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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Little Survey

I want to propose a little survey purely for my own curiousity so if you are reading this please take just a minute to answer my short few questions in the comment section below this post. Please and Thanks :) I will love you forever haha. -Tyler the Traveling Texan.

1. What country are you from?

2. Your age? (or roundabouts if your shy)

3. Have you ever left your home country?

4. Where would you want to visit if you could visit anywhere?

Ok thats all I have for you! four simple questions :) have at it, thanks again, Tyler

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

One week until Texas (For Lucas)

Well my friends, as of today it is just one week until I get to back home and visit my friends and family for two weeks! I am pretty excited about drinking Dr. Pepper and eating some Whataburger and having some good home cooking. I am real happy to see my baby brother graduate High School and see my friends and family again. I cant believe how grown up he is now. Lucas, it seems just like yesterday I was getting out of high school and starting my life (look where I am now!) but, it is your turn now. I truly wish you the best and hope you get everything you need in life. Notice I didn't say everything you WANT. Because sometimes it is better to get what you need and not what you want. Had I gotten what I wanted, I would be an Airforce pilot or in the Army and it is possible I could be very hurt or even dead by now. Luckily for me, I was able to continue my life in another direction and have a super supportive family and friends to help me along the way. I am still figuring out what I want out of my life but, I do know that I love traveling, I love speaking Spanish and I love being able to see new cultures and people. I love seeing things that most people only dream of.

Lucas, if I can give you just one piece of advice that you will remember it is this: Take your time. Don't rush. You have your whole life ahead of you and get out there and see the world. Experience something new and don't settle for the first thing that hits your fancy. Fail at something and then try something new. In the ten years I have on you, I have learned many life lessons but if I had to choose one that would be the most important. Don't forget to tell Mom and Dad how much you love them. Remember that even when you got angry at them they have always wanted only the best for you. We have two of the best parents anyone could ask for.

I meant to write more but I kinda turned this into a message to my brother Lucas. I hope he reads this. I love you bud and happy (almost) graduation. I will see you soon (and everyone else also!) Tyler

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dar Papaya- It happened again.

Well it happened again. I got robbed. This is unfortunately becoming a bad pattern for me. I still love this country and it isn't all bad but the reality is that Gringos are frequently targeted. A few months back I had my wallet stolen. Now I have had my bad (with my laptop and all my work documents in it) stolen. I was out having a few beers with some friends from work and since there was so many people around our table I naively assumed that it wouldn't be stolen when I got up to go to the bathroom. Well I was wrong. It was stolen (and replaced with another empty bag) without anyone seeing anything. The thieves here are really good, you have to give them that.

The only good news is that I still have my money,ID,phone etc. and I wasn't harmed at all. Now that I have been robbed twice here in Colombia I have really learned my lesson. You just can't leave anything laying around. There is a huge gap between people who have money and people who don't. So people here generally steal to survive because there is no government services to help them out if they are out of a job or have very little money. It is quite sad but it is the reality of living in an "emerging economy".

There is a saying here in Colombia, it doesn't translate into English very well but it is Dar Papaya. Dar is the verb to "give" in Spanish and obviously Papaya is a fruit. If you give Papaya it means you do something that gives a thief or thieves a chance to rob you. By getting up and leaving my bag I gave papaya. I don't really like this saying because it gives the thieves an excuse for their behavior and shifts the blame to the victims but everyone who lives here knows this saying.

I still like living here and it is not a bad country even though I have been robbed twice now. I am going home in about two weeks so I will have to buy a replacement computer but luckily most of my stuff was backed up. I will be extra careful with everything from now on. I will still recommend that anyone visit Colombia but just be extra careful with your things and don't go around flashing expensive stuff. It isn't the fault of the country it is the income divide and I guess partly cultural. But, that being said, you can be robbed anywhere at anytime so this is not unique to Colombia.

