Friday, July 22, 2005

One Week

Well, I've found a place to live...a pension, or room, in this lady's apartment. It's pretty nice and she comes recommended from some other professors. I'm finding that I'm not quite as lost as I felt before in this city, even though most everything still looks the same to me. All of the streets are on what is more or less a numbered grid, with calles running west to east and carreras running south to north. So you can't (really) get lost, although since all the buildings look similar, it's really hard to know when to get off the bus in the dark! Other than that, I've been "working" at the university...mostly going to short training sessions and then messing around the rest of the day trying to get the stacks of paperwork sorted out. It's not been quite as hot the past day or so, which is nice, since when I got here it was miserable.

I'm still lacking motivation to do much of anything. I started doing yoga again several days ago, but whenI went to visit the doctor yesterday for the required physical, she forbade me to exercise again until my ankle isn't as swollen (tripped in a hole in the water at the beach). Personally, I think the morning bus ride is harder on me than yoga is! Drivers here are crazy...stop signs, lights, lanes...these are all just suggestions that no one pays any attention to. Crossing the street is an ordeal for me. I think that when the bus drivers see speed bumps coming up, they intentionally speed up, which is unpleasant when you're standing in the aisle smashed between three or four other people.

The days here also start earlier. The sun comes up about 5:30 and is strong enough to wake you up right then. By the time I leave at 7:00 or so, the heat's already returned, if it ever left.

For those of you who kept telling me about the mud volcano, Grandfield and I tried to go last weekend, but we got to the bus station way too late to go. Coming soon in the future though, I hope!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Okay, so here I am!

So, I've made it! It's hot here, over 90 but I'm not really sure how much over. I've been at the university for a couple of days now. It's nicer than I expected, which is great, but there certainly are some differences (I'll talk more about that later). Barranquilla's also smaller than I thought, so there's not much to do other than going out to dance or drink, which I'm not too excited about. Oh well. It reminds me somewhat of Acapulco (if you've been there), with all the crazy streets and ugly buildings, but without the beautiful beaches and cliffs. The people here are wonderful...extremely friendly and helpful...I'm once again living with costeños! It's funny, the costeños here speak just as fast as they did in Mexico, cutting out syllables or whatever else they feel like in similar places.

What else? I've been to the beach twice so far-once looking for apartments and the other just to sit around and escape the heat. Apparently the weather is normally much nastier, but because of the all the hurricanes and tropical storms, there's some rain to cool it down and keep a little bit of a breeze going.

Sorry for any horrible mistakes you may see in my typing...I'm trying to adjust to using a Spanish keyboard again. Once I get my office computer in working order I'll start posting pics and entries more often!