I have officially been living in Colombia for just over one month! Sometimes the minutes drag (in training) but overall the time has FLOWN!! I decided it’s time to reflect on what I miss from the states and some of my new favorite things in Colombia!
Things I miss from home:
-Target, Kohls, Trader Joes, H&M, and Forever 21. I am a shopaholic and my PC budget does not allow for that…but let’s be real…neither did my teacher salary last year!
-Food and freedom of choice in what I eat. I miss anything that is not rice and/or fried. I especially miss fruits and veggies that aren’t juiced and/or diced and mixed with mayonnaise, hummus, salads, Mexican, Italian, yogurt, and regular non-sponge cheese just to name a few :)
-Air conditioning and the DRY climate of Arizona. I will never complain about those 115 degree days again.
-Being barefoot on carpet (I wear flip flops in the house/shower). Actually, carpet in general.
-Taking a shower and remaining clean for more than ten seconds (I start sweating before I am dry).
-Knowing what is going on/having a conversation and not sounding like a two year old.
-Having a sense of humor. My Spanish is barely good enough to hold a conversation with a small child, let alone crack jokes. Those of you who know me can imagine how it’s killing me to keep my sarcasm all bottled up!
-Commuting to work without fearing for my life (there will be a future post highlighting the exciting/terrifying bus system).
-And of course I miss my family, friends, and most of all my four legged best bud Heidi.
Things I love about Colombia:
-The people. Colombians are some of the warmest and most welcoming people I have ever encountered.
-My host family. They are AMAZING.
-Our LCFs (language and culture facilitators…AKA Spanish teachers). Vanessa was my teacher for the first month and I just started with a new teacher named Tatiana. They are SO enthusiastic and make learning Spanish (which has to potential to be VERY frustrating) so fun! I don’t know how they are so patient with our ‘basico’ class….but I am eternally grateful for their help
-Burros pulling carts of fruit. Its two awesome things in one…how can you not love it? What makes it especially fun is the man riding on the cart, usually barefoot, who yells what he is selling in a weird monotone voice through a megaphone and never pauses between words. (i.e. mango-aguacate-pina-naranja-mango-aguacate-pina-naranja…)
-Juice. EVERYWHERE. You can get (and most likely WILL get whether you want it or not) fresh made juice in about a million different varieties and combinations here. Everytime you go to someone’s house you will immediately recieve a glass of fresh juice. I also have juice with almost evey meal. It is also made fresh in the streets! It is sweet, refreshing, and so fun to figure out what kinds of fruit are in your juice!
-The weather. (kidding….just making sure you are still paying attention…I’m still sweating to death).
-Music. There is cumbia, reggeton, salsa, and any other type of music you can think of playing ALL THE TIME. It is like a constant fiesta. At first I was like uh it is midnight…are they going to turn that down? Now if there is no music blaring I am like, “What happend to the music?! Something must be wrong!”
-The iguanas. Huge iguanas just wandering around a pretty huge developed city…that’s never going to get old.
-The kiss on the cheek! When you greet people here they usually reach for your hand as if they are about to shake it, but then end up just kind of holding on to it and accompanying this with a kiss on the cheek. At first I was like wait…I am supposed to kiss someone I hardly know? A short four weeks later and I love it! For most people there is not actually any lip to cheek contact…it is just more of a gesture. Watch out for abuelas and other elderly women though…they’ll lay a wet one on you if you’re not careful!
-Dancing. I am convinced that Colombians are born dancing like Shakira. Their hips don’t lie.
-Contentment. My host family (and everyone in my neighborhood…and possibly the whole city of Barranquilla) is content to just sit at be together for hours on end. We might sit on the front porch for 2 hours and only say a few words…and everyone is happy to just be together. They are happy to just be. And I am too.
Until next time…paz y amor.
P.S. Lots of new pictures posted here http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152101389845118.906087.784965117&type=3