Paul Coles, Youthworkerish type guy. Present location: Targu Mures, Romania. Married to an amazing girl named Fiona. I'm on a JOURNEY and have no idea where I'll end up other than in the hands of God.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A first for me...

Fiona and I went to Poiana Brasov today to go snowboarding. I have to say it is not the worlds best ski resort. It's basically a beautiful mountain with only 3 choices of runs. 1. Directly below the gondola, which is steep and icy, 2. a blue trail that basically criss crosses back and fourth across the mountain, or 3. a combination of the first two. Not that much to offer but it was a beautiful day so we didn't mind. It was great just to be out snowboarding again.

But the thing that surprised us most about the day was on one of the gondola rides. We were about half way up the mountain when one of these comes bumbling down the trail below us...

I have to say I was very surprised. Thankfully it was not on a run but just on one of the open spaces under the gondola.

It was tripping over itself running down in the snow. It was heading towards the trees on the other side of the opening but I hope that was as far as it had to go because through those trees it was only about 30 feet to the main ski trail that was crowded with people. I can only imagine the look on some poor lady's face if the bear were to tumble out of the trees in front of her as she snow plowed her way down the rambling blue run. That would be a serious days excitement. But we only got a short aerial view and then we were on to another adventure of our own...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Of Course one of the best parts of our trip was seeing my family.

These are two of my nephews, Clay and Tate. We got to watch them both play hockey. It was great. There is an amazing community atmosphere at kids hockey games in Canada.

Fiona and I with my sister Ange. We got to stay at her house for a few nights. It was definitely great to be able to see my family for the first time in three years.

Hopefully it won't be as long again!...

I had an amazing time in the States and Canada (A.K.A. the promise land) last month, thanks in part to a very generous Livada Board member.

Here are some of the highlights...

Deep sea fishing with my mate Ian. This was an amazing first time experience. I caught a few good fish, including a couple sharks and got to spend the day with two brand new friends, Kenny and Mike.

This was me in the process of fighting a bull shark for 1 1/2 hours. I have never been so tired in my life. The fish was about 9 feet long and he snapped the line just as we got him to the side of the boat. We brought him in from 200 ft down and it seemed like a pointless battle for most of the hour and a half because I would would repeatedly reel in a few feet of line only for him to run out 20 or 30 feet. Very depressing and tiring but perseverance paid off in the end.

The other huge highlight (and I mean literally "HUGE") was getting to drive this amazing vehicle around 9000 acres of Florida swamp land for 2 days. I had never even dreamed that vehicles like this existed, let alone thought that I would drive one. My closest previous experience was watching Mad Max-Beyond Thunder Dome as a kid. But was it ever fun. No tree, ditch, swamp or river can stop these bad boys, but you need a full acre to turn it around. Amazing!