NOLS is the outdoor wilderness training course that I spoke about earlier in my blog (Peter is doing the course). We have a reservation today for 6 guys who just completed 80 days training in the wild, learning mountaineering and sea kayaking. Sandra told me that whenever NOLS students come, there are ALWAYS more of the, that show up than what they have reserved. And she was right! We ended up having about 12-14 guys (all American) come, all carrying huge bags of stinky gear. The smell consumed you if you walked into the common room -- it literally hit you in the face! The guys were all pretty young, between the ages of 18-22, and all really cool. Since our hostel is only meant to hold 10 people, we had about 2-5 crashing on the floor of the common room. They stayed two nights with us and then a couple guys stayed a few nights more while they tried to fix some visa problems.
Their first night was spent here at the hostel, where they gorged themselves on much-needed beer and food that they missed (like cereal and cheese and other grocery stuffs). Everyone seemed to be happy to be back in civilization, to have a hot shower, and to have somewhere warm to sleep. It was cool listening to their stories about "food stress", their constant battle with cold and wet conditions, and the crazy dynamics of the group. There were some girls that did the course too but they were staying at a hotel in town, but came by for the party at night. It was a good chance for them all to decompress about their trip, share stories, and get contact information. They really learned to appreciate the little things in life out in the wild, where sometimes you had to go hungry or you wouldn't have enough food for the next few days, where the cold is so bitter you loose feeling in some body parts, and where you learn that after a certain point of not showering your hair doesn't really get any dirtier (and in fact started to feel more soft!). Since it was a Monday night and there is almost nothing open on Mondays we decided to leave the "going out" for the next night....