Coughcough… I think I’m getting the black lung, pop.

21 Feb

I’ve had some pretty cool field trips in my life. No actually I take that back.. I’ve had some pretty cool days off of school in my life; the field trips (aka museum visits) were less than extraordinary.  But yesterday I had a field trip to Schauinsland-Bergwerk with my International Economic Relations in the EU class (thats the one with the 27 year old professor, Heiko, all the girls adore).  

We were told we were going to a mine and to wear good shoes and clothes that can get dirty.  What would you expect when you were told that?  I went into the trip thinking it was going to be like a cave, which I have visited on a school field trip. We’d see some stalagmites, go “Ohh, ahhh” and be on our way…  Not this time.  At 3pm, the bus drops us off at a tiny village in the crevice of some gorgeous mountains.  We start hiking and by 3:45 we’re walking down a small gravel road and stop at  a tiny opening in the side of a hill. Our guide then proceeds to roll out a cart of yellow hard hats, simultaneously informing us, “You’re going to need these.”  I turn to Heiko and proclaim, “I didn’t wake up wanting to die today”, to which his only response of comfort was, “Me either”.  

We walk a little way into the mine and stop at a table where we attach spotlights to the front of our hats.  YEP, this was legit mining.  To even get into the part of the mine we were touring, we had to climb down six–SIX, PEOPLE, SIX–sets of tiny wooden ladders.  To emphasize how traumatizing this was for me, I can’t even climb the ladder to a lofted bed without my heart racing.  And I had to crawl down these narrow little wooden ladders, in a wet and dark mine.  After I stood at the top, staring down the first ladder, switching back and forth between the phrases, “I don’t think I can do this” and “I hate you Heiko, I hate you”, I eventually sucked it up and started climbing (but I was rambling out of pure fright every step of the way).  I kind of felt like I could go sky-diving after that.  The rest of the mining experience was pretty awesome, except for the part where cave water dripped into my ear.  If I grow a second head, at least its documented why.  The rest can only be understood visually, so here’s my album:

https://picasaweb.google.com/afton.mortensen/SchauinslandBergwerk#

P.S. A cookie to anyone who got the Zoolander reference in my title!

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3 Responses to “Coughcough… I think I’m getting the black lung, pop.”

  1. Doris Block February 21, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    reads like you are keeping a daily journal best thing to do I did when I went to the far East many many yrs ago and you are a writer, seems like the reader is along with you ( I wish) you are obviously learning soooo much in school and in the various countries how about inventing little tear open packages of peanut butter you can carry around with you for when “needed”
    that could make you some change with and without grape jelly just a pkg of crackers and life is good again miss you love you, GDee

  2. Doris Block February 21, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    oh I am glad I didn’t have to go to the mine and down the ladders you definitly deserve a medal for the little trip to the” black hole” been to a couple mines and caves didn’t like going in but is really interesting to do different things keep having fun and learning new and interesting experiences etc etc Love you,GDee

  3. Kyle Bartlett February 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    I’m a Peer Advisor in the Study abroad office and really enjoyed your post. If I make it to Germany, I’ll be sure to check out the Schauinsland-Bergwerk mine! Keep up the posts!

    -Kyle

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