Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Day 3: Two Nationalities, One Team

     I am going to be upfront, today was brutal. There were several jobs I worked on throughout our group's assigned working hours. These jobs ranged from mixing concrete to dislodging nails from pieces of wood, and by the end of the day I was downright exhausted. However, an hour before our work day ended, several students, me being one of them, found a soccer ball and began a game of keep away. Several minutes later, an enthusiastic Nicaraguan child approached us and asked if he could join our game. We agreed, and split the teams accordingly. Following his approach, several other Nicaraguan children approached and asked if they could join. Before we knew it, we had a structured game of soccer taking place. Although the game was small, with only five or six individuals on each team, it was both meaningful and powerful. 

     While I was playing, I saw something incredible. I saw our group, an English speaking group of individuals, communicating with a group of Nicaraguan children, a Spanish speaking group of individuals, not through language, but through the game of soccer. All players, whether American or Nicaraguan were collaborating and laughing in unison as we kicked a ball around a sand pit littered with tree roots, and covered in dust. Yet, it wasn't about where we were playing, it wasn't about us and it wasn't about them, but it was about the game of soccer and the ability for it to connect two vastly different kinds of people into one unified team. When I sat down and pondered this short game of soccer, I realized that I wasn't indirectly helping a group of future patients by participating in the construction process of a new building at the clinic of NuevaVida, but I was helping build a direct connection to the players on both my team and the opposing team and that truly had a profound impact on me. 

Friday, 1 April 2016

Photo Essay - Deep Water Soloing
Deep water soloing is a rock climbing sport that is done over a large, deep body of water, as seen above.
Deep water soloing also uses quite less gear than normal on land rock climbing. Given that one gets wet in deep water soloing, it is smart to bring an extra change of clothes and wear less. Another good reason to bring less is that the best season for deep water soloing is during the hot Summer months.
Safety is a big factor in deep water soloing as well. The way that one hits the water is extremely important, as the fall can be over 100 feet. One can get the wind knocked out of them. In addition to this, it is important to go deep water soloing with other people as a safety precaution.

Types of Rocks

Granite, a type of igneous rock (Rocks formed from cooling magma or lava)

Sandstone, a type of sedimentary rock (Rocks that are formed by a buildup of sediment)

Slate, a type of metamorphic rock (Rocks that are formed by other types of rocks changing over time)

Day 9: A Reflection

Today being the last day of A-term it is customary to reflect upon the two week period coming to an end. At the beginning of the trip I was expecting to be  challenged physically on a weeklong trip with a couple of my friends. To my surprise this was not the trip that I ended up taking. The trip was so much better, not only did I spend time with good friends, I made new friends and got to know peers better. I was challenged physically and mentally, and learned that I could do a lot more than I initially thought I was capable of doing at the start of this course. All of the activities that we did throughout the trip were so much fun, my personal favorite was Wednesday, at Enchanted Rock when we got to go caving. Even though we all came away with some bumps and scrapes it was exciting and the whole group was engaged in the activity.  I think that I speak for everyone when I say that if I could do it all again, I would and I would give it 110%. Looking back at the trip I am left with fond memories and look forward to similar trips in the future.

Day 9 - wrap up

We started off today by hurriedly moving our tents outside so that they could air out a bit before the storm rolled in. Afterwards we gathered in our alcove to finish giving presentations that we had started back in the first week of the A-Term. Jodi and I gave a presentation on several subjects. We talked about some of the wildlife that we might see on our trip, such as Texas horned lizards, white tailed deer, and the omnipresent turkey vulture. We also talked about techniques used in cleaning the anchors used for lead climbing, as well as top rope climbing. We also talked about proper rappelling techniques, as well as the dangers inherent to this part of climbing.  We also unpacked and stowed away most of the gear that we had brought in from the bus yesterday, including the tents once they had dried. We then listened to Caleb give a presentation on the culture of climbing, which had been his primary project this A-Term, as he could not join us on our trip. Afterwards we had a discussion about our reflections over the trip, specifically what we though could have been done better. 

~Adam Wygant

Ice Climbing Photo Essay

A stranger using his Ice Pickaxe and Shoes to climb on ice.'automne.jpg

A traditional pair of hiking shoes with cramp-ons on.

Super cool Ice Pickaxes.

Day 8: Photos From the Wall, The Greenbelt Wall!

Megan, Riane, Rains and our rock about guide, Bailey, scale one of the massive rock walls we climbed with extreme caution, skill, concentration, and climbing technique.

Asa, the climber, Jackson, the belayer, and Rains, the back-up belayer, prepare to ascend a route on the Greenbelt wall by going through the proper climbing safety commands, and protocols. 

If you look carefully you can see a wild monkey in the corner of the picture. Oh wait, that is Rains Browning climbing a famous 5.9 called The Scrambled Egg Sandwich.