Indiana Jones and the Volcano

Written by Keith Varnum

Indiana Jones andrepparttar Volcano

Experiencing a live volcano was on top of our agenda when my friend Rob and I visitedrepparttar 122370 exotic land of Costa Rica. The plane touched down inrepparttar 122371 capital city of San Jose, and we headed forrepparttar 122372 car rental to pick up a 4x4 and a map to Mt. Arenal,repparttar 122373 nearest active volcano.

After an arduous drive through torrential rain, we finally arrived in a quiet village supposedly atrepparttar 122374 foot of a fire-belching monster. I say supposedly because it was so foggy, we weren’t even sure a volcano existed. We couldn’t see a tree a block away, let alone a volcanic mountain looming 5,000 feet above us.

Locals claim if you really listen closely, you can hearrepparttar 122375 beast rumble. We never heard a whimper. Byrepparttar 122376 second misty day and night of no sighting, I suspectedrepparttar 122377 local population had fabricatedrepparttar 122378 story of an erupting volcano in order to attract tourist dollars. A volcano of convenience. No muss, no fuss. Just some imaginary rumbling every so often that onlyrepparttar 122379 locals hear from a volcano no one ever sees because ofrepparttar 122380 rain and fog!

Waiting outrepparttar 122381 rain, we were eating a tasty native dinner of red beans and rice at a colorful local dive whenrepparttar 122382 owner ofrepparttar 122383 café strolled over to our table. Without invitation, he plopped himself down. Miguel appeared to me exactly as I’ve always imagined don Juan of Carlos Castaneda fame to look. His face was dark and swarthy with a kind but inscrutable expression. Staring straight into our eyes, he declared in halting English, “You want to know volcano, not just look at it.”

Being a veteran traveler, I have learned to be agreeable in a foreign country and, in general, say “yes” to practically everything spoken to me byrepparttar 122384 locals. Not realizingrepparttar 122385 full import ofrepparttar 122386 distinction betweenrepparttar 122387 words Miguel had used, I responded amicably, “Yeah, yeah, of course, we’d like to knowrepparttar 122388 volcano.”

Without another word, Miguel turned over my paper place mat and began to draw a crooked line. We watched in silence as he guidedrepparttar 122389 pencil overrepparttar 122390 grease-stained paper in absorbed concentration. What emerged was a detailed map of twists and turns with landmarks indicated by little, kid-like pictures of trees, stone walls and tiny shacks to represent a village.

Finished, Miguel sighed and spoke directly into our souls with piercing, green eyes. “This map take you to volcano. To be with volcano—to feel and know spirit of volcano.” Then he laughed softly and cautioned us we would be scared becauserepparttar 122391 volcano would definitely erupt when we were there. “But volcano not harm you,” he added hastily. With a wistful look in his face, Miguel shared how he has picnicked atrepparttar 122392 edge ofrepparttar 122393 volcano his whole life andrepparttar 122394 towering inferno had never harmed him. His words only mildly consoled me.

The sound ofrepparttar 122395 cold, drenching rain woke us at dawn. We still couldn’t see or hearrepparttar 122396 volcano. Sincerepparttar 122397 downpour discouraged us from any tourist activity, we decided we may as well get soaking wet following Miguel’s map to wherever it led.

We drove uprepparttar 122398 steep mountainside untilrepparttar 122399 rugged jeep road ended abruptly at a craggy cliff. I was very surprised Miguel’s hand-drawn map actually corresponded to what we found on our journey. We followed our friend’s makeshift chart through a hole in a fence, up a circuitous rocky path, over many collapsed lava rock walls and past long-deserted fruit orchards. The trail ended at an imposing 300-foot wall of solid volcanic lava flow so jagged and sharp we couldn’t climb it.

Fortunately for us, Miguel had anticipated this challenge. Atrepparttar 122400 edge ofrepparttar 122401 lava flow, his map showed a naturally camouflaged trail throughrepparttar 122402 dense rainforest. We plunged intorepparttar 122403 dark primeval forest. The jungle growth was so thick with vines and roots,repparttar 122404 path so muddy and slippery, I felt we’d dropped into a comic scene right out ofrepparttar 122405 Harrison Ford movie “Indiana Jones andrepparttar 122406 Raiders ofrepparttar 122407 Lost Ark.” During one hilarious moment, Rob and I both lost our footing and, clutching each other, slid back down fifty feet ofrepparttar 122408 mudslide trail. Grabbing overhanging vines, Tarzan-style, savedrepparttar 122409 day—and our necks! Our guardian angels must get a lot of overtime pay!

Undaunted and filled withrepparttar 122410 rush of adventure, Rob and I helped each other stand up, pull ourselves together and restartrepparttar 122411 climb. Clawing and scratching our way throughrepparttar 122412 rainforest, we finally reachedrepparttar 122413 top ofrepparttar 122414 lava flow. My first impression was how very windy and cold it was up there for a tropical climate. The pouring rain and dense fog had persisted, obliteratingrepparttar 122415 view of anything more than a foot in front of us. As we inched our way alongrepparttar 122416 top ofrepparttar 122417 volcanic rock, I remembered how Miguel had told us of his many idyllic picnics here with his friends. Not very conducive weather for a picnic on this morning!

