Right now I’m chilling out in the teacher’s lounge in my school. Today is our first day with students, the returning bachillerato (6 to 11) students having shown up today.

We started the day by having all the students line up on the basketball court according to grades while there were speeches from the rector of the school. Then, there were prayers, as religion in schools in Colombia is not only okay, but expected. Then, we did club hug time (which we had also done with the teachers in one of our teachers’ meetings last week) and the students and teachers were intermingling and hugging. I have not quite embraced (embraced, haha!) Colombian culture that I want to start hugging my future students that I haven’t really met yet, so I kind of skulked in the background, although I did see some 11th graders eyeing me but I gave the a look. and the skulked some more.

Drive by fish purchasing

Then I had to introduce myself, and that was fine.  Now they’re having a orientation class but I opted to hang out in the teacher’s lounge as I rather suspect nothing much is going on and I think I’ll probably have to come out in the afternoon as well, so I’m taking it easy. And writing in my blog instead.

And the power went out just as everyone was going to class.  First day of school in Colombia!

Also, one of the Spanish teachers at the school has taken me under her wing, and yesterday took me out to her house “in the country,” which was mostly like a subdivision, but with mango and papaya trees and parrots and stuff. It was fun. We had fish that she had bought in the market from the window of her truck, which I didn’t know was a permissable way to market, and rice and “lemonade” made of oranges, but she kept insisting we call it lemonade anyway. It was a pretty good time.

On the way back to town, we got to talking about my being in China last year, which led to many interesting misconceptions. She asked “when you were in China last year, did you learn Japanese?” and I told her that no, when I was in China, I learned Chinese. And it’s in Japan that they speak Japanese, and that Chinese people and Japanese people don’t really get on that well, in my experience.  She also asked me if I was there during the tsunami.  I was, but it didn’t really make that much difference that I was in China… because of China and Japan not being the same place. Anyways. It was a good conversation. I practiced a lot of Spanish!

 

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3 responses »

  1. Mom says:

    Wonderful that you made a new friend and got some good food. An answer to prayer. Love the Chinese/ Japanese exchange. I am sure most Americans would be totally confused about South American countries too.

  2. Nancy Quinn says:

    Abby, I love reading your posts and seeing the photos. Also, I am learning some Spanish from you. Is a bollo a roll stuffed with something? Cartagena must be a beautiful place. Do you do alot of walking?

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