Hello from Jake - Jen and I thought it might be interesting if Thom and I also do a few posts on her blog, so folks might see what we're up to from a few different perspectives, so here goes. For those of you who don't know me I'm her boyfriend and one of the, very lucky, long-term students going along to take part in her level five assessment.
Right now it's six hours and fifteen minutes till we have to have ourselves to the airport for a 6:20 departure. Jen's currently taking a break, but I'm sure she'll be up the rest of the night taking care of last minute kayak shop organization.
Jen surprised me on this trip by being pretty much completely packed two nights before we're due to take off. This time it's me running around at the last hour buying batteries, travel munchies for the long flight, and a travel sized bottle of shaving cream (I hardly ever remember to shave here but somehow it seemed necessary) . To say I'm excited is an understatement, it's to the point where I hardly have an appetite. Jen seems a little tense but nowhere near as bad as one might expect. I think as soon as the airplanes wheels touch down she'll be able to relax a lot.
This is the first time overseas for me, to many peoples surprise I got my first passport just for this trip. I've had to explain to them that traditionally in the place where I grew up world travel was done mostly by people who were being sent off to fight wars. I can't wait to experience the culture, people, and food of a completely new place. Of course many will say geeze man you're only going to Scotland, it's not THAT different, they even mostly speak english. To that I say pick up a map or chart and try to read the place names, and you thought Stachovak was spelled strange. I've always been able to understand most of what a Brit or Scott said to me, but when they talk to each other, forget it.
Kayaking will be the main focus on this trip, Jen's assessment and our own paddles, but I'm also looking forward to doing some hiking, and perhaps touring a scotch distillery to see where my dad's favorite drink comes from. In addition, as strange as it sounds, (if I get a chance) I'd like to snoop around a home construction site just to see how things are put together over there. I guess half a lifetime of building and designing houses just makes me interested. Of course I'm going to have to sample a pasty while we are there if anything just to see how they compare to the ones my mom makes.
That's all for now, I've got to get these new batteries in my camera.