Saturday, October 18, 2008

Art Festival in San Antonio

Here's a picture of a drag queen impersonating and singing karaoke to Celia Cruz.

As I was trying to buy more and more earrings, I kept turning around to find scary, painted men and women on stilts. It was pretty amazing to see them walk through the crowded streets without falling.

This art show was a few weeks ago and I went with some friends on a Saturday night. It was in Cali, just in a different part of the city where I feel like I'm in San Francisco sometimes. The roads are narrow and hilly, the houses are colorful, and the people-watching is some of the best I've seen.

I really do more than just look for pizza and watch TV here

Here are my friends Tara and Stetson, enjoying some of the local beer here called Poker and pronounced "po-khair." It tastes to me like Coors Light, which is why I always order it michelada style with lime and salt.
Here's Tina...Stetson has no idea she's behind him.
Tina, Tara, and myself. I think Stetson bought these for us out of pity for the little boys selling them.
This is Pachito, the parrot who was outside our window at the hotel Sunday night. He was Stetson's new best buddy and kept us entertained with the few phrases he knew: "Hola," "quiero cocoa," and "Pachito."
Here's the courtyard in the middle of our hotel. The owners were so nice and the place was just charming as you can see.

A view from the streets of Santa Rosa.

I reread a few sentences of my last few blogs and realized that it may sound like I never do anything here except look for good pizza and TV shows. That's not a very accurate picture of my life here. So, I'm going to include some pictures of what I've been doing. These were all taken last weekend in Santa Rosa, about four hours away, in the coffee region. It was this adorable little town in which they were celebrating their anniversary, so there was a festival in the town square right next to this church. I went with my two roommates, Tina and Tara, and our friend Stetson. All people I teach with at Bolivar. The next day we went up the mountains a little further and swam in the hot springs with two big waterfalls in the background, it was extremely beautiful. I also treated myself to a massage there, which only set me back about 15 dollars...not bad. The whole weekend was very affordable with less than $20 bus rides and hotel stays. The most economical part was buying the multitude of adorable, handmade earrings, which were about a dollar a piece...I have a weakness apparently.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dia de No Carros

Last Thursday, the mayor of our city pulled off an amazing feat, he enforced a day of no cars. The only vehicles allowed from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. were school buses, taxis, doctor's cars, and bullet proof vehicles. This day of no cars was instituted for environmental reasons, to remind people that they don't have to drive their cars everyday, that they can rely on public transportation. I take a school bus everyday, so I wasn't effected.

I found it very interesting though that some of the students here were freaking out at first because they didn't realize they could take their bullet proof windowed cars. There are kids here that are taken to and from school in heavily guarded modes of transportation. It's all very interesting to me. It doesn't scare me, it doesn't make me nervous. We've been told over and over again that the FARC and other guerrilla groups are not out to kidnap American teachers, they may be out to get family members who have a lot of money though.

After all my complaining about not having the internet at home, we finally got it that same day last week. My own computer seems to be giving me some problems now, but my roommate lets me use hers, so I'm feeling better about that. Still updating my blog from work for some reason, maybe I'm avoiding all the work I have to do today.