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Friday, August 31, 2012

Time Lapse Video of Colombia

This is just a really cool video I found from my friends at SeeColombiaTravel  .  Click Here for the video.

Yall take care and hope you enjoy a little taste of the beauty of Colombia. -Tyler

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

10 things about me

1. I was born 3 months premature

2. I have visited over 15 countries and worked in 4 of them all before age 30 ?I have also been to 5 of the 7 continents.

3. I have had a photograph I took in high school, displayed in the Texas State Capitol (not permanently)

4. I have lived for 3 weeks on a remote Fijian Island with no electricity or running water as part of an eco project and loved every minute of it!

5. In Auckland New Zealand I worked on the railroads and helped construct a bank building. I also worked in the rigging crew on a concert tour for a band that is now International Click Here

6. I have seen 2 world wonders (and counting)

7. I have taught English in 2 very different countries

8. I have skydived,bungee jumped,canyon swinged,hang glided, hiked a glacier and more all to conquer my fear of heights and it worked!

9. I have loved and lost and failed many times in life. But, I have also learned to look at the positive side of life!

10. I have the best family and friends (all over the world) anyone could ask for. I also have an amazing girlfriend who thinks she is the lucky one but really it is me :D

Yall take care. Hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better. -Tyler

Monday, August 27, 2012

My 5 regrets of the dying video post.

Today I uploaded another video blog, referencing the post I did about the 5 regrets of the dying. Once again I give all credit for the actual list to it's author Click here to read. Yall take care and I hope you enjoyed my previous post and this video.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pablo Escobar

Some of my readers may know of Pablo Escobar and some may not, Click here for more info. Just a little background on this post on mine, Pablo Escobar was a Colombian drug lord from the 1970's until his death in 1993. Here in Colombia (at least in some parts of the country) he has achieved a certain mythological status. Especially in Medellin (the large city where he based his drug cartel out of). Some people called him the Robin Hood of Colombia because he was at one point one of the richest men in the world, worth over 3 billion dollars! He donated a lot of money to local communities and to Medellin because he wanted to foster good will among the people. He was especially popular among the poor people of Colombia and many of them actually aided and abetted in hiding him from the authorities. At the height of his power he controlled 80% of the cocaine traffic flowing out of Colombia.

As much as he wanted to portray himself as a nice law abiding citizen, from everything I have read he was not. He offered a bounty of over 500 dollars USD to anyone who could/would kill a policeman. Apparently over 600 police officers died as a result of his bounty. He had many many people murdered who got in his way. At the height of his power not only did he control the drug trade he also controlled the government. He had a short stint in politics and from what I understand the only things he got accomplished were things to benefit him and his illegal business. For example, he made sure that the Colombian government had a law on the books prohibited extradition so he could not be sent to any other country to serve any jail time.

He owned a very large ranch in Medellin Colombia nicknamed "Hacienda Naples" and on this ranch he basically had his own private zoo. He had animals from all over Africa and many many luxuries that most Colombians could only dream of. After his death the Colombia government had no idea what to do with all these exotic animals so they shipped some off to zoos and such but Pablo imported non native Hippopotamus's into his ranch. By the time of his death these hippo's had breeded and become feral. No one knew what to do with them or wanted to mess with these huge animals so they remain there even today. They are tourist attractions and known as the "Cocaine Hippo's".

He was put in prison in Colombia for drug related crimes but it was not just any prison. He had so much influence that he had a special prison built just for him, complete with a soccer field,a swimming pool and a luxury "jail cell" plus more all for him. He was to serve five years there but, he also had the option to choose who was to guard him so after 1 year and a bit he just walked out of the prison and didn't return. He was finally killed in a raid in 1993 and even though it has been almost 20 years he still has supporters.

