El Semana de Amor y La Amistad (The week of Love and Friendship)
This week has been colorful and it exposed me to some aspect of the Colombian culture. On Monday, we took an exam for level 4 and I passed, so now am in level 5 (the 1st level in intermediate Spanish) -Que Rico (how lovely)!Also I feel my Spanish is getting better – on Thursday I told the class the sad news about the Yale graduate student who was killed in Spanish. On Friday, there was a market on campus -El Zoco market- they had a lot of beautiful things, from clothes to artisan crafts to accessories. I bought a really pretty yellow top which I wore later in the night for a party at Juanes’s house.
Belly dancing on Thursday was great; we learnt how to move our hands elegantly. I got my student visa, now I have to register it with DAS -department of security. It is an annoying process, I had to take a blood test and pay about USD$70 to a specific bank. I hope to be done with DAS this week; all I need is to take a passport photo. I met with my conservation partner on Friday – he seems cool, so my Spanish should improve significantly over the coming weeks.
Friday night -we went to Juanes’s house. As usual it was fun, there were more people this time around, some were friendly and others not so. Lexie and Myself bought Bacardi lemon -it tasted good. People started acting crazy which is what happens when there is too much aguadentes and rum in the system. A lot of silly pictures that I will not post online were taken (just in case you are wondering, I was not drunk nor tipsy – I do drink, however I LOVE to always be in control so I never do things in excess.
On Saturday, I went to Lexie’s grand-father’s 80th birthday. The ceremony was cool; I met her aunts, uncles and other relatives. They were very welcoming and nice.
The highlight of the ceremony according to me was when this very old man with one eye started dancing -he would move his body and he had coordination. I recorded him dancing, I will post next week because my camera is not with me right now. However I concluded that nobody in the world knows how to party like we Nigerians………you are free to disagree but that’s my own opinion.
Sunday I went to the Botanical Garden for the Book and Culture fair – it was the last day of the fair which started on the 13th. I regretted not going earlier instead of waiting to the last day and also not having my camera sucked – I missed capturing some interesting things. There was a lot of books – books on history, science, personal development, culture, & so on , if you know me you will know I love books – they make me so happy. They also had the booth where you would listen to testimonies from survivors of violence in Colombia and they had personal items from people who have disappeared without a trace on display and a video on the effect of violence on kids. This was an eye opener of me.
The best part of the fair was the pictures taken by Jairo Ruiz Sanabria – he had pictures of Afro Colombians on display from those in the music sector to art to education to science to sports. Out of the pictures was a picture of Wole Soyinka – he represented the voice of Africa – he attended the fair last year. I hope to meet him before he dies. When I got back home, Juanes’s concert in Cuba was on – I wished I was here. There were a lot of people and the musicians who sang were awesome. Music is one of the best things in the world – it brings people together.
Colombia will be playing a soccer match against Chile on the 10th of October – and they will be playing here in Medellin and I’ll definitively be going to watch it live.
This Saturday was “the day of love and friendship” in Colombia. It’s just like Valentine’s Day but not for lovers only, it includes friends. Lexie gave me a cute ear-ring, my host family gave me a pretty necklace.
I’m expecting this week to be very busy – I intend to make real progress on my personal statement essay for grad school. I also decided to have another blog about my travel -but this one will be in Spanish- I’m thinking it will improve my Spanish writing skills.