Friday, May 05, 2006

One month left

I've really not been good about posting on this blog. There's still pictures I need to put up from Semana Santa travels and I have written in who knows how long. The semester is almost over here; exams start the middle of next week. Time has gone quickly since I came back in January. When I first thought about looking for work in Latin America, I figured that things would be more laid back, especially coming out of a masters program. Was I ever wrong! It's true that time moves differently here, but I feel like the amount of time that I put into work here is significantly more than in Ohio. I'm an efficient person, but when you're surrounded by people who are not worried about being as efficient, it makes it impossible. Waiting in bank lines, doing crazy paperwork, riding the bus, going to meetings, grading all adds up to a long day. I sometimes feel like I haven't used my time here wisely, but then I remember, what time?! It's taken me 9 months to find a church that I feel comfortable with, that I want to go to every week. And it's taken the same amount of time to find volunteer work. So at least in the end, even if I don't come back here, I can say I was truly content for about a month. Barranquilla's not my favorite city in the world (or second, or third...), but I'm okay here. Now the question is this: is okay enough?

I've started going on Fridays to teach at the Escuela Experimental, which is a high school for intelligent kids that otherwise wouldn't have the resources to go to a good school. They don't have to pay anything to attend the school, which is grades 6 through 11. The teachers are mostly college professors. And get this...the students at the end know English and French well, plus German, Italian, Russian, Greek, and Latin. And no, they don't get to choose a language, they all take all of them. It's crazy. They're studious, curious, respectful, motivated, responsible, and so on. It makes me feel relieved to go there to teach after a week with my Uninorte students, many of which are not many of those things (not to say all, but certainly a good number).

What else is going on here? I'm taking casino style salsa lessons (fun, but frustrating sometimes). Heather, my lovely Canadian roommate, left two weeks ago, so the apartment is a little lonely. I went to Cartagena again last weekend with some friends and saw the kind of house that I've dreamed about living in since I've been here (picture to come). And that's about it. Colombia's presidential elections are at the end of the month. I just got an email from the US Embassy today warning me that there might be trouble. Maybe in Bogota, but not here. The biggest action has been the little earthquake that we had on Monday afternoon (the tree in my office swayed back and forth, but that was it). The birthday is just a little over a week away and what would I like? To know where I'm going to be working come July!

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