Hace Mucho Calor in Cartagena!

It was HOT and was looking for something to cool me off.

I decided to have my first smoothie yesterday in the midst of exploring the city for the second day. I love smoothies and this one was delicious. The main ingredients were strawberry, banana and yogurt.

Wait… you’re not here to read about my infatuation with smoothies.

Wait… you’re
not here to read about my infatuation with smoothies. So as I was saying
I was exploring the Centro along with the other neighborhoods in the
walled city for the second day. I had previously navigated the city my
first full day here, Sunday, Jan. 13 after a 1pm meeting with Lisa (who
is of Mexican decent which caused me to mistake her for a local and
stand around the cafe for 10 minutes waiting around. A blunt reminder to
one my life rules, never assume!) the head teacher of the volunteering
group, I planned to roam and get lost for a few hours. I had another
meeting at 6pm in the same mall (which offers a pleasurable respite from
the heat) with Eugenia, the head of the organization which left me a
lot of time to kill. Since I’m going to be here awhile I wanted to get
my bearings and the lay of the land ASAP. So with four hours to kill, I
walked, walked and walked, stop to eat lunch at a very touristed
restaurant/bar where the Pats/Chargers game was on; then I walked some
more. The city is wonderful in a very rustic kind of way. Not unlike
many other Latin cities, I’ve visited but Cartagena has it’s own unique
touch and feel. By the time my second meeting (which are very informal
more just introductions) was over I was exhausted. So I headed back to
my home for the next seven weeks for dinner.

Okay, back to yesterday Monday, Jan. 14 where this post originally began. I had a
meeting (again very informal) for some final paperwork that needed be
completed with the heads of Domino Volunteers; the organization who
facilitates these volunteering endeavors for individuals like myself.
After that, I had a meeting with Gustavo, who’s going to be teaching me
Spanish while I’m here but he had to cancel. I saw it as another
opportunity to get lost again and practice my Spanish (or screw it up,
however, you want to look at) asking locals how to find certain places. I
think I almost have it down. Not the Spanish but my bearings. I know
one thing for sure, I 100% will be able to find that smoothie shop! I
also pinpointed this restaurant with a rooftop seating that Ruthie and I
can visit when she gets here in six weeks. 

I pretty much only interacted with locals today, either them trying to
get something from me or me asking for directions. There was one little
girl who came up to me asking for food or money but not in a pestering
way if that makes sense. She was so adorable and I felt bad but couldn’t
do anything but say “no entiendo” and smile as she walked beside me.

I guess me
talking about walking around in the scorching sun isn’t too exciting
huh… I did stop for about 20 minutes to sit on the wall closet to the
shore and just sat quiet, gazing out at the ocean. Wait.. that’s not
exciting either. But I promise it was awesome. One thing of
note; there’s definitely tourists here but honestly, not as many as I
expected. I feel like I’ve seen a lot more visitors, ex-pats,
backpackers etc. in other countries. I haven’t explored everywhere yet
so we’ll see.

There are not
many experiences like being somewhere new and different interacting with
strangers with a completely different perspective on life and the
world. I’m excited to see what living that for 8 weeks will be like.

The area I roamed the last two days.

Today’s my first visit to La Boquilla, where I’ll be helping to teach English. I’ve been told it is a very impoverished area.

I only took a few pictures during my stroll.

Of note: I pinned a smoothie shop in that mall I plan to patronize today for leaving to volunteer. IJS

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