The Long Goodbye

So I’ve left Colombia. I am writing this post from Niort, France, the city I will be living for the next seven months. I left Colombia about three weeks ago, spent some time with my family in Pittsburgh, and then came here.

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Bogotá: A Photo Essay

I’ve been wanting to go out and take photos of Bogotá for a while now, to remember the streets that I know so well, and I finally did. Most of these photos are from the northern part of Bogotá, and therefore does not give an accurate representation of the whole city, although some of the people in the pictures can be found all over the city, such as the flower sellers and street vendors. The rest of the photos are mostly of places that I often see, or are important to me, or that I find amusing. Enjoy!

Street vendor

Buseta along Septima

Typical brick buildings

Armed guard-you can spot these guys all over the city

View of the mountains from La Candelaria

Avocado stand

Flower sellers along the road

Another flower seller, offering his goods to people in their cars

Cyclists using one of the many bike paths in Bogotá

Exito, one of the main supermarket chains in Colombia

Umbrella Art outside of Centro Comercial Andino

Typical sign to label the streets

Bogotá Graffiti

Street Performers near Usaquén

Bogotá Beer Company (aka BBC)

A CAI-Police Station

Woman wearing a surgical face mask-not uncommon around Bogotá

Colonial-style architecture

Calle 100 Bridge

These shoes are simply too fantastic not to share (in Usaquén)

Fuzzy red plant that I see all over Bogotá and really like

Buying tickets at the Transmilenio Station

I will never understand why or how this sign came to be, but it makes me laugh every time

Cooooooofee Express

Bogotá is so beautiful when the sun is shining

A Day at the Gold Museum

Gold Museum

Sundays are lazy days in Bogotá. Many places are closed and there is little to no traffic on the streets – quite the contrast to the traffic jams that occur during the week.

Museums, however, are one of the few places open on a Sunday, and the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) is even free on Sundays, making it one of my favorite plans on this idle day. Continue reading

International Theatre Festival Has Opened!

The 13th Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogotá (Iberoamerican Theatre Festival) opened on Friday, March 23. It is the largest theatre festival in Latin America, held every two years in Colombia’s capital.

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Protests in Bogotá

On Friday, March 9, there were large protests and riots in Bogotá in retaliation against Transmilenio, the mass transportation bus system here in the city.  Continue reading

A New Year

Feliz Año Nuevo and Happy New Year (a bit belatedly)!

I am back in Bogotá after being home in the States for 3 weeks for vacation. Bogotá right now is delightfully empty, as many people leave during the holidays, often to Cartagena, Santa Marta, San Andres, and the US. Businesses are still open, but most people get a decent amount of time off over the winter holidays. Tomorrow, however, things will be back to normal.

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Colombian Christmas Traditions Day 7

**Every night for the nine nights before Christmas Colombians celebrate novenas, so I will be writing a blog post every day about Colombian Christmas traditions. Feliz Navidad!**

In Colombia, Christmas decorations, especially lights, are quite popular. From the end of November on, stores become filled with garlands, strands of lights, and ornaments for people to decorate their homes with. Colombians also buy artificial Christmas trees, as real pine trees are hard to come by.

December 7, La Noche de Las Velitas, is the official day to put up Christmas lights and decorations. Medellin and Bogotá especially go crazy with Christmas lights. This year Medellin had 16 million lights around the city, and Bogotá had 7 million. Both of the cities give tours so you can see all of the lights. Some people also put up lights in and around their homes, and many apartment buildings also decorate the outside.

Almost all Colombian homes will have a Christmas tree and a nativity scene, or pesebre. The nativity scene is especially important because during the novenas friends and families gather around it to sing villancicos and say prayers. However, Christmas trees have not always been a typical tradition in Colombian; this custom came over from the States. Also, people used to have live Christmas trees, but this is now illegal so as not to harm the environment.

Here is a video of the lights in Medellin:

La Noche de las Velitas

This past Thursday, December 8, was a holiday in Colombia. December 8 is the day of the Immaculate Conception, and on the eve before this holiday Colombians celebrate La Día de las Velitas (The Night of Candles). Continue reading

Thanksgiving in Bogotá

Thanksgiving Dinner

On Thursday I hosted Thanksgiving at my apartment in Bogotá. It was the first time I’ve ever been in charge of Thanksgiving dinner, and I was a bit concerned about how it would turn out, but fortunately I had lots of help and everyone seemed to enjoy the food. Continue reading

Top 5 Things I Miss from the Coast

Flag of Barranquilla

Today is my last day in Barranquilla; I go back to Bogotá tonight. The next time I’ll be here will be for CARNAVALES! I can’t wait. I’m excited to go back to Bogotá, but there are some things from Barranquilla that I have really missed, so I want to share my top five.  Continue reading