So, last Thursday was el dia de la virgen de candelaria, so we had the day off of school. I’m not entirely sure what the day was about, and the people I asked weren’t entirely sure of the history either, but this is what I know: it definitely has something to do with La Popa, the big hill that overshadows my neighborhood, which is fittingly called Pie de la Popa (or, foot of the Popa), and it has something to do with Mary and catholicism, and it’s important to Cartagena in general, but probably only our school and a couple of other nearby ones got the day off.

The rest that follows is me paraphrasing and possibly making things up.

So, once upon a time, there were two Cartageneros hanging out in a boat on the … lake. And then, the Virgin Mary appeared to them! and told them to build a church on the highest point in Cartagena. So they climbed up the Popa and built a church and also a convent for good measure. And the had an altar constructed of gold, and marked the day every year hence forth. Or something like that. I’m sure I could look up the history on wikipedia if I weren’t paying by the half hour in this internet cafe.

So I climbed this hill with two of my future students that my counterpart found for me to climb the hill with.  Which was super fun. They are very excited about learning English. When I asked if they would be in my English class this year (in Spanish), they answered (in English), ¨Oh yes! I love English!¨ So I was like, great, let’s speak English for the rest of the day.  Ha ha!  So now I have two friends in the eleventh grade, and I think one of them lives in my neighborhood.

And then they invited me to the movies for half price movie day, and we watched Sherlock Holmes 2, in English with subtitles. A good time was had by all, especially since we smuggled in our own popcorn, because everybody knows that’s the best part of watching movies. And, I got to laugh at all the funny parts a few milliseconds before everyone else. Victory is mine!

The view from the top! I could just barely see my house.

It was a good day.

In other news, I hung out on the beach this weekend with some Colombian friends, and made some new friends. Unfortunately none of them live near me, but that’s okay. We also watched the superbowl, and I carried on my grand tradition of not paying any attention.



2 responses »

  1. Mom says:

    Sounds all very interesting! We didn’t even watch the Superbowl so you were one step ahead of us!

  2. ellzey says:

    Beautiful views from the top of that “hill”! The city is amazing. We spent almost two weeks in Cartagena in August 2011 and hope to return this year as well.

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