Last year’s East­er week was in town dur­ing train­ing and I kept myself occu­pied explor­ing the cul­tur­al side of the fes­tiv­i­ties in a very Catholic coun­try. So, I did­n’t feel the need to do that again, and I was hop­ing for a climb­ing trip. I was feel­ing frus­trat­ed that every­one seemed to have excit­ing plans and with myself for not just tak­ing off for some­where inter­est­ing, when my climb­ing trip final­ly came togeth­er. I went with friends down to the Par­que El Chico in the state of Hidal­go. This was where I had my Vol­un­teer Vis­it almost exact­ly a year ago, and I had been want­i­ng to go back for climb­ing ever since. It is a beau­ti­ful area, ridicu­lous­ly full of won­der­ful things to climb. How­ev­er, the weath­er is not always coop­er­a­tive. It rains a lot more there. Still, we got a beau­ti­ful climb in on Fri­day, one of the more famous mul­ti-pitch climbs on or very near “Las Ven­tanas.” Sat­ur­day was off to a slow­er start because of some wine and sal­sa danc­ing the pre­vi­ous evening, but that did­n’t turn out to be the main prob­lem. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, in the after­noon, we had a bit of a sprained ankle sit­u­a­tion. It was­n’t me, but a friend. We were play­ing around in an area just wait­ing to be a new boul­der­ing sec­tor, when he land­ed wrong. He land­ed with both feet on the crash­pad, but also land­ed with a twist, and the imme­di­ate swelling of his left ankle was impres­sive and dis­heart­en­ing. Luck­i­ly the car was 10 feet away, but there was to be no more climb­ing for him. Sun­day turned out to be rainy any­way, but Sarah and I got a nice run in before the weath­er turned real­ly gross. Still, it was a good to start get­ting to know the park for climb­ing, and I don’t think that my guy can get here soon enough to go back and real­ly climb a bunch of stuff.

Although every­thing sounds cheery above, I have just a small rant. I’m get­ting real­ly tired of this no dri­ving thing. I have great friends here who are incred­i­bly gen­er­ous with their time and vehi­cles, but it is one of the most frus­trat­ing things to not be able to dri­ve because of a Peace Corps rule. I under­stand the safe­ty thing for Vol­un­teers world­wide and that adding cars and insur­ance into the mix would add admin­is­tra­tive dif­fi­cul­ties (per­haps night­mares) — except that it has­n’t always been this way and motor­cy­cles and cars used to be more the norm. How­ev­er, I have nev­er felt like less of an adult than when crammed in next to a car seat with a 3‑year old, or hav­ing one eye on guard to the ride sit­u­a­tion at par­ties. I have learned to take the first ride avail­able, because it could be hours until the next per­son leaves, or I just skip things because I don’t want to feel like a depen­dent 15-year-old any­more. Also, the day of climb­ing nev­er seems to real­ly start before noon. Quite a change from the days of the 7:09am train down to Tici­no. Any­way, I just need­ed to blow off some steam, because it is start­ing to feel like this is more of a hin­der­ance to life here rather than a great way to cul­tur­al­ly inte­grate or some oth­er such non­sense. I don’t want a car for every­day dri­ving. I have no prob­lem tak­ing the bus, and I like all the walk­ing, but I don’t think that I’m going to shake this desire to not be so depen­dent on oth­er peo­ple or at least a bit in con­trol of my time.