He was involved in government as I said so not only did his drug cartel control the drug trade they started to control the government as well. One man and his cartel had the power to cripple an entire government. As recently as a few weeks ago some big shot military/government person was put on trial actually in the USA I think for having ties to Pablo's drug cartel (Which is weakened now but still exists). Also, in 1994 an up and coming soccer star was killed after the 1994 world cup because he (accidently) deflected a ball off his leg and scored into his own goal (thereby losing the game for Colombia) allegedly the people who killed him had ties to Pablo's drug Cartel. Now on Colombian TV there is a show all about Pablo Escobar, it glamorizes his lifestyle a little bit but it is a fairly good show.

Well now you know, all I know about Pablo Escobar. But just to dispel the stereotypes some of you may have of Colombia, in the 1980's-early 2000's the murder rate was very high in the country. It was one of the most dangerous countries in the world and the drug crimes were very bad. But, things have really improved! Drugs are certainly still around but they are NOT on every street corner anymore and (knock on wood) I have not had a single problem with violence here. Things have really improved in this country now and if I am not wrong it has fallen out of the top 10 most dangerous countries in the world and I really enjoy my life here! Drugs and crime will never totally go away but in the past decade and a bit Colombia has done a great job about improving things in this country. Lets hope that in the future there will be less men like Pablo Escobar.

Yall take care,Tyler

Friday, August 24, 2012

Colombian Bus Etiquette

Today I am going to discuss the various intricacies of Colombian Bus Etiquette. For new people here in this country it can be complicated and confusing sometimes! Most  people are really nice on the buses. But, some people are rude just like anywhere. When you want to enter a colectivo all you do is wave your hand and they will (usually) stop for you. Sometimes they just drive right past me and it is frustrating when I need to get to work! Sometimes they have a special seat next to the driver up front, but the only people who get to sit there is pretty girls. (seriously, the drivers don't allow anyone else!) They are usually over crowded but they get me where I need to go even if I have to put up with the over crowded-ness and people constantly trying to sell me things on the colectivos. These buses are like mini buses. They are not as big as the Tranmelnio Buses (Metro) buses. They hold about 25 people sitting and 15 people standing (comfortably that is) of course this number is almost never achieved because the drivers make about 75 cents USD per passenger. Hence, it is their goal to pack on as many people as humanly possible to increase their profit margin. I have been on buses with more than 60 people crammed shoulder to shoulder! Barely any room to breathe and/or move!

 Generally speaking people are nice and they will even pass your pass fare from the back to front of the bus to pay the bus driver and then pass back your change. Some people will even hold your bags for you (if they are lucky enough to have a seat and you don't) These Colectivos have one "stop" button generally located at the very back of the bus (you enter from the front and exit from the back generally) so it is in your best interest to try and get a seat as soon as possible at the back of the bus closest to the button. If you are unlucky enough to have to stand you just hold onto the handrail and wait until someone leaves the bus so you can sit down. Sometimes I never get to sit down. Colombians have the odd habits of NEVER moving over when you want to sit in a seat so you have to crawl over them and also they have a phobia about sitting down in a newly unoccupied seat they will just hover over it for five minutes! I have no such phobia haha. I will admit though, the longer I live here the more I am becoming like them. Sometimes I don't even move over and force the poor person to crawl over me.

On the colectivos all over South America they have this odd system of people boarding the bus (for free) and trying to sell you things. In exchange for letting the person on for free, the driver gets whatever they might be selling for free. The person boards the bus and begins his/her spiel about what they are selling. With the woman sellers it is quick,polite and to the point. Generally with the men it is long elaborate, sometimes pushy and boring. I have never once purchased anything from any of these sellers. They will hand out their product so you can look at it then you return it if you don't want it. I always refuse to even initially accept it so I don't have any obligation to buy it. Sometimes you can be on a bus and be hit by two or three of these "salesman" in a row. It is really annoying when you just want some peace and quiet after work. These buses depending on the amount of passengers and the insanity level of the driver can be really fast or really slow. But worse than the salespeople is the people who board the bus for free to beg for money while offering nothing or people who want to showcase their musical talents. The rappers are the most annoying because I am not a huge fan of rap music and in Spanish it is worse. I have only given money twice, both times to different guys playing the guitar who were actually really good and had good voices. I still have not figured out why the bus drivers allow these people on the bus for free while getting nothing in return.

