Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week One in Boulder

I made it with a lot of help from my friends and family. Thank you all for such wonderful support even when you probably wanted to strangle me.

Last Friday, August 14th, I arrived in Boulder with two suitcases, my powder blue carry-on bag, and my silver glitter back-pack. As I waited outside on the platform for the Super Shuttle at Denver airport, I reflected that my morning trip was incredibly easy. Tom drove me to SFO and sent me on my way. Downtown San Francisco was incredibly clear that morning as I said good-bye from my seat on the plane.

On the Super Shuttle to Boulder I started chatting with the guy next to me who happened to also be a fellow Naropa student, albeit an undergrad. I chatted with him the entire way to Boulder and discovered that he had lived in Berkeley at a Buddhist retreat center up by U.C. Berkeley. He was coming to Boulder from D.C. It was nice to connect with a fellow student changing environments for the unknown adventure.

The Super Shuttle dropped me off right in front of my apartment and I dragged all of my bags into my tiny (cozy) apartment. I was just happy to be in my own space! I then took a quick walk around the block to Pearl Street, the hip shopping street, to buy some water. I was quickly getting dehydrated.

I returned to my apartment and called my future classmate Kelly to let her know that I arrived and take her up on her offer to stay at her place for the weekend in her spare bed and bedroom until my stuff arrived on Monday. I couldn't be happier with the reception I received from Kelly over the phone. Immediately engaging and cheerful and welcoming and willing to come pick me up in 15 minutes. WOW! What service!

Kelly picked me up from my apartment and I didn't return until Monday afternoon. Kelly introduced me to the lay of the land in Boulder and the surrounding area including Broomfield where she lives. We enjoyed lunch in the park where it proceeded to rain on us-a light shower that quickly passed. And then we had cupcakes and tea. Great cupcakes!

The highlight of the weekend was going to the Rocky Mountains on Sunday. We went through Estes Park and then found our way to the National Park and Kelly's Jeep, Guines, trekked us up a mountain. We were close to 13,000 feet at the top. WOW! A little snow and hail and less oxygen, but it was gorgeous! Amazing! Definitely a place I will return to, I'm sure with many of my California friends.

On Monday we started our week of Orientation at Naropa. Midday Kelly took me to meet the U-Pack delivery man and all went well with this part of the move. The U-Pack crate fit perfectly between two commercial parking spaces so no additional cost to me! We then went back to campus to meet the rest of our cohort. This should be a great year of sharing and learning. And thankfully some of my new classmates came back with me to my apartment to unload my stuff from the crate. It was done very quickly. Of course I was left in an apartment with boxes and dissembled furniture. But I was home.

Over the course of the week we had other Orientation activities focused on the main community of Naropa and the concepts of Contemplative education. I have also been able to settle into my apartment and can happily say that my apartment is pretty much box free. Big kudos goes out to Kelly for all her help with settling in, taking me to Target, and assembling my bed frame. I can now stop dreaming of centipedes-inspired from an encounter with a huge centipede in my kitchen sink and then a baby one that ran across my floor. I hope never to see another one in my apartment again...Fingers crossed!

It has been a very full week. Kelly and I turned to each other yesterday and couldn't believe that it has only been a week-didn't a month already go by? Despite the adjustment to altitude, which still challenges me, and the lack of a routine or knowledge of the area, I feel ready to begin training tomorrow. I look forward to riding my tuned up bike to school tomorrow and settling into some sort of routine. I just need to keep drinking water and stop and enjoy the clouds and mountains every so often. Stunning!

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