Posts Tagged ‘hang gliding’

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Ben: Parapente

July 13, 2009
A cloudy day meant no thermals.

A cloudy day meant no thermals.

It was strange to spend the Fourth of July outside of the United States. Actually saying that sounds almost sarcastic coming from me (who is not exactly the most patriotic of individuals on a good day), but this year I missed being there. I kept thinking that if I was at home Jess and I would probably be over at Jeff and Gene’s playing bocce ball. Instead, I was stressing out about my new Spanish class and wondering if I am actually going to be able to graduate or not. Not exactly ideal, in fact, I felt a little depressed. So, like any sane individual, I realized that the best solution was to jump off of the side of a mountain.

The story really begins about two days earlier when our guide, Bruce, started talking about getting a group together for parapente. Parapente is essentially hangliding using a parachute, and Mérida is reputed to be one of the best “launching” sites on earth because of the mixture of accessible altitude and crazy thermals. At the time, a large group of people told Bruce that they were interested, but while people were signing up on a scrap of paper he stressed that it was important to get an accurate count since he needed to arrange for one pilot for each of the people that would jump. It was at that time that we realized that all of the students who signed up had just arrived in Venezuela and no one besides me had a cell phone, so I was elected the group leader by default, and Bruce told me that he would be calling me on Friday about 3:00 p.m. to get the final list.

So, in an attempt to make everything easier, I took advantage of us all being stuck on the same bus and told everyone that if they wanted to go on Saturday morning, they needed to friend me on Facebook and then send me a message asking to be added to the parapente list. I also told them that this needed to happen before lunch on Friday. I thought this would make things simple…that Bruce would call me on Friday, I would log on to Facebook and get the final count and that would be it. Man, was I wrong. Read the rest of this entry ?

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