As overcrowded and crazy as some of these buses can be, speeding all over the city (there is no designated "stops" they will stop anytime,anywhere someone pushes the "stop" button (Even in the middle of traffic!) these buses do have to be properly registered with the government and there is a phone number you can call if you need to complain. Every bus I have ever been on has proper emergency exits and while these are certainly not the safest mode of transport in the world they are super cheap and get me where I need to go. There is no map or proper system for the colectivos. They just have their destinations printed on the outside and you just have to learn which ones go where and where you need to go. There is thousands of Colectivos and different routes so it can be confusing but, once you learn the city it does get easier. Bogota is only smaller than Mexico city and New York (in North America) so this is an epically large city!

Now onto the Transmelnio (Metro buses) these are very large red buses that go thru-out the city (but not everywhere unfortunately) these buses stop and designated stops at designated times. They hold (I think) 112 people standing and 48 sitting. Of course there is always double or triple that amount of people on the buses. Peak hours are the beginning of work in the morning and the end of work in the afternoon. People are generally nice on these buses and will give up their seats for old people,pregnant women etc but you have to be like a hawk if you want a seat! You have to literally stand in the aisle directly in front of a seat and when that person leaves you sit down immediately. If you are not standing directly in front of the seat someone will cut in front of you and sit down in the seat you want. It is a ruthless world. But these buses are roughly 1 USD per ride (actually a little less) and they are on time,efficient and nice. It just sucks that they don't go everywhere and they are planning (but have no yet done it) to unify the whole Metro bus system so depending on what part of the city you are in, you need a different ridership card that sucks. Also their onloading/offloading procedures are horrible! You enter the bus station thru your typical turnstile type thing but the people exiting the station to leave, they use the same turnstiles! So it is a huge mess of people. Same story for enter/exiting the bus everyone just rushes at it and it is a huge mess! But, overall the Transmelinio is a good system. They have their own traffic lanes and are fast and on time. Really progressive and good for Colombia.

That's it folks now you now all the ins and outs of the bus systems in Colombia. I am a pro by now haha. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More Spanish

Click Here

Click Here

 I was just going to write about how my Spanish has improved and talk a little more about that but, I ran across the two above articles and I just had to mention this insanity! The first link is about a woman who is suing the Dallas Cowboys (professional American football team) because she was sitting on a black bench that got so hot she got 3rd degree burns on her butt. That idiotic woman sat there for so long dreamed up her dumb lawsuit! She is claiming there was no "warning signs" that the bench could be hot when it was 100 degrees F/40 degrees C! If she wins any money at all I will be very very sad. If it was so hot she should have moved.

The second link is about a woman in California who is suing for 1.2 BILLION dollars because she claims the new "smart" parking meters that allow you to use credit cards or wireless (with your phone) pay for parking is making her sick. She claims the "wireless signals" are getting her sick. If either of these moronic women win any money at all I will never be moving back to America! I can't believe that stupidity like this even clogs up our court systems :(

Ok onto my actual blog topic now haha.  I have been learning more and more Spanish lately since Vivi doesn't speak English to me. It has been challenging dating someone who doesn't speak my language but it really is the best way to improve in your target language! We have our fair share of difficulties but it is not as hard to communicate as you might think. I am by no means fluent but I sure have improved rapidly! Vivi is great about guessing what I want to say even if I say it all wrong. She is also really good about slowing down her speech for me (She talks like an auctioneer with her family and friends haha) It is interesting because I can understand her Spanish better than anyone else's. So sometimes she has to translate other people's Spanish into "our" Spanish haha. Spanish is not the hardest language in the world to learn but, it isn't super easy either.

