April 29, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Camaraderie

I've been pumped up on adrenaline for the past few days, rabid with anticipation for my weekend trip to Baja with my new Total Escape friends. Trying to figure out what it is about this group that attracts me so, I realized that I've experienced such camaraderie before. Twenty years ago, I traveled with seventeen other high school students to Honduras, where we would spend one of the best years of our lives. Like the Total Escape group, they were—to a one—flush with the thrill of adventure. Exploring the great outdoors with the Total Escapees rekindles the solidarity and venturesome spirit that I shared with my fellow exchange students in Honduras.

It all began in Choluteca, a town in southern Honduras near the Nicaraguan border (not the safest of places at the time). There, we all spent our first two days in the country going through orientation, getting to know one another and experiencing our first adventures in the local market. The chemistry of our group manifested itself immediately. Our common passion for adventure bonded us together like old friends in those two days.

Daily life in Honduras, immersed in a different culture and foreign language, never ceased to stimulate, but AFS (the agency through which we traveled) nevertheless scheduled several organized tours during the year. As a group, the eighteen of us hung out on the coconut tree-lined, white sand beaches of La Ceiba on the Caribbean coast. In San Pedro Sula, Honduras' second-largest city, we wandered the streets by day and boogied in the discos by night. And most exciting of all, we spent two days exploring the Mayan ruins of Copán in the northwest corner of the country. Each trip was a reunion of like-minded souls. Though we thrilled to the new sights and experiences, our spirit of camaraderie was an adventure all its own. Whenever we got together, the enthusiasm was so palpable you could cut it with a knife.

I haven't felt—haven't been a part of—such raw, positive energy since then... until two weeks ago, when I set off on a grand desert expedition with a bunch of strangers. Just like Choluteca twenty years ago, the strangers became fast friends on that long weekend. That's why I'm bursting with anticipation at doing more with this fun group of people. I remember the magical times that followed the last time I felt such an unbridled spirit of camaraderie, so I can't help but be thrilled by the good times that are sure to come.

 

©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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Previously...

4/28: A Mis Hondureños
4/27: Sunday Night Ramblings
4/26: Hair Band Nostalgia
4/25: Consequences
4/24: Lemon Curry?
4/23: My Father Midas
4/22: Earth Day
4/21: Joshua Tree, Part III
4/20: Joshua Tree, Part II
4/19: Joshua Tree, Part I
4/18: Royal Flush
4/17: A Long Strange Trip
4/16: A New Line to Back
4/15: Still Writing
4/14: Conspiracy Theory
4/13: Los Coronados
4/12: Y2K in Y2K3
4/11: Slow Glass
4/10: Freedom of Speech
4/9: Why We're Fighting
4/8: Eucalyptus Memories
4/7: Sleep
4/6: Writing, Just Not Here
4/5: Sci-Files Trivia
4/4: Sobering Up
4/3: Great White Hope
4/2: Entropy
4/1: Peace on Earth
Previous months in The Archive

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