In our second city, the camp is located in a lush green mountainous region. But, with mountains, you get stairs which are not steep but numerous and some days, never ending.

Angel jokingly says that we will have athletic calves as a result, but most days I’d opt for flat land. Nevertheless, this is where we are and with the steps we must cope.

You may be wondering, just how many steps does she mean?

Unlike my usual habit I’ve not counted them but a conservative estimate would put them at 24 per level of which there are three to our cottages, plus a dozen more to get into our cottage, at least 3 dozen to climb to the main building where we eat our three meals. So, on an average day, just how many steps do we climb and descend?

The amount is rather staggering since this includes 3 meals in the main building, usually six ascents and descents from our cottage to the other cottage where most of the other teachers are lodged, not including special events!

I’m sleeping an average of 6-7 hours per night. The rest of the time is spent in preparation or cleanup for 2 English classes, 3 art classes and 1 assist in Storytime per day. Most of us have had a stomach virus, sinus problems, and one had a toothache that sent her to the dentist for a whole day. Whew!

My physical pain from my wrists, neck, back, and lower GI tract often pales in comparison to the external and internal stressors I’m facing. One of the roosters in the zoo crows from early morning to late at night.

READ  European Island Retreat 2019: An International Writers’ Gathering

The lightning and thunder in the previous camp and frequently in this one is interspersed with sauna weather.

In America the weathermen talk about the heat index, but here it is more like a sauna index causing me to never step outside the door without a full water bottle and often a cap or sunbrella, an umbrella equipped with a black lining to shield one from the sun’s rays and heat.

Being here in Asia for me can only be taken one hour at a time, sometimes every 10 minutes or one task at a time.