I decided not to extend my Spanish lessons. Otherwise I would not be going around much and practicing is something you can doing during the trip as well.
On Saturday, I went to Sante Fe de Antioquia with the school. There was Anderson, who was managing the school and playing the guide that day. Cristina also went along, who was new in the school in Bogotá and was getting to know how the school in Medellín worked. She would occasionally take some pictures and actually spoke a bit of German. Anderson did actually our introduction and he seems to be a very steady guy. He always talks calmly and without much “ehms” or “aehs”. This was very satisfying to listen to.
Sasha, Robert, Marco and Jimmy joined the trip. Actually, I promised Sasha that I would take him with me with the Uber. And Friday we went out with Wout, Sasha and Paul together to Calle Setenta. Others went on to the bars and clubs at the park of El Poblado and I went home instead. And of course Sasha was not able to wake up and I had to tell the guards to call the family to wake him up. In the end, we were like 25 minutes late. Robert is a guy from Australia with a strong Gringo accent. He works as a contractor for tunnel systems and is traveling before finding a job in London (I believe).
The town itself is very colonial and not too shabby. We went to some squares, a museum, and a bridge before heading to a restaurant to chill or watch the Champions League final. There was a girl who was playing Chopin on the piano in the courtyard of the museum and we sticked there to listen. We actually met these guys afterwards again at the main square and Jimmy went straight up to talk to them. It was just a small chat about what they do but the attitude of Jimmy is quite awesome of just initiating discussions of things that interest him. And the 2 were happy to talk to us. They were actually some music students who were practicing for their concert tonight.
One sight on the main square:
After this, we wanted to go to Guatepe on Sunday and we ended up making plans to take the bus at 9 the next day with Robert, Jimmy and Marco. Robert sent a picture around where we can meet but it resulted in some major misunderstanding. Long story short, we were waiting half an hour on 2 different spots and ended up taking different buses to Guatape. I felt a bit guilty since I anticipated this could happen but did not try my best to find the other spot.
Jimmy, his main objective is to learn Spanish on his trip. So he was trying every opportunities to do that. Even though our level do not match, I tried to do that as well, but others would retreat to English once it gets too complicated. Robert’s and Marco’s level are even worse than mine. Jimmy was even trying to enforce this a little bit as soon as the others tried to speak English. But at the same time, he gets annoyed by Robert’s gringo accent. For me, there are people who are just not good with pronunciations so you should be a bit more tolerant.
And more and more, I feel like Robert is a bit like an adult child. He was not taking any responsibility or was not realizing that he could have done better for the meet up. Also, when we wanted to go for a boat trip, he asked something and wanted to do that and was trying to call us to his spot. But he was not even discussing with us what we wanted to do. He would neither pay attention sometimes and would get himself into confused situations.
I also talked to Jimmy a little more on the bus ride home. He finished his biology Bachelor degrees at Stanford and is about to study at the Med School at Stanford. The motivation is cool that he wants to help more people. But when we talked about my university I was getting a feeling of him judging people based on their education. We talked a bit about the jobs in Switzerland, and about how my job could also be done by someone from a less famous university if he does well at interviews. For me, the personal skills or attitudes are way more important. But the American system, or even maybe the modern education system has shaped our thinking into this way. I remember talking to a Chinese friend about this who graduated from QingHua (the best in China). She said that she knew that this is not good but amongst the millions of people in China, this provided the quickest way to find out whether your thinking would fit with your opposite.
But the view in Guatape is amazing:
I also went to Parque Arví with Wout and got my Yellow Fever shot since I wanted to go to the Amazons and head further on to Peru afterwards. Me and Wout decided to go to Cartagena together and also later maybe doing the Lost City trek and go to the most northern point of Colombia.
Also at the dinner table, we talked about divorce rate. In Colombia, we noticed that many families are separated and people seem to act normal about it. Simón’s parents are divorced and Angela confirmed this as well. But for Angela’s case, her husband died a few years ago. After we checked as well that well developed countries have way higher divorce rate (almost 50%) and in Colombia it is actually lower. But Angela said that it is very expensive to get a divorce here so people just live separately. I would really like to know a bit more about the reasons. To me, the ultimate commitment is sort of the best romance.
And here is also a picture of Medellín. I quite liked the city. It also had parts which remembered me of the hill side on HongKong island. And the setup in the valley just amazes you everytime.
Me, enjoying the sun in Cusco.