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
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
Exciting news! GoAbroad.com, one of the leading websites on meaningful travel and studying, living, and working abroad, has chosen to feature The Wanderlust Chronicles as their Blog of the Week. In honor of having my blog featured on GoAbroad.com, I want to tell you, Dear Reader, why I chose to, well, go abroad to Colombia. Continue reading
My first experience with translation was in French class during college. My professor did an exercise with us where we had to first translate an excerpt of a book from French to English, and then another excerpt from English to French. He then showed us translations of the two pieces that had been done by professionals so that we could compare.
also: How to Obtain a Colombian Work Visa in Venezuela.
I left Bogotá Wednesday morning and flew to Cucuta, the closest Colombian city with an airport to Venezuela. I was told that going to Venezuela is the easiest and cheapest way for a foreigner to obtain a Colombian visa. For some absurd reason that I cannot figure out, in order to obtain a visa for Colombia, one must go out of the country to a Colombian Consulate in another country. I do not understand why I can’t get a Colombian visa in Colombia, but that’s how it is. And before you say anything, Dear Latino Readers, I know. I know the visa process is extremely difficult and frustrating for you guys, to go to either the States or Europe. But that doesn’t make Colombia’s rules any less absurd or exasperating.
Today is the Día de Amor y Amistad, or in English, Love and Friendship Day. It’s the Colombian version of Valentine’s Day, but instead of being just for couples or lovers or crushes, it’s also about friends. It is celebrated every year on the third weekend of September.
Do you ever pay attention to how people interact on buses? Or public transportation in general? It’s quite an interesting microcosm, if you think about it; all of these strangers squeezed into a tight place, arms, shoulders, legs, and butts all touching with people you’ve never met before and will probably never see again.
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.