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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My 3 year anniversary!

Today Wednesday March 25th 2015 marks my three year anniversary here in Colombia. I cannot believe how fast time has flown and all my ups and downs (and accomplishments) in 3 years! My Spanish is nowhere near where I want it to be but I am progressing steadily towards my goal of being a translator and I am a whole galaxy away from my Spanish level from when I first got here (which was nothing lol) This is the longest I have stayed anywhere since I left Texas! I think I like it here lol.

I can't wait to see what the future holds for my life.... you never know what is around the corner, so you must live everyday like its your last.


The List

So I wanted to give yall a little update. Jenny and I are still doing great together. We are really happy and we are helping each other with language (3 days in Spanish, 3 days in English and Sunday free day) we don't get to spend a ton of time together because of our crazy work schedules but, we have started having dinner together every Tuesday and of course spending the weekends together. Well we have really tried to keep things interesting in the time that we do get to spend together. So we started making lists to keep us accountable to each other. To some people this may seem quite anal but, I like it.

It allows us to share our thoughts and goals and feel good when we get something done. We have started a study list (her words in English and me words in Spanish) a movie list (of movies we want to see) and a fun list of travel and other things that we want to do. It keeps us busy and doing interesting things!

I want to share our "Fun"list with you now, I realize for people outside of Colombia you wont know many of these places but it may be interesting to you anyway ( I hope) and you can help keep us accountable!

1. The Coast of Colombia
2. La Guajira (an area of Colombia with native people)
3. Paipa Colombia ( a place with hot springs)
4. Panaca (an Animal park)
5.Chia and Cota (twin cities outside of Bogota)
6.Parque Jaime Duque, Tayrona, Chingaza,Iguaque and Cocuy. (All nature reserves)
7. Rio Macarena ( a beautiful river with many different amazing colors)
8.Nemocon ( a city outside of Bogota)
9.Parque Simon Bolivar (one of the largest parks in Bogota)
10. The Planetarium
11. Go to the theater
12. Go to the orchestra
13. Go to the most famous cemetery in Bogota 
14. Paintballing
15. Rock Climbing in Suesca
16.Visit Medellin
17. Hang gliding/paragliding

 That's it so far! Keep in mind, I have already done some of this stuff and vis versa but it is still fun to do again together.

Now for the list of what we have done so far:

1.We visited a city called Villa de Leyva
2.Guasca (a city)
3. We went to the Colombian version of the White House ( we had a cool,free guided tour)
4. Zipa (a city)
5. Guatavita (a city)
6. La Calera (a city)

As you can see, we are just getting started but, I am looking forward to completing this list and more! Yall have a great day, Ty

Monday, March 02, 2015

You take the good with the bad....

Well first the good, Jenny and I are doing great. We have been traveling a lot and seeing new places outside of Bogota. We have been to a few small towns and it is nice to get outside of Bogota. Just last Sunday we went to the National Museum here in Bogota. All of the places outside of Bogota have been really nice, pretty typical Colonial and old fashioned but it is not real expensive to get out there and we have been really enjoying that. We also have a visit to the Presidential Palace planned. (Think Colombian White House) so I am excited about that! We have a list of things we want to do, and we have steadily been crossing them off! It is nice to have someone to share my adventures with.  I am looking forward to our future plans as well :)

Now for the not so good. Recently, I had a health scare (Don't worry I am fine now!) no big deal... But it could have been. Really makes you think about life and puts things in perspective when your health is up in the air... I am glad to say that everything is good but there for just a minute, I wasn't sure. I have been so lucky and so blessed to have the life I have, I really try not to take any moments for granted, its nice to stay grounded and be reminded every now and again that it can all be gone in a moment. I have always tried to live my life to the fullest and enjoy every second I have. Luckily (hopefully) I still have time to leave my legacy! I can't wait to see what is in store for me next, around the corner now that I am 30!

Now for the really not so good. As most of you know, I love Colombia . I have been here for almost 3 years. Longer then I have ever lived anywhere else (outside of Texas of course) Colombia does have its problems but I accept them and move on. But, sometimes it just beats you down. It is expensive to stay here legally,Bogota is really crowded,polluted,traffic is horrible, petty theft is rampant,corruption is bad,there is a lot of apathy here. Until now that hasn't truly bothered me, I have just accepted that is just part of the culture here. But sadly until the culture changes and the mentality changes, nothing will truly change in this country.

An example, Bogota has a metro bus system that is hideously overcrowded and overused,delayed and generally not that great. But, it is certainly better than nothing even if it could be greatly improved and better implemented. Well to get into the system you have to purchase a card and tap onto the system, then go through the turnstiles to enter the bus station after you have paid. Well people avoiding paying by jumping over the turnstiles is rampant. People also enter from the street directly into the station (by going through the doors that open to let people in and off the bus) and unless a police officer is literally standing right there to see it, no one does anything. Not a single thing. While I pay to ride everytime, all these jerks get to ride for free. People push and shove and rush into and off the buses. This is just one example. Another example is people purposely overcharging you or changing the price that they quoted you. There is a lot of victim blaming here. There is even a saying for it, "dar papaya" which in English roughly translates to, if it happens to you, it is your fault!

Now don't get me wrong, I still love Colombia, there are still great people here and it is still a great country but sometimes it just beats you down... Today for the first time I truly wondered is it worth it to put up with all this. But, I am working hard to reach my goal of being a Spanish translator and there are certainly good things here as well. No country is perfect. It will take a change in culture and mentality for things to truly change but I believe that it is possible.

Now to top it all of, I find out that the father of my best friend in the whole world, has lost his battle with Cancer. I am very close to their whole family. At least we can all take comfort in the fact that he is now in a better place. So needless to say, it has been a very sad, frustrating day for me. 

Well tomorrow is a new and hopefully better day...

Yall take care,Tyler