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.
!Chimba is a slang word for cool in Colombia!
This week has been every eventful. First – we (Lexie and myself) started the belly dancing class last Saturday – it was awesome, the ladies were very nice and the maestra (teacher) is very beautiful, flexible and graceful. The Thursday class is a combination of musical dance and belly dancing – a guy (a very cute guy with dreads) taught the musical section of the class; we did some exercise on rhymes, harmony, melody and how to concentrate. Mind you, this was totally in Spanish and I understood everything…….
Last Saturday (the 5th), on our way from the belly dancing class, we passed by the stadium – there were so many people because Colombia was playing against Ecuador – we won that match -2:1. We bought a Colombian jersey to support the players and it looked good on us. However, Thursday was sad because we lost to Uruguay 3:1 – very sad.
On Friday, we had our oral exam – I was nervous because I’m not yet very confident about talking in past tense (there are 4 different types of past tense in Spanish which makes it very difficult) in Spanish.
I met some guys from Congo and Kenya at the university. I’m very impressed with the guys from Congo because the learnt English in Kenya just 6 months ago and they speak it pretty good, now they adding Spanish to the 3 other languages they speak – Que Rico! I also started processing my student visa -it’s a very complicated process, an agency here in Medellin will help me obtain a student visa in Bogota the capital – which is good so I don’t have to travel to Bogota. When I get my passport back on Thursday, then I have to go to DAS (immigration department) to register -not looking forward to that because they have a reputation for being very mean.
Yesterday we went to the theater to watch a belly dancing show -it was AWESOME, the show was opened by two beautiful girls and they danced so beautifully, the rest of the other belly dancers were elegant looking and they sure know what they are doing. The drummers and flute players were amazing too. After the show, we went to ‘Wambar’ in Las Palmas to celebrate Jesus’ 18th birthday. Jesus is one of our Colombian friend.
It was a fun night especially when Lexie got tipsy on a half cup of white wine -how sad! Anyways it was a very fun night, got home at 2.52am Sunday morning. Now it’s almost 1pm and am still feeling tired and sleepy but I have to study – I have my final exam (for level 4 Spanish) on Monday.
I could not video much of the belly dancing show and take a lot of pictures because the battery of my Camera was dead (all Lexie’ fault)……..Anyways am looking forward to next week – I have no idea what it’s going to bring but am sure it will be eventful.
Until then Ciao!