A day for Teachers, dancing, a failed trip to La Calera, a successful trip to Chia, and more dancing
25.05.2009 65 °F
Since I haven't written since April, I have a lot of catching up to do.
Two fridays ago, was a holiday that all Colombian schools established: El Dia de Los Profesores (Teacher's Day). In my school, it was a great celebration that made me appreciate my students so much more. The day started with a breakfast of omelets, a fruit plate, juice, and coffee served to the teachers by the ninth graders. The breakfast was accompanied by conversation among teachers and dancing and singing to a Colombian vallenato band (the bands noted for their accordions). After eating breakfast, the girls arrived to school, most running through the hallways giving gifts to teachers. By 9am, I had a desk piled with more chocolates than I could ever eat, along with some jewelry, coffee mugs, and homemade cards. I'm still eating chocolate two weeks later and I gave some away to my landlords. The whole school then headed over to mass where all the teachers received roses and cards from our students and gifts from the ninth graders who were in charge of the entire day. Following the mass, was a spot-on play/imitation of some of the ninth grade teachers by the ninth graders. The girls were hilarious, and we all knew exactly who each girl was playing without even seeing name tags. Finally, the girls went home around 12:30 while all the teachers stayed for a delicious meal of lomo de res (basically, meat salted and wrapped in a towel and cooked over the fire) served with rice, yuca, and guacomole. Of course after lunch (and in the great tradition of Colombia) we danced more : )
Fast-forwarding a bit...
Yesterday, I had plans to travel to a nearby town called La Calera with a friend William (a teacher at the school) and his friends Eduardo and Angela (brother and sister). Eduardo drove and after being detoured by some unforeseen obstacles (traffic etc) throughout the city, we made it on the road through the mountains that would lead us to La Calera. Unfortunately there was a line of cars that made us stop and go throughout the trip. And then our car died going up the mountain...damn. So we put the car in neutral, reversed, and as we pulled out in traffic to go back down the car worked perfectly! Oh well, the combination of stopping and going and traveling up a steep mountain apparently took it's toll. On the way back down, we pulled into a restaurant (ironically one we were thinking of stopping at on the way up). We all ordered sancocho, a traditional Colombian stew of chicken, beef, pork, corn, potatoes, plantains, and yuca...whew! Delicious, and all accompanied by rice and avocado.
This is not a picture I took, but one I I found on google images.
Our stomachs full, we got back in the (working) car and traveled down a little further to a scenic viewpoint of the north part of the city. It was gorgeous, and just about as nice as the view from Monserrate, and free (which Monserrate is not).
Me and the view of BOG
Me with Eduardo and Angela
Me and William
We then had plans to head to Chia, another nearby town, where our friend Juan Ramon and his family recently moved. Juan Ramon is another teacher at the school (computers like William). After some phone calls to Juan and a few wrong turns, we finally made it to his house, talked with his family, got a tour of his gorgeous home, and ate the most delicious arepas I've ever had, accompanied by (hot) chocolate and cheese. It was a good day for food.
Again a pic from google images, this time of arepas (basically a thick corn tortilla usually filled with cheese).
At 9pm, we were all yawning, so we decided to leave Chia. William got a call from his brother-in-law and sister who were going dancing, and despite being exhausted, William and I both decided to go. It was a super fun night of drinking rum, dancing salsa, merengue, vallenato, and some reggaeton. I arrived home at 3am and although I had a little headache this morning (too much dancing or rum?), it was fun and worth it.
Anyways, with a little more than a month left here (I can't decide if I'm happy or sad), there will be many more adventures to come. A trip to Boyaca (a different state in Colombia) is planned for June with William, Eduardo and Angela (without any car troubles of course!), a going away party for the end of June is planned with my best friends from the school, and a trip here from the States is planned for my boyfriend Matt. All exciting things ahead! Stay tuned!