I am back in Barranquilla, my old home, for the first time in five months. It is wonderful being back. Everything feels so familiar still; it really feels so much more like home to me than Bogotá does. Although perhaps that will change in a few months. Continue reading
Today I walked home along Carrera Septima in Bogotá and I was angry and appalled. Buildings along the street were covered with graffiti and paint splatter from students protesting the Ley 30 Reform, and the workers of these places had to clean up their mess. I was so furious, I came home immediately and wrote an Op-Ed to the student protestors of Ley 30 Reform for Colombia Reports. You can read the full article here: Dear student protestors.
So last week I went to school with one of my gringa friends who is a teacher here in Bogotá. She is here through a program called World Teach, which is a program that places you in a country and you teach English at a school that would not normally have the funding for English teachers and they give you a small stipend to live on. If you know what Teach for America is, it is essentially TFA but in a foreign country. Continue reading
Although it is already November 1, I would like to do a recap of this past weekend. Not only was it Halloween weekend, it was also important because the local and regional elections were held. The mayor of each city was elected, which means that changes, hopefully good ones, will be happening soon. Continue reading
We always try to wake up early on Sundays in time for ciclovía, Bogotá’s bike path on one of the main streets that is closed to cars from 7 am to 2 pm. Usually we walk, instead of riding bikes, about 45 blocks to a little borough of Bogotá called Usaquén. Continue reading
Recently I have gone on two job interviews, one in a school and one in a university, and wow, interview questions (at least in my experience) in Colombia are way different from those in the States. I have never felt so interrogated in my life.
The first interview was with a school for a 10th and 11th grade English teaching position. The interview began with a personality assessment test called the Wartegg test. Personally, I think personality tests and quizzes to “find out about yourself” are completely bogus. Basically, they are the same as fortune-telling. Occasionally what they say will be true, but usually it’s just luck or coincidence. I really dislike tests trying to tell me about me.
When discussing cultural differences of a place, one simply cannot ignore the food. Colombia has some very interesting and different foods that also vary within different regions of the country.
First, the fruits. There are some crazy fruits found in Colombia. Well, crazy to a gringo, that is. No Colombian meal is complete without a pitcher of freshly made fruit juice. In the coast, I drank juice of pineapple, mango, blackberry, passion fruit, guava, strawberry, orange, mandarin, lulo, corozo, tomate de arbol, guanabana, and many others. There are even more unusual fruits that are not commonly made into juices. My favorite is definitely tomate de arbol. It’s sort of like a citrusy tomato juice—think V-8 Splash, not the regular V-8.
I’ve been back in a Colombia for two weeks and have been extremely busy looking for jobs and apartment hunting. Thus far, the job search has been going much better than the apartment hunt. I think I grossly underestimated how much I can expect to pay for a decent apartment in a good location. I have a few more prospects that I am going to check out this weekend, and one actually is well within my price range, but I’m a bit skeptical.
Well, I’ve done it. I have finally started a blog. I am embarking upon my fifth living-abroad excursion, this time to Bogotá, Colombia (I have previously lived in Cannes, France; Rabat, Morocco; Kumasi, Ghana; and Barranquilla, Colombia). To be honest, I was always kind of against the whole blog thing; I saw them as narcissistic ramblings with poor grammar—I mean, do people really want to read the thoughts and activities of their friends as well as strangers? Well, as it turns out, apparently they do, because there are thousands of popular blogs available on the net, and new ones are always popping up (like this one…).