So trek day three, and whilst I found it physically easier it was more of a mental challenge. I mean, obviously it was a physical challenge too, especially one of the hills which I swear was close to vertical- not easy at the best of times, and especially not with a big pack on your back! Still apart from that and finding some of the hills tough, I didn't find it all quite as draining as yesterday because I could actually do it without too much help!
But then began the bitching, with a couple of people saying stuff like the trek had been ruined for them and that they wanted to ruin the project as much as people had ruined the trek for them. Not exactly what you want to hear when you've already been feeling disappointed in yourself for feeling like you're holding the group up, which was fine yesterday as everyone reassured me that that was OK. Admittedly today most people were the same, with people like Nathan moving around a lot to experience 'life' in all areas. But then hearing comments like that, it just totally knocks you when you think that people appreciate your trying rather than moaning about your best not being good enough. Hopefully knowing how awful it feels to be on the receiving end of that will make me a better, more patient person.
I did, however, quite enjoy the walk itself, particularly towards the end when Jack, Vicki and I were walking up the hill/ road singing every song under the sun. Another highlight was lunch when we sat on rocks by a river and watched the boys paddle and skim stones, and a boy herding water buffalo, giving you a totally different view of life. Despite being annoyed and disappointed in myself and others, it was a nice break when we were all doing the same thing and were on the same level, and weren't snapping, and it was just a bit of a relief really.
Oh and the source of the bitchiness? The fact that John got Tang to cut the root short due to injury, etc, and the automatically being blamed on slower people and then 'slower' people getting annoyed at them and apparently shouting 'stop' in a rude way (something discovered at the meeting) but meh. We all vented our feelings at the meeting tonight, except most of the frustration appeared to be from the front and sometimes you can't really get up the nerve to say 'your bitching is the root of my problems and bad attitude' but in nicer terms. Which I eventually did do after much bottling up and listening to people criticise the back and nobody speaking up for how we were feeling except Tom really. It just makes it harder to say stuff like that when everyone's been OK for most of the afternoon (having arrived here at 2ish and those who were dissatisfied with some distance being knocked off the walk (all 4 of them) being taken out by Tang on another mini walk in the pouring rain and thunder (the first major rain we've seen since being in Vietnam actually which is quite surprising!) whilst the rest of us lounged around here, and later listened into some people's games of charades, park bench and most amusingly, Consequences from the mezzanine. I wasn't really in the mood to join in as I wanted a bit of alone time, but it was fun to listen.
God it's 20 to 10 and we're all pretty much ready for bed- a bit of a change from the 2am finishes in Hanoi, but I guess there's not a lot else to do and everyone's a bit knackered. I do like the communal nature of these homestays though, everyone in the same room and talking together- it's a lot more sociable than hotels (though I do like their showers). But hopefully this trek- whilst highlighting our weaknesses- will ultimately bring us together even more. We can but