my good fellow John Steinbeck – “man’s proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit” in spite of great opposition from a world burdened by fear and doubt. Should be rather a good read.

I will leave you today with a rather haunting and inspirational poem I wrote while listening to my friend from Costa Rica speak about his experience of being caught up in a drive-by bicycle shooting. Thanks for reading, be in touch.

Motion and Light

It’s candles on faces, voices in places,

A shadow, a door, a movement, a choice,

A string or a shell or a bell in the air,

A flare in the night, a luminous stare.

A leaf falling softly from tropical trees,

A jaguar that cuts through the brush like a knife,

A martini glass with three olives, a twist

Of the corkscrew alone brings dead soldiers to life.

The look of the wanderer through windows and walls

As she walks into nothing with wings open wide,

The tails of her speeches wash up on the beaches

And swirl with the pearls of the tears she has cried.

Wild wise words echoing down hallways and spaces,

Old stories that spin and appear on the walls,

Water towers so tall they send rain like the clouds

Down to earth toppling tyrants wide-eyed as they fall.

The flow of emotion through hands and through hearts

That conjures the best, draw a line in the sand,

The actions that dash thoughts of doubt from the masses

And waste no time proving feats of woman or man.

And we sit here the ten, confined by the circle

Of fear we created and soon will destroy,

Eating our words, never quite feeling sated,

As motion and light filter sound from the noise.

If you have any questions about the Vogelian Adventure Sale, my travels in Costa Rica, buying a website or limerick, employing me as a personal assistant or otherwise helping me fund my endeavors, my plans to be a sailor and to invent new forms of adventure transportation, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to comment here or email me at kvogel.esq@gmail.com

Another tale, another time! Good day.

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