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Published: December 12th 2009
the risk of wanting to stay
Okay, I had to steal the official slogan from the Colombia tourism department “Colombia - the only risk is wanting to stay”. This is how I feel right now and if I had not bought my ticket, I might have been tempted to make Colombia my home for the next couple of years............though I would have problems choosing between my two favorite cities -Cali and Medellin!!!!
My 4 month stay has unfortunately come to an end, I leave to begin my Central America adventure for the next 6 months. Colombia has been great and I'm very glad I choose this country......Below are the things that gave me sooooooo much joy and others that irritated me severely...
The Joyful Memories.............
Medellin: I picked this city to start in because I thought it will allow me to settle in easily than the capital and I'm so glad with the decision. My first impression was like -wow, this is just like the States, very developed and modern. The water is even safe to drink and I drank directly from the tap for the first time ever (I always bought bottled water in Houston), the
sunset at some beach in cartagena
transportation system (Metro, Taxi & Bus) is well organized and efficient, there is always something to do and the night life is awesome. Medellin is also very environmental friendly - there are recycling bin & trash cans almost everywhere in the city, plus the city is close to some of the best get away spots like Guatape, Santa Fe, Manizales & others. Make sure you ride the metro cable at the Acevedo station. What more can you ask for in a city? Medellin has it all!!
Universidad EAFIT: I was not sure about this decision but very grateful I decided to take Spanish lessons in a university setting instead of somewhere else. This experience has made it possible for me to participate in the Colombia culture, have Colombia friends and much more. The program is so organized and the coordinator -Juan Fernando is so cute and helpful, if you have questions about anything -just ask him & it will be solved. Also with the Spanish program, you can sit in two undergraduate classes to help with your listening skills, be pair up with a conservation partner, get help with DAS, get help with choosing home stay & other accommodation
A dance show
options and meet real Colombians. This is the website for more information - www.eafit.edu.co/EafitCn/Idiomas/spanishProgram/Ingles/Our+University+and+the+Language+Center.htm
Food & Jugos/Juice: SanChoco is the best meal in my opinion and jugo de Mora (blackberry), de Maracuya (passion fruit), de Lulo, de Tomate (different from the normal ones, these are special breed) and many more are available and they are fresh too. Usually the tipica foods consist of rice, beans, salad and meat/pork/chicken. Also Coca cola Colombiana is great.
Discotecas: wide varieties of places to drink and party in various section of town. Parque Lleras has a lot of Discotecas, bars & restaurant around, Barrio Colombia is also a great spot to party especially if you like Reggeaton & Hip-Hop music, Las Palmas is another section to party in, others are in the Industrial area, Sabaneta and La Estrella area of town. I sure did have fun here.
Host family & Friends: I stayed with two great family while in Medellin, if you are interested in home stay program, contact me and I can forward you any of the two families. Awesome friends both gringos and locals, am glad to have met them. My Colombian friends made it possible for me to
appreciate the culture.
Cali & Cartagena: Cali is a great place to learn salsa and party really hard because clubs open to 7 in the morning. Clubs in the Manga & Juanchito area are awesome. Cartagena is a very beautiful town, it feels like magic, like you are in a different world. Please do the Mud Volcano activity, it's the best thing you'll do.
Belly Dancing: Very sexy, feminine and a fun way to keep in shape, I will continue with this for sure. If interested , www.danzalma.com or contact me I have the school's information.
Arepa: a staple in Colombia especially common in Medellin however I hated it with a passion. You might like it, so please try it before you make your decision. In Cartagena, they are fatter and have eggs, cheese and meat inside.
Plastic Surgery: OMG, this is like the fashion trend in this country. Okay, it seem like a huge percentage of females have a fake boob and a lot has underwent nose job. I was told by a Colombian friend that girls get that silicon breast while in high school - now for me, that's plain disgusting.
Okay, this is my last blog from Colombia the charming, if you ever decide to visit this gorgeous country - keep in mind, you might never leave because the only risk is wanting to stay................If you need information on Colombia, feel free to contact me and I'll be glad to help you if I can.
Now I'm off to Panama and beginning Central America......wish me luck...........
Website on travel in Colombia - www.colombia.travel/en/ and www.poorbuthappy.com
Great Hostels to stay: Bogota: Destino Nomada - http://destinonomada.com/
Cali: Pelican Larry - www.pelicanlarrycali.com/
Cartagena: Casa Viena - www.casaviena.com/
Medellin: Hostal Tamarindo (chill not a party hostel) - www.hostaltamarindo.com
party hostels - Blacksheep, Pitshop & Casa Kiwi
Santa Fe de Antioquia: Facebook Page - www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Fe-De-Antioquia-Colombia/Hosteria-Palma-Reina/119161702299
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