Suddenly, a booming roar filledrepparttar 122418 air, followed by a very powerful rumble that reverberated throughout our bodies. We feltrepparttar 122419 Earth roll in one undulating wave after another! Even though Rob and I had never experienced an eruption before, we instinctively knew this wasrepparttar 122420 volcano showing its might. The ground continued to heave in unnerving spasms. People-size boulders sped past us downrepparttar 122421 slope. Flying rocks were propelled into nearby trees,repparttar 122422 sheer force imbeddingrepparttar 122423 projectiles cleanly into their trunks. We heard and felt nearby avalanches crashing their way downrepparttar 122424 mountain. We could only see a fraction ofrepparttar 122425 devastation because ofrepparttar 122426 blinding downpour, but our bodies definitely registeredrepparttar 122427 massive rearrangement all around us.

A sharp electric terror shot through every cell of my body. Its message was explicit and commanding, “Leave! Now! You must go now to save your life.”

I shouted to Rob, “We’re out of here! It’s not safe!” To my astonishment, he shook his head from side to side indicating he didn’t want to go.

“I’m staying. This is too cool!” he yelled overrepparttar 122428 roar ofrepparttar 122429 wind and falling rock. He was nineteen years old. His sense of novelty and exploration was still stronger than his sense of danger and good judgment. I started to argue. I made zero impression onrepparttar 122430 brash, young daredevil.

Then another explosion rocked our world. I watched in horror asrepparttar 122431 heat, ash and force ofrepparttar 122432 blast denuded a huge 200-foot tree in one second, stripping off all its leaves and limbs. If this volcano could do that to a tree, it could dorepparttar 122433 same to us! I knew with certainty I was supposed to leave posthaste.

Jumping offrepparttar 122434 top ofrepparttar 122435 lava mound right intorepparttar 122436 rainforest, I bolted without another thought. I threw myself intorepparttar 122437 “Raiders ofrepparttar 122438 Lost Ark” express mudslide, ridingrepparttar 122439 flowing water and sludge throughrepparttar 122440 dense jungle growth downrepparttar 122441 side ofrepparttar 122442 still-quaking mountainside. In what seemed like only a few seconds, I arrived atrepparttar 122443 bottom ofrepparttar 122444 lava flow. The path was certainly faster and easier going down than climbing up! For a brief moment, I lay soaked torepparttar 122445 bone, resting in a mud puddle, my ripped clothes covered with brown muck.

Recovering some of my composure, I became aware forrepparttar 122446 first time of heat radiating fromrepparttar 122447 lava flow smoldering several feet to my left. I crawled inrepparttar 122448 direction ofrepparttar 122449 flow until I was within a few inches ofrepparttar 122450 mass. To my surprise,repparttar 122451 air felt like I had just opened a 400-degree oven. The surface was so hot, I instinctively jumped back a few feet. When we first arrived earlier inrepparttar 122452 morning,repparttar 122453 extremely cold wind and pelting rain had so neutralizedrepparttar 122454 radiant heat fromrepparttar 122455 lava, we didn’t even noticerepparttar 122456 temperature.

Love Your Way to Success

Written by Hershey Wier, MBA

One ofrepparttar most important things I learned back in business school was that promotions often don`t depend on one`s job skills, but on interpersonal skills. It was impressed upon us that an employee could haverepparttar 122369 best skills inrepparttar 122370 department, but if he/she could not get work done through people, cooperate with people, then that employee could be going nowhere fast, in spite of wonderful skills.

So, with all ofrepparttar 122371 back-stabbing and jockeying-for-position in today`s tough marketplace, you might ask, "What`s love got to do with this?"

Love is connected to money. Ifrepparttar 122372 word "love" is too strong for you, then you could tryrepparttar 122373 word "like." People do all sorts of things for other people, simply because they like or love them. Parents buy and do all sorts of things for their kids because they love them. The same goes for friends and lovers. When you get a promotion, you get more money, and since love is connected to money, love is also connected to promotions, love is connected to success. Seerepparttar 122374 logic?

We often hearrepparttar 122375 saying "business is business." It gives onerepparttar 122376 impression that as soon as human beings enter a business situation, we can automatically shut our feelings off. That feelings do not affectrepparttar 122377 outcome of business decisions. In any business situation, all things being equal, you`ll do your business with those for whom you feel an affinity. In some cases, decisions are based solely on practical variables, such as price. However, even then, you will wisely avoid doing business withrepparttar 122378 cheaper bid if your gut feeling tells you that something isn`t right - something seems dishonorable or "fishy." In short, *you don`t like*repparttar 122379 person orrepparttar 122380 situation.

So, how do you start loving your way to success? Well, it isn`t by getting touchy-feely with your co-workers, particularly if that is not your natural self. Be yourself. What matters is what`s going on inside of you. I have worked in some hostile work environments, and as you may know, it takes a saint in order to keep from thinkingrepparttar 122381 worst about co-workers who are determined to make your life miserable.

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