Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sea Rafting and Paintball Fun (29 May)

Despite our intentions of the previous night, we don’t get up for sunrise the next morning.  We do, however, get up in time for breakfast and a walk on the beach before heading out for sea rafting. 

The sea rafting is one of the things I’m most anticipating on this trip as I love water sports.  I was an avid rower and canoeist at school and, having experienced white water rafting in July 2010 while working at a summer camp in the US, I’m eager to compare it to sea rafting now.  Unfortunately, Korea’s idea of sea rafting means 15 people per boat, which is simply too many.  The company that offers the sea rafting though is fantastic and we have a good time warming up before heading out to the water.   I’m delighted to hear the conversations of my teammates who are all talking about having been avid rowers themselves; I’m hoping that this means we’ll all be keen for a bit of water fun.  I’m disappointed, however, when the majority of girls on my raft complain about getting wet.  Who signs up for a sea rafting trip and then complains about getting  wet?

Crazily, ByungMin, whose military service was completed in the marines, is swimming behind the boats rather than rafting.  When we head back to shore, we’re told that we can play around in the water for a bit before we commence with more games.  Again, the girls complain about not wanting to get wet when we have dragon races and, as is customary on AK trips, Catfish and I are in the front egging people on to participate.  Despite losing the dragon race, and failing hopelessly in the chicken fights, we have a lot of fun but are famished.  After a quick lunch, we change and our group splits: we head to paintball while the rest of the group heads back to the beach for a chilled afternoon. 

You Shot Me!

This is the first time I’m playing paintball and although I’m fairly confident that I’m not a bad shot, I’m a little nervous.  The uniforms that we’re given to wear during the games are actual Korean military uniforms and they’re hot – particularly since the Kiwis at work advised me to wear jeans and a long sleeved shirt for paintball!  I feel like I’m suffocating when I put the helmet down and I can feel the sweat trickling all over my body; we’re all feeling uncomfortable but we’re ready to play after a short demonstration of how to shoot the paintball guns and safety rules.  We’re also a little unnerved when we learn that some of our group members are actually military guys and have a distinct advantage in combat.

With less than a minute to the end of the first game, I’m shot in the head by one of my own team members.  Disappointed to be killed so late in the game, I’m eager for a second chance in the next game.  Unfortunately, while lying under a bush where I think I’m well hidden, I feel a fatal shot in the back of my neck.  I later learn that the shot was administered by one of the GIs who tells me that he actually stepped back several feet before shooting me so that he didn’t hurt me.  The final game is Last Man Standing.  I find a hiding spot early on and can hear two guys near me discussing their strategy.  When I see someone stand, I open fire and, on hearing the screams, I realise that I and the two guys near me have shot Catfish who is shouting that she’s dead.  The two guys then turn on me and, despite shouting that I’m dead, continue to fire off several paintballs in my direction – one of which hits me squarely on the elbow.  Catfish is walking past us on her way off the field and helps to tell the two guys to stop shooting so that I can leave.   We take a few action photos while waiting for the game to end and then get changed.

Thankful to be out of the hot uniforms, we head back down to the bus to collect our bags before making our way to the Daecheon bus terminal to go back to Gunsan while the AK bus heads back to Seoul.  On the way home, I can’t help but think of Cute Doc’s response when he sees the nice welt and bruise on the elbow that he had just been working on for previous pain.

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