En Barranquilla Me Quedo

I don’t know why I’m so terrible at this whole blogging thing! I think part of the problem is that everyone I know is on Facebook now, so I just assume that the photos and status updates I post on there are good enough. There are still a few people out there who want me to blog, though, so here I go…

Life here in Barranquilla has been really good lately. With our new, permanent (or so I hope) schedules at school, I no longer teach huge classes of 48 by myself, and one of my 4th grade classes was assigned to a different teacher. I was able to pick up an 8th grade class instead, which I am co-teaching with my favorite Colombian English teacher. I love it. I truly enjoy older kids  so much more than younger ones. I guess I just relate well to 14-year-olds! Not sure what that says about me, haha. There are, of course, still a lot of work-related challenges. One of the biggest for me is the general disorganization and lack of communication between the administration and the teachers. For example, I showed up bright and early to teach my 7am class today, only to find out that – due to meetings, of course – the kids weren’t coming in until 8. Had I known, I would’ve slept a little later and eaten a nice leisurely breakfast at home. But as usual, no one had told us anything. It turned out ok; I hung out, conversed with some of the other teachers, and ate an arepa con huevo from the snack bar. (These are like deep-fried corn patties with a fried egg inside. Delicious, not so nutritious.) I did manage to find out that 3rd grade and below are coming in at 9am tomorrow (don’t ask me why, I truly don’t know) so I’m planning some super sleeping-in for mañana.

I must say that my social life has gotten a lot better recently. I’m finally making Colombian friends! It feels really good to be meeting people on my own rather than always hanging out with my host sister’s friends or people from school. I recently met a lot of people at Universidad Atlantico, a college close to where I live. My friends Wismine, Lauren and I have been putting flyers around the campus to find people interested in private English tutoring. We’ve only gotten a few bites as far as the lessons, but lots of guys have offered to show us around or take us out! LOL. On Monday night Lauren and I went out with this guy Jefferson and his friend Edgar. Jefferson goes to Atlantico, but that’s not where we met him – that’s another story.

Basically it went like this: A few weeks ago, we were at Panamericana (Staples meets Waldenbooks) so that I could buy a Harry Potter book en español. We wandered into the children’s book section, where a salesperson asked if we needed help. After bringing us to the HP books, he sort of just stood there, so Lauren and I kept making conversation. He was really friendly, and I’m all about practicing my Spanish, so I didn’t mind. After finding out that we were English teachers, he promptly recommended some bilingual books and videos. He even put on the DVD I was interested in so I could see it. Jefferson also took it upon himself to recommend all of the parts of Colombia he thought we should visit. After exhausting my Spanish and his English – as well as every feasible ‘salesman’ topic – we told him we had to go. Before we left, he flashed a charming smile and told us to come back and see him soon. We left the store talking about how nice he was, then realized we’d made a huge mistake: we didn’t get his phone number! OH NO! What a failure. Here we were, constantly talking about how badly we want to make friends with Colombians our age, and we’d just missed a golden opportunity! Determined to make up for this error, we returned to the store twice – the second time, our new friend was working. He made a beeline for us as soon as he saw us, and after a spectacularly awkward conversation (which involved Lauren and I failing to come up with a good excuse for being in the store that day) we exchanged numbers and made tentative plans to meet up the following weekend. He called sooner than expected to invite us out for pizza. We went, and met up with him and his adorable (20-year-old) friend. They were sweet – paid for everything, even tried to pay for our cab. True caballeros, huh? 😉

Those who know me will not be surprised to find out that my favorite thing about Barranquilla – after the awesome people, of course – is the nightlife. Last Thursday we finally checked out Agua Helada, easily the city’s hottest club right now. I loved it. Beautiful decor, good musical variety, and generally great ambiance. (I was there with a cool crew of people, so I’m sure that helped as well!) Here’s a photo from online, just to give you an idea of what it looks like:

I’m so glad we ended up going out Thursday; none of us knew that Friday-Monday all of the bars & clubs would be closed under Colombia’s Ley Seca. Even stores couldn’t sell alcohol at this time. All because of elections! Strange law, huh? It was a waste of a 4-day weekend, let me tell you… Anyway, I’m excited for this weekend. It’s another long one; Monday’s a holiday of some sort. I think tomorrow I’m gonna check out the club that my friend Jaime invited me to – apparently, it’s the only hip-hop club in Barranquilla. Super excited! Y’all know I love my salsa and reggaeton, but it’ll be nice to get some variety in my life.

Anyway, this post is already way longer than I meant it to be, so chao for now! Look for a post after Semana Santa (last week of March/1st week of April.) I’m spending a few days in Cartagena, then spending the rest of the break in Tolu & the San Bernardo islands. I can’t wait.

Besos!!!

P.S. The title of this post is the name of a song I often hear while out rumbeando. Check it out via Youtube!

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