I'm just back from my three day hiatus in a beach house in Toco (a remote seaside community on the north-eastern tip of the island) with two former colleagues and a handful of their students.
It was just what the doctor ordered - a complete break from routine, different spaces and faces, and a hike through the forest to a hidden waterfall and rock pool in Rampanalgas! It was goooooood to throw on the old backpack and plod through the rain, sodden leaves, mud and roots, thinking of nothing but the next foothold. It was liberating to plunge into the ice cold pool and swim around while the boys leapt screaming from a ledge high above the deep end. To watch the fish skulking in the dark shadows. To breathe clean, moist air smelling of mist and green things. To wade through the stream, to scramble over boulders and fallen trees.
The only casualty was my cell phone. I don't think Nokia designed it for hiking through pouring rain. I'm not burying it yet, though. My son had one that was famous for its miraculous recoveries after being repeatedly shattered and drowned.
I got back at sunset today, fired up the computer and what did I find? Another Google alert, and another review - one that I can read, too... This one is by Harriet Klausner, and a bit of research revealed a fascinating article about her from Time magazine.
Thank you, Ms. Klausner. You're my first, and hell, I'm happy.