It’s been a very busy two weeks in Bogotá. And when I say busy, I mean that a typical day has looked more or less like this:
6:50-“Get on the bus”….KIDDING, MAYBE IT WILL BE HERE IN TWENTY
11:00-Más coffee, maybe a nice cookie or some empanadas
11:30-Q&A about our teaching assignments, in which the Q’s are the same as yesterday’s, and the A’s are completely different
12:30-Lunch and a little fútbol
2:00-Talk about the tem-plates for our lesson plans for a while
3:30-We haven’t had coffee in a while, so…
4:30-Ask the people around you what’s going on
5:45-Get on the bus!
6:30-Sprint to the shower before any of your 23 housemates gets there, and possibly enjoy 3 minutes of tepid water
8:00-Games, beers, and/or impromptu dance lessons
Well, more or less.
In all seriousness, it has been a lot of fun. Living in a house with 23 other people certainly has its challenges, but personally I have had a blast. I have remained pretty unflappable, despite the many changes and general state of uncertainty that have characterized the Bogotá orientation. If nothing else, I have tried to embody the oh-so-Colombian refrain that is everyone’s advice: Be flexible!
Outside of work, I have had some opportunities to play. I visited a hippy paradise so high in the mountains it made me dizzy, the biggest collection of gold in the world, and an underground salt cathedral. I watched Colombia beat Uruguay in a fantastic match and advance further than they’ve ever gone in the World Cup before. And of course, I felt the pain along with every other person in this country when Colombia lost to Brazil. I’m not going to comment on that; if you want, you can ask me what I think, but you probably already know. All I will say is that, right at the match ended, the skies opened and it began to rain in Bogotá.
Sad as we were, orientation ended on a fun note. We celebrated Fourth of July by eating hotdogs and hamburgers, playing fútbol, and getting down on the dance floor to some cumbia and vallenato. What else?
And that’s it for me in Bogotá, at least for now. The new friends I have been living, working, and (obviously) singing and dancing with here are off to 10 different cities around Colombia. I am excited to see my new home in Cali, and I am looking forward to having lots of different places to visit over the next few months. Here I go, Cali or bust!