Thursday 14 October 2010


As most of you know, the rescue of the Chilean miners was successfully carried out yesterday, resulting in all 33 miners being brought to surface – those of you that are not aware of this have clearly been trapped in a mine, perhaps next to theirs? It is a testament to the profound will of humans to survive that those men lasted down there for 69 days. I know being claustrophobic I would’ve lasted all of 69 minutes. Two months in a dark, damp hole with 33 others, all clamoring for air and sanity?? I’m telling you that is up there on the top of my list as things I don’t want to experience in this lifetime…or the next one either. :-)

Can you imagine being the last miner to be brought up from down there? Talk about pulling the short straw. How do you even decide that after not tasting freedom for so long. I know I’d be the one kicking, clawing and walking on the backs of others to get myself in that rescue capsule first. I’m not proud of this fact, I blame my fear of small places; it is a powerful phobia. Apparently the first miners to come to the surface were the most fit and the most technically savvy so they could advise the rescue teams. The last man was the shift supervisor who volunteered to stay behind until all of his team was safe. Now that’s true leadership in the face of adversity.

I wonder what the first thing each of them will want to do once they’re on their own? I’m thinking bathe will top the list..or sleep in clean, soft sheets…or how about stuff hot gourmet food down their throats until their stomachs hurt. Anything but canned tuna! Then again, maybe it is the most simple of things that would taste and feel the sweetest. Simply breathing clean air for starters, or getting a long heartfelt hug from a loved one. One man as he was wheeled away asked his wife how the dog was? Talk about maintaining one’s sense of humor in the face of excruciating circumstances. Give that man a raise for godsakes! And get him that dog!

I think that is the most astonishing thing of all about this whole traumatic incident – that most of these men, even the severely infirm ones, kept a level head and a sense of humor about their situation. Not only did they bond together, but also they collectively decided that they would never discuss in detail what went on down there. I think the greatest thing that one of them said was that he doesn’t want to be treated like a celebrity, he wanted to be treated like the man that he was, the worker, the miner. How utterly refreshing, and the mere fact he’d consider going back into a mine boggles the mind. I’d rather lick the hair on a donkey’s backside. But that’s me. 

Here's to victory!
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