Semana Santa, Holy Week.
This is something like Spring Break for those of us who work in schools. We’ve had the whole week out. Most of my Colombian friends, however, only had Thursday and Friday off. But that’s plenty of time to have some fun, right?
I spent the vacation here in Cartagena, and in surronding areas, pretending to be a tourist (complete with stylish sunburn!)
I got to see some of the sights nearby that people like to talk about a lot, such as the “mud volcano” (more like a mud hill with a hot tub), the Rosario islands, and Playa Blanca. I also stayed in a hostel a few days with my fellow volunteers and a friend from America (not my friend, one of the volunteer’s). It was a nice break to get to stay somewhere else for a little bit.
Also in town this week was the volunteer whose life I basically took over. She’s not the volunteer who worked at my school, but she did live with my host family for awhile, and all the people who I’ve made friends with here are also her friends… there’s pictures of her in my house with all my friends… very strange. But we had a good time. She stayed in my house.
Thursday and Friday were spent in Playa Blanca (again). Instead of going the tourist route, we went the Cartagenero route. That is to say, we took a bus out to Pasacaballo, a canoe across a lake, and a rickety old bus out to the beach. Definitely more fulfilling. And hot and… rickety. On the way back, we got a ride on a speedboat for not too much. We started out with six, and gained a seventh the first night, lost one the next morning, and then acquired three more. Hanging out with couchsurfers is always fun. Keeps you on your toes.
Yesterday I finally managed to stay up past ten and go out dancing. I feel like this is an huge step in my integration process. Now if I could only master salsa and work on my tan, I could be a real Colombian. And I could work on my Spanish too I suppose. When we first walked in, I curled up in a half fetal position from the loud and the flashing lights, but I managed to uncurl and ignore the protestations of my eardrums. It was fun.
In case anyone was curious, it seems that you can curdle UHT milk (ultra pasteurized!). Tomorrow I have my sights set on matar paneer, since, unfortunately, our local Indian restaurant does not do the peas and the cheese. los arvejas y el queso. I’ll keep you posted.
There’s been a lot of rushing around this week, and a lot of things to do, but it’s definitely been one of the best weeks so far since I got to Colombia.
Oh, and happy birthday to my dear Dad all the way back home in Wyoming. You’re the greatest!
Semana Santa, Holy Week.