Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Reasons Why

The Reasons Why

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

Yoyi and I camped on the beach.
As you can see, we didn't have many neighbors there.
  • Spend time with Colombians - done!
  • Spend time on the beach - the whole weekend
  • Learn how to surf better
Yoyi surfed...

...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

Yoyi and this dog were playing coconut husk ball

I think it's clear to see who was winning this little game

La vaca. How cute!

Un Golero - some type of vulture

las garzas
  • Swim in the Caribbean - done.
  • This was the beach where I surfed. Se llama Los Naranjos

  • Spend time in the hammock
We put up this hammock near our tent
  • Read and write - done from the hammock
  • Enjoy the peaceful sound of the waves - ahhhh
I know, it was a very difficult list of things to fulfill, but someone had to do it.

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.

Can you see the Sierra Nevada?

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.

Yoyi y yo en la playa Casa Grande

Hasta pronto Casa Grande

1 comment:

  1. Gee... looks real tough, Binyon. In the sympathy Olympics, you would totally place last. :) Ah, and I know what you mean about the gejenes. They exist in Brazil too, called 'maroins' (not sure about the spelling). Anyway, glad you're checking off you're to do list!