domingo, 23 de octubre de 2011

Settling In

Hey y'all!

So, it feels much longer, but I've officially been with my host family for one week now! It's great because they're the parents of one of the Colombian staff memeber who works in the Peace Corps office.  They love the Peace Corps and it cuts down on my having to explain technical things in Spanish :)  Here is their son with his (pregnant) wife and young son...all named Alberto!

Things have been going really well down here! I live really far away from our 'school' where we are doing our language lessons and training and am the only one who doesn't have somebody in the Peace Corps living near them, but I'm trying get out and learn the city...would be easier with a map!!

So far its just long days during our three month training program.  The first part of the day is spent in language class that we were divided into based on ability.  Totes in the upper half of the PC group based on language ability (whoo-hoo!), but turns out no where near as good/prepared as I thought I was (awwww).We also have Saturday classes together (see above picture!).  It's *insane* how much my Spanish has improved in just a week! 

The second half of the day, Monday-Friday, is dedicated towards TEFL (Teaching English as a Foriegn Language) training, lectures from the PC Doctor, Security training classes, and any other bits of information they can throw at us.  Right now the PC Office is trying to figure out where each of us will be going in mid January for our permanent site!  Looking forward to knowing where I will be spending the next two years of my life and settling into a home a bit more. 

I haven't been able to get out too much in Barranquilla to hang out with friends and explore the city but loving the times that I'm able too!

This is how a gringa rolls this close to the equator: SPF 100 and and umbrella to block the sun at all times!

Okay.  Enough about me.  Hope you all are doing well and the next entry will be more about Barranquilla and the culture here (get excited!!)


viernes, 14 de octubre de 2011

First Blog EVAH!

Dearest friends (and any randos who have stumbled upon this),

Never in a million years thought that I would be a blogger, and not sure there's a whole heck of a lot of difference between this and facebook, but here I am: blogging!  This initial blog is going to be a bit wordy, but it's my first one, and I just got to Colombia so your interests will still be peaked and most of you will make it through it :)  From here on out however, expect a mostly pictorial depiction of my time here and let your imagination run wild! (Also, to add to the generally clumsiness of this blog, everything on my end is in Spanish so I really have *no* idea what I'm doing!)

I skipped taking pictures of the very long commute from Chicago to Miami to Panama City to Barranquilla, Colombia.  I had a heck of a time getting out of Chicago due to equipment malfunctioning on our plane and then several very long days strung together.  However, when I moved to Italy it was one of the most horrific experiences ever-including almost crash landing on the tarmac of JFK before our pilot pulled up and landed us in Connecticut, dropped us in an abandoned terminal, forgot about us, put us on a bus to JFK and finally catching the same flight a full 24 hours later.  If that was the yin, the yang was the most amazing experience for the next couple of years.  So, I feel pretty good about the fact that actually getting here was a royal pain in the ass because I am ready for an amazing experiece! 

This here is my first photo taken just outside the airport in Barranquilla, Colombia (Home of Sofia Vergara, Shakira, and the MVP of last years World Series...I don't know his name, that's just what I was told!) as we meet the current Peace Corps staff.

Medical kit full of all sorts of wonderful, government provided staples like tylenol, chap stick, sunscreen and camouflage condoms (ask me if you want to hear a really inappropriate joke a fellow trainee made).

So, feel free to follow along with me as I post pictures from time to time and do some explaining when necessary.  These first couple of days in Colombia have been relative laid back, in a hotel, doing lots and lots of paperwork and training (and with free wi-fi).  We move in with our host families on Sunday and then shit gets real!

 Thank you all for being so supportive.  Look forward to hearing from you soon :)