so now we are two. starting as a group of six strong, going to eight and then to five and now to two. we remain to tie up loose ends, give off the items brought to donate to those who need and see a few last sites. baseball gloves, insoles, soccer balls, toothbrushes, pens, paper, carabiners, powdered milk, sugar and plastic containers. everything must stay with those who need. then the climbing gear is given to a trusted local source who can give it to he and she who needs and deserves it.
other news is that the project went. for days i could feel the soreness in my left shoulder from the multiple large gaston moves, especially the one in the last boulder problem. in reality, i should have sent the climb my third go and changed my foot beta just a hair, but enough to guarantee a victory, clipping the chains just an hour before the guy who bolted the route, Yarobys, clipped the same chains. The name is Huracan (hurricane) and I think it goes at 13a. Definitely agreat route, with three boulder problem cruxes and a mean core tensions sequency crux at the top. my favorite route in two years, as it is rare that I get the moves of a climb stuck in my head so that I can´t think of anything but it.
Tomorrow we are going to a new crag to bolt a couple of routes to prepare for the national competition. Normally Cuban climbers don´t climb really strong on average, so these routes will hopefully become classics and be enjoyable for many as time passes and more people come here to clip bolts and crank on the limestone of the mogotes. The best Cuban climbers are in the mid 5.13 range, but the majority are breaking into 5.12.
As my language gets better I feel a hurdle with three languages. You start to think about a word and end up referencing all three when you should be able to go and focus solely on one. maybe once I break through this hurdle will I ultimately understand more about languages, or at least more than I already do. Such a determinable link to culture and the people, expressions and intonation alone mean so much.
The people become more and more like family, playing a nd joking and giving signs of affection that we normally do not see in the US with people other than close friends and family that you´ve known fo ra long time. It is such a nice feeling that a sense of community gives.
The day I sent the project I traveled out to the crag with Yarobys on a Guagua, one of the local Cuban buses. It was so chill and talk about economical. I don´t know why we have taken so many taxis when it is completely convenient to take the local travel methods and thus pay local prices. Ten cents for a ride instead of six bucks. I know how that sounds on the absolute scale, but on the relative scale it is much more astronomical. and as for convenience, it is only a limited factor as some friends of ours took a taxi, paid for half of the ride and then the guy never came back for them. after walking five dark miles on Cuban roads did they find a place with a phone where they worked their Spanish and called a taxi. luckily by that point our friend, Raytheon, knew something was wrong and asked our host to go and get them. Thus we could all eat a fine meal together and laugh about the incident. Oddly enough it was the day I took the local hitchhike and bus option.
So I stare here at the two holes on the sides of my finger that are the remnants of my work on the project. my sequence included a solid five feet or so of pulling on a mono with my right hand as I pull into the clip, lock off, clip and pull a few more feet to a sloper. When such work culminates in a victory you often have no more than the vestigial feeling of elation, a few photos and perhaps some worn down skin. It all grows back and then you are left with a memory. How does this end up changing us in the end. That for a small period of time we are infatuated, fully in love and head over heels for this climb and think and dream about it like a stranded castaway dreams of water, friends and comfort food. Then after this zealous fit of emotion it is gone. Does this make us callus to intense emotion after a while, knowing that we will be changed just for period of time and then life as usual goes on? Hmmm.
In the end, I sit here with less skin then yesterday, four minutes left on my tarjeta, and thoughts of family and of the political discourses that separate such incredible places that have so much in common, and only 90 miles of water between their secured borders.
When will our governments see the light, that we are all brothers and sisters under the same sun with the same passions and family that resides on both sides of the line. How much it would benefit both parties for us to open borders.
Anywho…it is time to go as the seconds tick by on this card and it will probably take all 56 seconds for this blog to load.