Feliz Navidad to all! I had a wonderful Christmas!
I especially want to give a big thanks to Kimberly and all my family in Seattle for sending me such a lovely video! I feel so thankful to have that video and the an amazing family! Kimberly you are the best. Some highlights in the video- Sue with Santa, Charlie talking, James new haircut, Tina getting cut off by the kids, Joesha trying to learn Spanish, and seeing everyone’s smiles and love that they were sending to me! Thank you!
Here is the link if you did not get a chance to see it! Love you!
Monique and I went to the light show where there was a festival in the streets near the river! So many people, so many lights, and so much choas!
Here is a meat platter, no idea what is in it. I belive there is a lot of fat, a vegetarians nightmere!
Recently I took up running. I miss my bicycle and need something to counteract the greasy food here! I have fallen in love with it because I can explore the city in a new way and get exercise. Most of the places here have swimming pools and its always nice to jump in the pool after a long swim!
The hostel had a big Christmas dinner and then everyone went out on a party bus. Myself, I just caught up on some reading and Spanish. My Spanish es muy lindo! Me encanta aprender español todos los días! Its super easy to practice because there are so many people that come and go and I can just ask different people the same questions if I forget and I can practice stories over over and over again. Its so wonderful and super easy to do!
Merry Christmas everyone, hope you all had a lovely day and I am sending you all my love!
Forgive me as I do not know the names, just had the experience. New fruit! Can you believe it? Most of it tasted like kiwi, however a crazy experience.
I am cooking most food from the supermarket as most of Colombian food is greasy! I cannot bear to do that for a year!
The fruit on the left I was scared to try. It has tiny seeds in side that are super hard to chew. It tastes very similar to kiwi! The fruit on the right is my favorite one! I eat them every morning! You can only eat the white part. Que rico!
The fruit on the left I believe is a date. And it was uneatable. Disgusting! The one on the right is a good one. Nothing special but easy to find and good to mix with granola.
The fruit on the left was good, definitely would eat again. The one on the right, not so much. I couldn’t even bite into it and it made my whole mouth dry up in a second. Someone told me you can use that fruit with alcoholic bevarages.9I labeled the fruit from right to left best to worst. Most of it tasted like kiwi.I labeled the fruit from right to left best to worst. Most of it tasted like kiwi.
I met up with Monique again for a little fruit tasting! I love spending time with her because its nice to spend time with a friend and catch up. Its also nice to have someone that you completely trust out here as well.
Also today I was playing around with the idea that I may travel to another country in 6 months or so. South America is apparently pretty easy to do in 6 months so just playing with that idea! Meeting a lot of people from all around the world and have heard such wonderful stories and amazing things to do. So much to see!
Avi park is just a metro ride away where you can take suspended cable cars up to the top of a green mountain where the park is. You can ride bikes, horses, or motorcycles around the park. Free ride up and gorgeous park to greet you once you get to the top. My Spanish is improving and I had a nice discussion with some Argentinean family. Was nice to be able to start having conversations. I traveled with my friend Stefan to this park and he is from Scotland.
On the way back down met 2 gentleman from Oakland, CA. They both work at Pixar, small world! I am meeting up with them later tonight.
The town of Guadape was absolutely breath taking. It was the first time this trip where the landscape really blew me away. I am learning to take my time with whatever I am doing, and to just enjoy all the ups and downs.
I love day trips! You get to experaince another world within a city you live in. Typically you can catch a bus every half hour to almost every city in the country. Super easy and the buses usually take anywhere from 1 hour to 12 hours to get from city to city.
Every trip is different as I always travel with new groups of people and the dynamics are always different. This was one of my favorite day trips as the group was quite hilarious. There was a french man in particular who made me laugh as he played his gutair wherever we went. He even played it on the bus and on the train! Quite a character.
At Guadape you have to take a bus 2.5 hours from Medellin to the town where you climb 700 stairs to the top of a rock. The rock overlooks the most gorgeous scenary of lakes and islands and green lushious land for miles. I have never seen anything like it before. Unbelievable. I had to take myself aside for a couple of minutes as I have realized how time and taking things in can sometimes slip away. I am seeing so many new things, and experaincing so many new views that I find that I can become numb.
This one is for Kimberly. Enough said. What I am working on is being present, focusing on the moment, and taking in everythng slowly and with appreciation. This group in particular was helpful with that as they were slow moving, easy to please, and more free spirited than anyone I have ever met. I think at one point when we went to the town the 5 of us just wandered around not speaking a word but just being present. In total I was with 3 french men and an english lady. All around 21-24 years old.
Fascinating all the things that I am learning. Not only about South America, but other cultures around the world as well. I feel beyond blessed and lucky today.
Yesterday I took a bus from Bogota to Medellin about a 9.5 hour bus ride. The bus was pretty comfortable despite the fact that I sat next to a guy that was sick and was too large for his own seat! Despite the odds I was able to fall asleep. I arrived in Medellin early morning and checked int my hostel, ¨The Pitstop¨ which has a pool (two yellow labs mom and daughter), a full bar and 100 rooms. I have to say it feels a little like jersey shore. Sometimes these hostels are so accommodating people find themselves just partying and staying in! Got to do some paiting yesterday and looking into doing a mural at the hostel!
This city is such a change of pace from Bogota. It is much more modern, feels quite safer, less chaotic, more artistic, gorgeous 80 degree weather and a lot of public spaces such as parks and museums. I am excited to see more of it! Definitely feeling this city!
Immediately I met some friends from New York, New Zealand and Brazil. We explored the markets and went to the Museo de Antioquia which had many works donated from Botero who is from this city.
Today I am up at 7am headed on a 2.5 hour bus to Guadape. Super excited, it’s an island that is a must.
This week I have split from my couch surfing experience and gone on my way to the hostel scene. It is very different from the authentic and amazing family and community feel that I was so blessed to be able to do. I am grateful to the family and will cherish those first memories of my trip and Bogota that I had with them.
Onward to my first hostel, the Candels Hostel which is pretty quiet compared to all the others that I have visited. I like that because I can go out and meet people, but if I want to stay in it is a nice place to do that. I quickly met a friend from Cali, Colombia who has visited this city for many years. He has many connections and showed me around. We hostel hopped, met some new friends and went out for the night. He got us into many bars and clubs. These clubs are like mazes with multiple levels, endless stairs that lead to secret rooms and different music. The dancing is amazing. Nothing like I am used to, much more cumbia and salsa!
Yesterday I climbed Mt. Monserrate, a Mountain that is on a hill overlooking the city. It has a church at the top and you can either climb the stairs that will take you one hour or you can take a little ride in a elevated car (which was extremely packed with people) and do it that way. I went with my two flat mates, from Mexico and Italy and we decided to walk up it. They were not keen on the idea at first, until we found out the line was an hour and it would take an hour to hike. It took quite some convincing but we were off! It was much harder than I expected but so much more interesting as there are vendors selling sweets, beers, jewelry and religious ornaments.
Much of the food here is not healthy for you! I keep thinking of my vegetarian and vegan friends back home.
There are endless amounts of carbohydrates and fries foods. While on the hike there was candy, fried food, sweets, and beers people were selling. I thought to myself, ¨that is the last thing I want right now when I am working out and super tired¨. However everyone was drinking Mountain Dew or soda and that was how they were quenching their thirst. It makes me think about how privileged I am, especially in the Bay Area to have such amazing foods that are natural and so readily available. On the other hand, the juices here are so amazing and natural. I had a fresh cup of orange juice squeezed from oranges just picked and it was out of this world!