Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An Amazing Race...

CRAZY:  Here's me and the contestants (back seat), camera man, and celebrity guest from the Amazing Race (European version: PK Express).  

The other day, I was on my way home from Sagada with my latest trash painting (see below!) when I noticed a gaggle of white people in my village.

They were doing their best to wave down cars.  In three months, I haven't seen another white person in my village, so, after dropping off my stuff at home, Tomayo, my Police officer buddy, drove down with me in the police truck to investigate.  We were immediately swarmed and asked for a ride!  Two Belgians and a Parisienne were urgently trying to get to Baguio.  

Two of them spoke no English, only French-- (which fortunately for them I speak!).  I was able to understand that they were part of a race to get to Baguio.   At the moment they were badly last.  The younger teams were ahead of them with their English and good looks (a group of girls had put on Bikini tops to get a ride!).    

 My mind raced to help them out.  Tomayo could only drive so far in the Police car. Who could help us in Sabangan to get to Baguio? I had Tomayo stop at the mayor's house along the highway.  Mayor Donato, keen to help, had us jump in his highpowered SUV in a stunning display of impetuous generosity.  Off we went!  A crazy, full out, auto-race ensued on the most winding and precarious mountain road that you can possibly imagine.  The mayor was an AMAZING driver and we we took hair pin turns at full speed.   By nightfall-- skimming past the others in outrageous driving maneuvers, we were all queasy, but-- in second place!  

In Baguio, I got them to my friend Akira, who let them sleep at the back of her bar (the rules are that the contestants can't pay for anything and everything has to be given to them).  I bought them dinner.  It was the least I could do for two Belgians-- when I was in their country on my amazing journey, know that I was shown sooo much kindness and hospitality.  My new Baguio buddy, Alvin, stayed up all night with me and we found a van to take them the next morning at 7:55 AM.  

And juuuust in time,  the race began again at 8 AM!  

I am proud to say that Alvin and I got them then up to first (in another outrageous pass that will surely make the show)-- even if we faltered a bit at the end.  They caught a ride in a fast car in the town where they were required to transfer, and off they went!  

I wish them the best of luck and am deeply grateful for the profound lesson in following one's intuition.  

The art of following one's intuition never stops folks.  To waver in one's unending gratitude for each twist and turn, to regret the past, to wish something other than it is-- is to falter on the journey.  To give kindness to anyone at any moment is furthermore the best possible thing you can ever do, no matter the intricacy or solidity of one's own plans in that moment.  Do what you can!  That's what we are here for.

Merci Damien, Noela, Daniel, et Christophe! 

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