Posted by: Sarah | November 9, 2006

In a world of worlds that you can call your own…

Melissa, Amy, Leslie, Evelyn and I spent the past long weekend camping at Tayrona, which is still one of my favorite spots in all of Colombia, hands down. As we piled out of the minivan at the park entrance and I heard the unmistakable tune of “Numa Numa” playing at the tienda alongside the road, I knew that it was going to be a good weekend. (Please note, Katy, I refrained from busting out any high impact knee lifts, but only because there was no one with me to fully appreciate it like you would have). 

There is nothing like hiking through the jungle, hanging out on stunning palm tree-lined beaches, and falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing on the beach to remind me that this is SOUTH AMERICA. Leslie entertained us all weekend with her crazy fear of falling coconuts. As we gazed up at the night sky from our hammocks late Saturday night, we joked that the full moon fading in and out of the clouds reminded us of Pirates of the Caribbean. The craziest part is realizing that isn’t too far from the truth.

I may be a city girl, love the hustle and bustle of a busy cosmopolitan lifestyle, but I love the adventure side of traveling as much as a weekend in Bogota. It may not have been a Wisconsin state park or campground, but the weekend reminded me so much of all the camping trips that I have taken my whole life. There was far too much rain during the evenings to make a campfire, but we still managed to roast marshmallows over candles. We taught more than one Colombian the ingenious invention of “s’mores” this weekend.

Back in Barranquilla, life continues as usual. Teaching or studying…it doesn’t matter, the end of the semester gets draining no matter which role you are in, and I’m glad that finals are next week. I’m getting a little tired of grading papers, writing quizzes for my students, and dealing with the runaround inefficiency of the university. I also have a few French lectures to give next week, which means that I will be spending the weekend putting together a few powerpoint presentations, but I am actually looking forward to that (French, a language that I actually know? International relations, foreign policy, the EU and other IO’s? piece of cake). I’ve been happily getting more than my daily dose of politics lately as I have been glued to the election coverage the past few days, during every break I can possibly fit in at work. I’m looking forward to what is going to come next.


We have about a week off before the “winter term” begins, although that looks like it will be pretty smooth sailing as the assistants haven’t been assigned any classes to teach. We still need to stick around to help out with tutoring, but my schedule will much easier. And then…4 weeks free! AIESEC reunion for Christmas in Medellin, celebrating New Years’ at the Feria de Cali, and basically just doing what I love the most here…traveling around Colombia. 

Back home, people always seemed to get annoyed when stores put out Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. One of my roommates had warned us a few weeks ago that before we knew it, Christmas would “vomit all over Barranquilla”. A rather disturbing image, perhaps slightly exaggerated? That was what I naively thought. The minute that Halloween was over, the gaudy decorations seemed to appear overnight. This will be my first Christmas in a warm climate and it seems ridiculous to me to see restaurants with garland draped over every square inch, apartments adorned with lights and artificial trees, waist-high talking Santa Claus statues outside of businesses, and “Let it Snow” signs …when I usually feel as if my life has been put on hold and summer vacation never really ended.
“Let it Snow”?? really, people??
I had a great discussion with one of my conversation classes yesterday about snow. Out of about 12 students, only 2 had ever seen snow in their entire life, which had been at Nevada del Ruiz, the highest peak in Colombia, part of the Cordillera mountain range, near Manizales. They were fascinated as I told them about skiing, sledding, ice skating, building snowmen, snowball fights, having school cancelled for snow days growing up in Wisconsin.
That’s all the news for now…



  1. I’ll let it slide, but next time I expect to hear about some high knee’rs. Also, I laughed when you talked about snow~ you wouldn’t believe it Sarah, it was 70 out yesterday!!!!!IT’S NOVEMBER.

    No worries though, it’s Wisconsin, we should be back to good old 32 in a couple of days 🙂

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