For example, in English we can say I want, I wanted, or I will want for present,past and future tenses. In Spanish they have I,you,he/she,we,they want. Then a completely different word for past or future tenses. That means there is 15 possible combinations for "want" (or any other verb) in Spanish depending on who you are talking too and what tense you want to use. You also have to remember that every word has male or female gender attached to it. It is a lot to remember! Don't even get me started on the huge amount of  synonyms that Spanish has! I haven't taken a formal class of Spanish yet (but plan to in the future) it is difficult but I am getting there... my Spanish is MUCH better than three months ago. I can now hold an extended conversation in a normal pace of speech without huge problems. Of course my accent is very different than native speakers and sometimes hard for them to understand. I also don't know every word I want to say so sometimes I have to "talk around" something and my sentences might sound a little odd. My biggest challenge so far is that I am not fluent enough to "think" in Spanish yet. I have to think of what I want to say in English first and then translate it in my brain into Spanish. Not only is it slower but, I can easily mix up words or languages. But, I am hoping as I improve to be able to "think" only in Spanish. 

There is a taxi strike here in Bogota (there is literally thousand's of taxi's in a city of 9 million people!) they are angry because here in Bogota we have what is called Pica y Placa. Basically to cut down on pollution the city made a policy that people with certain license plates cannot drive their cars on certain days during certain hours (this policy rotates to include all license plates on different days) obviously if people can't drive their cars they have to take a bus or a taxi. So the drivers want to extend this Pica y Placa policy for more hours (hence more potential money for them) and even include the busses in this Pica y Placa policy so that everyone is FORCED to take a taxi.  I think it is greedy and wrong and who knows what will happen. There is riot police all over the city now ( I even saw an all female riot police squad) they sure looked like girls you DIDN'T want to mess with haha! But, I have been in rioting cities before and been fine. So far everything is calm and I am not to worried.... Colombia can afford to pay for universal healthcare for all of it's citizens but in the public sector/govt. jobs people are always complaining or striking about something! We will see how this goes.

Overall Colombia is a good country. I enjoy it here and I really enjoy my job and my girlfriend and learning Spanish. People are nice and friendly here and (knock on wood) I have not experienced any violence against me personally. I feel safe and happy even if I have been sick as a dog lately (but getting better!) I hate the weather here and the traffic sucks but everything else is great.

Colombians are also very thrifty! They have extreme recycling here. Anything and I do mean anything that can be used again is. There is people who come by on horse and buggy (yes in 2012) and they will take and re-use anything you don't want. Also in Colombia since there is no unemployment checks or social security people will do anything they can for money. Jobs that have no use or would  not be profitable in America are all over the place here. For example, "minute men/woman" these are people who will let you (for a small charge) use their phones to make a phone call if you run out of credit. This job would have no use in America but here they are everywhere! If you ever want to know any gossip you go to these people because they here all the dirt on everyone haha. Colombia sure is a unique country!

In some ways Colombia is a very progressive,interesting,cultural,safe,fun place to live. In other ways it is still very much a 3rd world country but you know what? Overall I am pretty damn happy here and hope to continue to  be happy :) I know this was super long but I wanted to spill that all out. Yall take care,Tyler

Monday, August 20, 2012

My long night in the hospital.....

So, I wanted to explain my recent health scare before everyone in my life starts to freak out. First off let me say that I am in no danger of dying anytime soon ( I hope). As most of you know recently I had a bad case of tonsillitis. I was quite sick for a while but they got me on some medicine and I finally seemed to get better or so I thought.  Well about three days ago I found a lump in my neck. In addition to this lump I have had an annoying itching on one side of my neck. It was on the same side as the lump, this lump was located very close to the "tubing" for my VP shunt. Let me briefly explain what a VP shunt is and what it does.

Most of you probably know I was born three months premature. Due to being born so early the blood vessels in my brain were underdeveloped and one of them broke. When it broke, it filled my brain with fluid. Obviously this was no good and they had to fix it because fluid and/or pressure on your brain can kill you or cause brain damage. I got real lucky. I had great doctors and they put a pump on my brain connected to a tube that snakes its way through my body into my stomach. All the excess fluid drains naturally from my brain into my stomach lining, keeping the pressure off my brain and keeping me alive.

