Friday, August 22, 2014

More Bogota

One of my favorite things about Bogota is that if you are walking around, and not in a rush you can always find something interesting. One week I left early on a Friday (between 6-7pm) and in a nearby plaza I found a concert going on. It was super awesome to just hear some cool local music.

Watching the concert were some people with this strangely shaped bike.

Here there are these fancy bags, that people hand-make. They are more expensive, but they are also incredibly lovely. I mean, just look at them (if anyone really wants me to get them one while I am here let me know. I specifically took this photos for my sisters to see). 

Apparently there is a patron saint of drivers. I have never noticed before that there is a statue of her in EVERY vehicle. There was a parade (I didn't get a good photo of it) and many taxis and vehicles were driving around with red and white balloons attached to their car. 

Here she is:

Buildings here are lovely.

Look what I found!!! Even in Colombia people know which AZ school is best. He didn't attend there, but still representing. When I told him I am currently at UNC he said that was one of his other favorites. It made me smile.

Here is the top of one of the buildings on campus. Cool huh?

Marlly and I went out to eat, and her hot dog came on a fancy stand. It was a high-brow hot dog.

And of course, ending once again with views from my apartment. 

And Marlly taught us how to make Colombian style arepas (and my old roomie Sebastian is in the background of the kitchen). That's all for now!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

USAID visit

So when I came down here I didn't really bring very many nice outfits, but I did buy a poncho. I know that I am not normally a poncho type of girl, but I truthfully love it. 

This photo is of me on my way to Church one Sunday. Randomly the lighting in the elevator is really nice.

After church Marlly and I went downstairs and ate food to celebrate July 20, Colombia's Independence day. We ate Lechona, which I have to say is AMAZING!!! They shred pork, mix it with rice and amazing seasonings, and then stuff it in a pig. They have previously removed everything in the pig so it is literally just a skin shell, and then they cook it like that. Your dish usually comes with the mixings and also some crispy skin (chicharron). It is DELICIOUS. I highly recommend it. 

Recently we had some awesome USAID representatives visit. The visit was to explain the opportunities that we have down here to work for different groups. They had us talk to potential hosts to explain what they could propose as projects and how to interact with potential visiting students.

Since I don't really have nice clothes, I wore my poncho again.

The event was held at a super-fancy hotel.

Here is the start of the presentation (Hannah Ricks and sadly I don't remember his name, probably because I wasn't emailing him back and forth).

This is my boss presenting about my time down here!! I wish that I had a better photo of her.

After we finished we went out to dinner at Andres Carne de Res in Bogota (not the original). I saw the fanciest toilet ever.

Here is Hannah and Delma at the restaurant.

Courtney and the gentleman I forgot the name of again (Sorry!).

Our food (which was delicious).

Forgot to take a photo of this food before it was gone.....oops.

The group with a view of the restaurant. It was a total blast. Andres is expensive for Colombian standards, but it was totally worth the money I spent for dinner.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Being a Bogota Tourist

After Santa Marta I returned again to Bogota, to continue life. Here is a view from school (La Universidad de los Andes). 

I work a ton. I mean, more than in the states. I blame my roommate Marlly. When I got here she worked from 8am-8pm Mon-Fri, and 8am-2pm Sat. I remember I was trying to figure out what a normal work week here was (FYI, 48hours) and if I was working in the lab enough. Marlly responded by saying that if I worked till 7pm every day she was sure I would be fine. BAH! Of course! That is 11 hours each day! I don't work that much, but I still work more here than in the U.S. PEER PRESSURE!! I just work from 9:30-7 though, so it works out.

Anyway, sometimes I take off early on Fridays, and recently I discovered that Bogota has many fun things that pop up on Friday afternoons. Like random Chess tournaments in the street.

Or street chalk art.

On one Saturday afternoon (after Marlly got off work) we decided to do the true tourist thing. We walked through La Candelaria and saw street graffiti art:

And kept walking until we got to a more fancy area:

I took a photo in front of the Presidential house/palace (Carlin says I should crop the right side of this photo to make it better. Just do it in your mind):

We thought we were going to a tango class, but it turns out that it wasn't happening that day, so instead we went to the museum of San Augustin on the campus of La Universidad Nacional. Actually the tango class takes place there at the museum, but it wasn't happening that day so instead we explored.

I saw awesome masks local to the Amazonian region:

There was a whole exhibit dedicated to "morenos" in Colombia (Morenos=very darkly skinned people, generally descended from Africans. This is me trying to be PC).

To roughly translate it says: Bogota is a great place to live, if someone comports themselves well and is respectful they will find what they want, and if no they will fall into the abyss.

I got a photo with the statue of Francisco de Paula

We then walked the region alongside the Presidential home/palace:

And here is a pic of the beautiful governmental buildings:

Back to Plaza Bolivar (which you have already seen from the other side of the plaza). The cathedral looks cool from this side too:

Then we went to La Casa de Moneda to learn about the history of Colombia's coinage. It was very pretty, and surprisingly had a ton of art after the end of the money exhibits.

This artpiece was in the ironic room. It is titled "Infierno" aka Hell. It made me laugh though is very blasphemous.

I took this photo because the Colombia one mimicking Coca-Cola is sad but true.

As we left the museum there were birds nesting for the evening in the trees:

So we started walking back to the apartment because some friends were coming over to hang out that night:

On the way home we grabbed dinner. I ate a burger patacon (instead of a bun it is mashed and fried plantains....AMAZING). I am SO glad I let Marlly convince me to try something new. It was delicious.

Overall it was a successful day as a tourist!