See you soon Texas,Tyler

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dia de Madre

Well this past Sunday was Dia de Madre or Mother's Day here in Colombia and in the good ol USA as well I guess. Unfortunately for me I was not able to be with my dear mother on her day this year but she knows that as always I am there in spirit. Luckily though, I was able to have a mother for a day. I went with a friend of mine to her family's house in a town outside of Bogota called Cota. It is a really small nice town away from the traffic and noise of Bogota and the weather was great so it was a really nice break after my trip to Lake Guatavita (see my facebook pictures) and I was lucky to have two real nice small holidays in a row. Marcela's family was really super nice to meet (as are almost all Colombians!) of course, because this was a Colombian family event there was about 1000 people there and lots and lots of food and beer. Just my style :) Everyone was really friendly to me and very curious about me and how I was liking Colombia. Luckily now my Spanish is decent enough that I can hold a conversation with just about anyone on just about any subject even though I am still far from perfect, I can be understood and understand.

Monday was a day off here since Sunday was Mother's Day. ( I love all the holiday breaks in this country!) so all I did was rest and relax. But, it is now Tuesday and I am back at work. I have a big presentation on "Accents from Texas and around the world" for a big group of important people here at work tomorrow. I am slightly nervous but excited as well and I am almost done preparing my powerpoint presentation as I write this to you. Things are going really well at work and I like my new job a lot. Things are still good on the apartment front and I really don't have much to complain about at all right now. I am a pretty lucky guy. Well that's all I got.

See you June 4th, Texas friends/family! :) -Tyler

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

My Weekend Away

Well hello there! Long time no write. I know I have gotten pretty bad at keeping this blog up to date but, I do have a few good (or at least I think good) reasons. Most importantly I don't have internet at my house. Just here at work so obviously I can't update my blog all the time. Secondly, I have a pretty "normal" life now. I go to work everyday and come home everyday just like you do. Only I do it in a foreign country and speak a language that isn't English. I seriously doubt that many people still follow this blog but I know my family and some friends still follow this blog. I can single out a beautiful Belgian friend of mine who shall remain nameless but she is one of my most loyal readers and for that I really am thankful. Ok, enough excuses onto my blog post.

My awesome new-ish boss Ruben has some property outside of Bogota in a city that is actually hot and (usually) dry with very little rain. He invited all of us teachers out there for the weekend to relax and escape Bogota for a while. Of course we all accepted! So off we went. We left Bogota on Saturday morning and after about a three hour drive we arrived in the city where Ruben's weekend house was. This was a very small city that was quiet with not much going on, very typically Colombian. Of course coming from the craziness and bad weather of Bogota it was very very refreshing to me and the other teachers who had come along. We were all very thankful for Ruben's generous offer of letting us stay there for the weekend.

I really don't have much to tell you except that a lot of beer was drank, a lot of swimming was done, a bit of hiking and I have returned to Bogota with a sunburn. Not a HORRIBLE sunburn to bad enough to feel it. This is of course the first time in months and months I have been able to wear shorts and even have the chance to get a sunburn so I didn't mind too much. We hiked up to some quite disappointing waterfalls,got to ride horses,use paddle boats and stuff our faces with great food until we almost exploded. In addition to this we got to play a tradition Colombian game called Tejo which I am really horrible at. It involves a lot of beer and explosives. The object of the game is to throw basically big rocks at small explosive charges buried in clay opposite of you. It is fun but difficult even when sober. Of course it is always a good time even when you are terrible, some Colombians are quite good but us Gringos were not. Indoor Tejo with many people can be quite dangerous but luckily we were outside on a small field and no danger to anyone.

The ride home was on a nice big bus (with AC!) and it only cost 10,000 pesos or $5 USD! I figured it would have taken three hours at the very least but this guy drove like a speed demon and we got back home after three days of blissful relaxation in only two hours. Of course we came home to cold and rain so that was no fun but it's life huh? I am now back at work and doing my "normal" stuff, but it sure was nice for a little break and I really like my job so it doesn't feel like work when I come here. I may hate the weather and traffic of Bogota but I am happy with almost everything else. Unfortunately I don't have too much else to report. I really hope if you are reading this everything is well in your world and I will try to keep up with this blog more like old times. -Tyler

P.S.: Texas people, I will be home June 4th for two weeks!