When I was 13 years old due to my growth spurt my "tube" broke and they had to replace it with a longer one. Since then I have had no problems to speak of. Well when I felt this "lump" it was really close to my tubing and this obviously freaked my girlfriend out. She insisted we go to the hospital and get me checked out.

We arrived there at just before 6pm. We waited to see the admitting nurse after giving all my information I got admitted. After much waiting we saw basically an intern. Now my Spanish is pretty decent now but it is just so much easier to have my beautiful and amazing girlfriend Viviana do all the talking for me because A) she knows my total medical history forwards and backwards now and can say all the right words correctly and quickly. B) For some odd reason I understand Vivi's Spanish MUCH better than other people's Spanish so its much easier if I can just listen and then Vivi can translate Spanish into Spanish for me haha.

Well our intern didn't know what was wrong with me so she referred us to a "real" doctor. After more waiting we finally got to see a "real" doctor. Well she wasn't exactly sure what was wrong with me either so she wanted a second opinion from another doctor. Yet more waiting. After much time we finally got to see him. He had a rough idea of what was wrong but he decided he wanted me to get my blood drawn and a CAT scan/picture of my brain. Of course he couldn't draw my blood or take my CAT scan so both of these things required waiting once again.

The only upside to all this waiting was Vivi and I got to practice my Spanish and her English a lot. I feel that we both improved over this time haha. Well even though I told them my pain was only a two or a three on a scale of 1-10 (ten being the worst) they insisted that I needed an IV saline solution. The nurse decided to stick me not in my vein but into my upper arm/hand. She was super nice and super professional but man it hurt so bad! My other nurse was terrible I think she was blind. She missed my vein (for drawing my blood) THREE times. So now both of my arms are out of commission and hurt badly. My IV was totally unneeded in my opinion and now I am in more pain than when I came into the hospital haha.

So, after eight hours and one intern,two doctors,a specialist, a CAT scan and having my blood drawn they have determined that nothing is wrong with my shunt and I have a blocked lymph gland from my recent tonsillitis. They gave me some medicine to make this lump go away and it is not serious. I also seemed to have developed contact dermatitis/allergy/itchy stress rash on my neck. This is also not serious but I don't yet know what I am allergic too. I have never had an allergy to clothes or soap or anything so this is strange but they gave me medicine for this also and it doesn't seem to serious.

So the good news is I am not dying. My lump/allergy I hope will be cleared up soon. My shunt is fine and I shouldn't need anymore hospital visits (I hope) because we didn't get to leave there until 2am! The quality of care was good it was just SLOW SLOW. It also annoys me that they have to have a different person (hence more waiting time) for every single little thing. (including paying your bill!) the good news is though even without Colombian health insurance the whole visit cost me only 125 dollars USD! Pretty damn cheap for a Specialist, a CAT scan, blood drawn and seeing a "regular" doctor. Colombia has not been good to me health wise but I am hoping from here on out to be healthy and have no more problems. Wish me luck!-Tyler

P.S. I have the most beautiful, amazing,awesome girlfriend in all of Colombia. She has spent a total of 12 hours of her life seeing doctors and hospitals with me and all without complaining. I would never be able to do with without her. Thank you/ Muchas Gracias a Viviana Gaitan!  :)


Muchas cosas!

Well in the past three days a lot has happened in my life! This will be long I am warning you now, but I want to update yall on everything in one blog post. First, Saturday night was my one month anniversary with my beautiful girlfriend Viviana. One month may not sound like a big deal to most people back home in America but here in Colombia one month is pretty special so I decided to pull out all the strings and surprise her with a super fancy dinner. She had no idea and my plan worked perfectly! The resturant did everything great! Here is what you get for 50 bucks in Colombia.

I also had another surprise for her. Next month is the Colombian version of Valentine's Day. One of my clients owns a small hotel in a town about four hours away from Bogota and I am taking her there for three days of rest and relaxation and doing nothing. It will be really nice to get away from everything and everyone for a while!

As you can see by my four photos, you really can get a lot for 50 dollars (US) if you know where to look. The restaurant was great and the food was great, the atmosphere and everything was perfect. I knocked it out the park hehe. Only now I have set the bar pretty high so, for our one year anniversary I am going to need to really step up my game haha. But she loved it and I was really happy. By the way, the plate with chocolate sauce says "Happy first month of dating" the guy with the guitar is singing a song dedicated to us. :D

Ok, next up. On Sunday Viviana's son Juan had a school function and it was pretty important to him. As a 7 year old these things can be a big deal. So I went with Viviana and her family. Her sister came along, with her own 10 year old daughter Maria and the father of Maria. Juan's school is actually really neat. It is on a huge piece of property and they have a working farm for the kids to learn about different animals and such. It is out in the country side and outdoors. The kids get to do many outdoor activities and learn a lot. I wish I could have gone to a similar school when I was his age, they also learn English there.

This was more of a festival that happens once a year. They had food and games for the kids and presentations of the kids. Here is another difference, there was literally maybe 500 or more people there. They had zip lines and bouncy houses and many many games for the kids. The games along with the food cost money, all the money raised was donated to the school. But, they also sold alcohol.  Not only did they sell beer but they sold hard liquor! You would never see this in the states haha. I didn't get drunk of course but I am quite sure there was a few parents there who over indulged lol.

Last but certainly not least, I had a slight health scare (don't worry I am fine) but it is a lot to explain so I am going to write about it in another blog post. Yall take care,Tyler

Friday, August 17, 2012

A big huge thank you!

Well my dear readers, after three years of blogging about my life, all of my life, my ups and downs and travels and not traveling, I have hit just over 10,000 views on my blog! I have tried to blog about my life as honestly as possible. I have always strove to give you an uncensored version of my life and what I am thinking and feeling.

When I first started blogging I only did it because I felt "forced" to keep my family informed about my life in Australia but then a strange thing happened. I actually started to enjoy blogging and I started doing it for MY enjoyment and MY memories and not because I felt "forced" too.

I don't make a single penny from this blog (I am not that famous yet) but I do it because I like to write and I enjoy letting you know what is going on in my life. I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it even if sometimes what I write is boring. Thanks for reading and sharing my ups and downs with me.

Yall take care and I look forward to the next 10,000 views and what life has in store for me. At the moment I am pretty happy :) -Tyler

Thursday, August 09, 2012

The day my phone was kidnapped

So yesterday I was riding the bus back home from work as usual and my commute was going as usual. That until we hit a VERY large pothole (which while rare does happen) and everyone on the bus was just upward and forward... luckily I didn't hit my head or anything. Unluckily for me my phone fell out of my pocket and I didn't realize it until after I got off the bus. Well I tried contacting the bus company (there is many many many different bus companies) but I knew which bus I got on, at what time and where. But, of course they were closed. They are only open until 4:30pm apparently.

So I decided to go for plan B and call my phone which was still on the bus. Finally someone answered. I was really excited! At first I assumed it was the bus driver but it was not. It was just some random passenger. Here is where I made a mistake. I started talking to him in Spanish and he knew right away by my accent and not so perfect Spanish that I was a gringo (White guy) and he automatically assumed I was full of cash.

He told me I could come to his place of work the next day and give him the equivalent of 50 dollars and he would give me my phone back!  Well I just bought this phone two weeks ago and I paid basically 60 dollars for it. So there was no way I was paying him that much! Over the phone he then said I could pay him 25 dollars (but by this time I had him talking to my Colombian roommate) He gave directions to his work place to my roommate and the next day I took my wonderful girlfriend and after a long time of trying to navigate using his very confusing directions we found his place.

I was slightly worried about being robbed so I brought basically nothing with me and made sure we took a taxi so we had a witness.  Our taxi driver was really cool about the whole thing. Well I had no intention of paying this jerk 25 dollars USD to get my own phone back! He was taking advantage of me but two could play at that game..... I pretended I didn't speak any Spanish and offered him the US equivalent of 10 dollars lol. I shouldn't have even paid that but he did give me my phone back without any problems.

