Many people ask me, “Why are you teaching in Colombia?” The reasons are many: I wanted to be in a Spanish speaking country where it’s hot, on or near the beach, in a good school, etc.
Last weekend reminded me of the advantages of being a teacher in Colombia. It was a 4-day weekend and I went with a Colombian to a beach near Santa Marta called Casa Grande for a surf holiday. Since I’ve been here I’ve been saying that I want to spend time with Colombians and in nature. Last weekend I succeeded in doing just that. It was a much-needed weekend of rest.
Here are the that were on items on my 'to do' list that I accomplished:
- Go camping
- Spend time with Colombians - done!
- Spend time on the beach - the whole weekend
- Learn how to surf better
...and then he gave me surf lessons.
He's still a little bit better at surfing than I am. Only a little bit (ha ha ha).
A few of his friends I met told me that he is the best surfer in Colombia, which seems pretty accurate.
- Speak Spanish - claro
- See wildlife and nature - lots!
This is Daniela with her pet zaino named Shakira
- Spend time in the hammock
- Read and write - done from the hammock
- Enjoy the peaceful sound of the waves - ahhhh
The 'to do' list pretty much sums up our time. The last morning Yoyi and I got up before sunrise to see the Sierra Nevada mountains that are visible only in the morning. It was a little bit hazy and the pictures didn't really turn out, but picture palm trees and a river in the foreground, and snow-covered mountains in the background. All of this taken from a Caribbean beach. I've never seen that combination before.
I got a little too much sun. The mosquitoes were bad, but the gejenes were worse. I don’t know what these little insects are in English or if they exist other places. I didn’t feel them bite, but later there were little red dots on my legs and they didn’t itch so I thought they were not a big deal. Yoyi seemed to think they were bad. Now I know why, they started itching a few days later. Now, a week later they look more like mosquito bites and are still itching like mad. In the final day of surfing, the fin jammed into my leg. I have a bruise the size of my hand. Between that and the gejen bites my legs have seen better days. No pictures of that though, and I think you're better off.
Overall it was an incredibly relaxing time and I came back to Barranquilla and school feeling very refreshed. Colombia certainly has its share of problems, but it also has a lot of beauty too.