Buenas, family & friends!
I’m not going to be halfway good at this but I will do my best to write here and there so ya’ll can at least make sure I’m alive. I’m prone to spazzy behavior and d’oh moments– I’ll make sure to document those cuentitos in detail so if nothing else you can take enjoyment in my blunders. I’ll probably just try to crank these out, so my apologies if they’re not super polished!
Te explico el nombre de este blog: I arrived to Barranquilla, Colombia this past Sunday night. That was nearly 5 days ago. I don’t think there’s been a moment since where I haven’t been sweating. The best part about is that it seems like I’m the only one loosing body water by the gallon. I’m starting to think the Barranquillians weren’t born with sweat glands.
So I’m living with a host family in a house. Another host girl, Leonela & I live upstairs in a room with twin beds. It’s kind of like we’re the stepkids that live in the cupboard under the stairs…
JK, the fam’s super nice.
It’s pretty dang palatial and totally not what I was expecting but very cool– I can actually drink the water that comes out of the fridge (this is a huge commodity) and in MY house I can actually flush toilet paper down the toilet!!! (this is not normal. it’s very posh) (and, honestly, just makes it harder to remember NOT to do that anywhere else).
There’s a park about 5 minutes walk from here that I think will become my second home. It’s always pretty crowded, but in the evenings it really comes alive. There’s a a few ramps and a big concrete space where usually around 30 skaters hang out, smoking, skating, BMX biking, and most of all, insulting each other lovingly like only teenage boys can. There’s 5 or 6 carousel/bumpercar/ teacup like carnival rides that are manned for a few hours every day and kind of make the park look like retro, half-abandoned carnival when the rides’ lights aren’t on. There’s two concrete basketball courts (one is used for soccer, obviously) and a concrete volleyball court. All three courts are completely packed from around 5pm to 10pm every night. It’s pretty awesome. On Monday and Wednesday nights, there’s an aerobics Salsa dancing class that, from what I can tell, consists of women of all ages participating, and men and boys trying to sit/stand/talk far enough away to be inconspicuous but close enough to watch.
I’ve played volleyball there a few times this week. No one really knows what to do with the Gringa but I’ve learned that wherever I go, I’m considered a great backboard for people to test their english. I’ve had it happen more than once that some one will come up to me on the court- usually a young guy who will try an english phrase out on me; and then their friends or whoever’s around will die laughing at how funny they sound to them. It’s fun.
I’ve been going out & doing things with some AIESEC’ers (the program that brought me here, people from all around the world come to volunteer with a social project for a 6 weeks or so or intern somewhere for 6 months – 1 year). It’s pretty cool when we’re out because there will be people from all over the world. On Wednesday night, I taught 3 colombians, 2 brazilians, a venezuelan and a morrocan how to play “Zoomie”- a drinking game that involves hand gestures and sending symbols/dance moves across the table. Nothing brings a table together like a good natured drinking game that makes everyone look like a fool. The UN should try it some time; it could to wonders for Russia and Ukraine. Imagine Putin making a monkey face across the table…
We started school this week! The school is awesome, open aired, tropical flowers everywhere & the teachers are the most welcoming. It’s only been teachers at school for training, so no real exciting stories yet! Except me fumbling through an introduction in spanish to a conference room of 100 Colombian teachers ha! I’ll tell more & send pictures when the kids come to school next week.
Oh, yeah. At home, we have a parrot. He says bad words and laughs out loud like my host mom. It’s really very fabulous. His name is “lorenzo”.. which is a very clever play on words because “loro” is the spanish word for parrot.
saludos & besos. Missin’ ya’ll!