Edit Blog Post
Published: April 26th 2010
Oh my, it's been a long time since I've blogged. And it's not like I've been on the road or especially busy. In fact, just the opposite. I've been very settled.
After about 2.5 months back on the road, I thought it might be nice to settle down in Medellin for a while and take an intermediate Spanish class. There is a university here in Medellin called EAFIT, which recently received the highest certification such a Spanish program can receive on the global scene. It ended up being fairly pricey but when I figured out the hourly cost compared to what I would pay for a course in SF, it ended up being far cheaper to do it here. I had gotten to a point in my Spanish where I felt I would benefit from having a dedicated teacher to answer my myriad of questions I had collected through my travels. That was 5 weeks ago already! The course was a month long plus there was the week of Semana Santa (immediately proceeding Easter) when everything is shut down. And I had come back about ten days before class started. So yeah, it's been 6, almost 7 weeks that I've
been living in Medellin. Since March 17th to be exact.
When I first came back from Bogota where I met up with some visiting peeps from DC, and then reconnected with my salsa-loving friend, Jessica from Boston, whom I met in Santa Marta, she and I returned to Medellin with 2 Argentinians and 1 Aussie dude who we met at the hostel in Bogota. Back at the Black Sheep hostel in Medellin, our motley crew befriended 2 other American young men and a Dutch couple. Over the next week and change, we all proceeded to have ourselves a grand ol time exploring the best of Medellin's night life and making lush memories. A week later, as the posse slowly disbanded - Jessica to the south, the Argies to the coast, the Americans to Buenas Aires - the mood had decidedly changed around the hostel. Things were a lot quieter and well, the tide was achangin'.
I had long grown wary of "traveler's talk" - the explaining of where you've been, where you're going, how long you're going for, etc. Meanwhile, I had made friends with people living in Medellin on previous visits. A few of these people were
There is great graffiti in Bogota.
already attending EAFIT, which is one of the main reasons I ended up taking my class there. I wasn't sure where I was going to live and thought, if I ended up in a local family's home, it would be nice to have these English speaking friends to catch up with on campus. As it turned out, my friend Antwon had just rented a place in a very normal neighborhood called Belén (estrata 4, creo). In exchange for staying at his place, I was to help him get the house and office set up. Along with his crew of friends here, they are starting a lifestyle and entertainment magazine called One Medellin. It's been fun to witness them get the magazine of the ground. The conversation has been far more interesting than hostel talk!
I've really enjoyed being away from Poblado, Patio Bonito and Parque Lleras where all the foreigners dwell. We shout and wave Hi! to the local bakery and shop owners while walking around. I shop at Consumo. I take the Circular Sur bus. We hang out on the back patio with our amigos, or quietly in the mornings drinking our coffe. And yes, we even heard
there were Paramilitary living on the street! Personally, I'm not sure I believe it. Cause let's say you were paramilitary, would you go around telling the neighbors? But not to fear! Antwon's very good friend, Daniel and Daniel's mother live upstairs. If they thought there was any danger to be found here, they would not have let Antwon rent the place. In any case,...
...I'm only here another week! GACK! Well, in Medellin for one more week, traveling for a week, and then I'm off for good. This week I'll be hanging out, packing up, finishing up Antwon's office and saying my goodbyes. School finished on Friday. The teacher was fabulous. The program administrator and bureaucracy were crap. There were two other students in my class so I got to ask questions to my heart's content! The other female in my class was a young American woman named Melissa. She and I have become good buddies. The week after next, I plan on traveling, possibly with Melissa, hopefully to some place I haven't been before for a few days and then on to Bogota for a few days to see a couple of friends before I depart for good
on May 11th. Ugh, my heart is breaking!
So now, the big question, "What's next?" Well, as you probably know by now, I'll be working as a volunteer at the World Cup in South Africa. I'm based out of Cape Town where I'll be staying for about 6 weeks. I've left myself 2 or 3 weeks to see other parts of South Africa afterwards (suggestions on where to go, anyone?). I leave SF June 1st and return August 3rd or so. It's so strange. I love San Francisco and when I was home in December, I was reminded of how wonderful my friends are, but I'm not that excited about returning quite yet. Obviously I love it here in Medellin and am so, so sad to be leaving. Plus, I'm not really sure what I'll do when I'm home. I plan on finding a new subletter for June and July. I'll see my friends. Visit family in LA the last week in May. I'm not particularly looking forward to spending dollars again, though. You need a lot of them in California!
Anyway, now I'm just being a sourpuss. I have been extremely fortunate to have had this time
to travel. When I come back from the World Cup, it will have been a year since I worked full-time. To think, this all started out as a 9-week trip to South America. Wild!
So enough about me, how are you?
Tot: 2.315s; Tpl: 0.059s; cc: 12; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0432s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb