I spent my birthday in Peru with Jelani cutting down sugar canes, sorting potatoes, and finishing second on the tenth leg of The Amazing Race to make it to the Final Four! We are excited to keep racing this Friday at 8pm on CBS! The end is near and The Legal Team is hoping to get to the finish line the way we started the race....#1!!!!
After the episode aired, I got a very concerned call from Dad. "Why didn't Jelani do the Sugar Cane Roadblock? That was such a physical challenge and I was worried about you! You couldn't even lift the machete! Did you hurt yourself?" I laughed and told him yes it was tough but I wanted to do it and reassured him that I was fine. His concern was very touching and made me realize no matter what happens in life, to Dad, I will always be his little girl who he instinctively want to protect from harm and...machete.
It was a strategic decision for me to do the Roadblock. Up to that point, Jelani had completed more RBs than me and we would risk disqualification if things didn't even out. Because the challenge was so physically intense, we both knew I would be slower than him. However, since we had a comfortable lead on three other teams, we were willing to take a calculated risk.
We actually experienced a lot of unaired airport drama in this episode. While at the travel agency in Amsterdam, Hayley and Blair took the last early flight which meant we were originally on the same flight as the other three teams. We had a layover and during the stop, Jelani and I went to several different ticketing counters and worked our butts off to get on the same flight as Rxforlove as more seats had opened up while we were flying. There was also a cliffhanger possibility that Laura and Tyler could get on the same flight as us. It was intense and from that experience we learned it pays to hustle!
You don't have to be in a country for long to feel the pulse of its people. Our taxi drivers were earnest, helpful, and patient. Strangers smiled and waved as we walked by. Several friendly bystanders really really wanted to help me carry my potato sacks. While driving from the sugar cane fields to our next destination, we saw a car stuck on the side of the road slightly flipped over and about twenty men trying to flip it back. It's a country filled with happy people who find joy in their everyday existence and are generous in spreading joy to others. At our pit stop, I saw a couple wearing ponchos walking their donkey across a muddy field. It was drizzling and cold but they walked with love and big smiles on their faces. In that moment, I thought to myself, if we can all find joy in the simplest of moments, life would always be fabulous.
They didn't show this in the episode but Laura and I share the same birthday! While Laura and Tyler were getting their drink on in Amsterdam, we were at the airport. However, we did have a glass of wine together on our flight to Peru. No wonder Team SoCal and The Legal Team get along so well. The four of us are all Sagittarius! In fact, Jelani celebrated his birthday a week earlier! Without a doubt, it was one of the most memorable birthdays ever as we got to watch fireworks with the Mayor of Trujillo, cut down sugar canes alongside Peruvians farmers, and learn way too much about potatoes. Thanks Jelani for making sure we stayed in the race on my birthday!