The only problem was my phone is pre paid and he used a lot of my credit talking to his freakin friends or whoever. Just like anywhere else in this world there is good people and there is bad people but the biggest downside to living in any third world country is that the locals automatically assume if you are white and a foreign you are just made of money when in fact that is not true at all. Sure I probably make more money than that guy but I am no millionaire.

Well I am no worse for the wear and I have my phone back with all my contacts and everything so from now on I am NOT keeping my phone in my pocket. I owe a big thanks to my beautiful girlfriend Viviana who really helped me out with all this mess. Yall take care,Tyler

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Colombian Healthcare

Well dear readers I have some unfortunate news. I am sick. I thought it was just the flu, which in Colombia is called La Gripa. It can be pretty bad especially the first time getting it if you are a foreigner. My beautiful girlfriend had la gripa so I had the luxury of blaming her :P but no longer. Because after over a week of trying every OTC (over the counter) medicine known to man I was getting no better! I had fever, chills, night sweats,pain all over my body,headaches and a terrible sore throat and pain in my ears. Oh ya also lots of nasty congestion. Pretty much the only thing I didn't have was overactive bowel movements or throwing up,thank God.

My wonderful girlfriend went with me to the local hospital and after seeing 1 nurse and 4 different doctors (apparently my gringo throat was special) I was diagnosed with tonsillitis! or in Spanish, Amigdalitis since it was not the flu I no longer could blame my girlfriend :P. This whole process took five hours. Luckily my girlfriend came with me though. She was a great translator. My Spanish at this point is pretty decent but I still had some trouble understanding some of those doctors. It is amusing because the doctors spoke no English and nor does my girlfriend. So the "translating" was not in English at all but for some odd reason I just understand my girlfriend's Spanish better than any other person's. 

The pain in the butt about Colombian health care is "one stop shopping" does not exist. First we had to wait to see the nurse. (They went in numerical order) then after she examined me I had to be wait to be examined by the doctor. Well this doctor was unsure of her diagnosis so she asked for 3 different opinions lol. Only one of these doctors was authorized to write me a prescription for all the medicine they were to give me. Of course we had to wait for this also. Finally we had to wait to pay but not only did we have to wait to pay, we also had to wait to get our receipt at one window, go wait to get it signed by someone special then go wait at another window to pay . This whole frustrating process took five hours. It would be so nice if one doctor could see you,write the prescription and then you go pay and leave. 

According to the doctors my tonsillitis is bad but I should be better in one week (I hope) the silver lining to this cloud was that my hospital visit and medicines were cheap. Really cheap. We also had to deal with an insane taxi driver who drove like a race car driver and then on top of that, ripped me off! In the local buses it is amusing,interesting and frustrating because Colombians REFUSE to move over if there is an empty seat so you are forced to crawl over them. I am used to it now but I still find it odd. Even more odd is their phobia about seating directly in a newly vacated seat. I guess they don't like hot seats because they will literally hover over the now empty seat in a crouched position for like five minutes before they finally sit down! It is so frustrating to see a perfectly good seat being unused like that. I on the other hand sit down right away haha.

There is two other bit of good news, I missed only one day of work luckily. (if I don't work I don't get paid) I am slowly feeling better but still not great.  Hopefully all these meds will help (even if one of them makes me really sleepy!) Wish me luck. I hate being sick. Luckily after our horrible day spent at the hospital the girlfriend and I got to have a really nice date night. A great dinner and just relaxing with each other. Sorry I don't have any good news to share right now or any amusing pictures. Next time. Yall take care,Tyler

P.S. side note:  Technology is an amazing thing even here in Colombia. My doctor's timed my pulse with their I phones and used their phones as a flashlight to look into my mouth haha. Amazing huh? Even ten years ago this would not have been possible. Old school is going out the window it seems....