Where I am Living in San Juan del Sur

I opted to stay with a family on this trip, for a few reasons: it’s cheap, authentic, and I get to practice my Spanish with the locals. That was a good choice because the town of San Juan del Sur is full of tourists and ex-pats so everyone speaks English here. It’s also worked out well because my home is seconds away from the school.

The family

The family whose house I am living in is a large multi-generational and friendly bunch. There is a mother and father and they have grown children – I believe there are 3 living in the house: a son and his wife and their son, Alex who is 8 (yes, he is the only one whose name I remember. He is very chatty and cute and likes baseball and soccer); and two daughters, one of whom does most of the cooking. One or both of them may also have husbands and children, because I have seen other grown men and I have also seen a teen girl. The father had a stroke recently so he doesn’t move around much. He spends a lot of his time on the front porch and is very nice. There is also an abuela, or grandmother (actually, she’s Alex’s great-grandmother). I don’t know how old she is but she’s pretty spry and friendly too. Continue reading “Where I am Living in San Juan del Sur”

Colombian TV

So my host family does not seem interested in the Olympics, unless the soccer is on. I have seen them watch a really bad Adam Sandler movie (is saying “really bad” in front of “Adam Sandler movie” redundant? you decide), and two different Colombian shows so far. This is another reason, besides the heat, that I do not hang out much in the living room.

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Where I Am Living

So I have mentioned that for almost 4 weeks I am staying with a Colombian family in Cartagena. They live in an apartment in a middle class barrio called Campestre. I stayed with them for 2 nights in their old place, but they have since moved to a bigger and better place a few blocks away.

This is by no means the lap of luxury. Part of my plan in coming here to volunteer was immersion, and living with a family was better for that than living with other foreigners or by myself. This is a simple home with enough amenities but not everything we are accustomed to having. I realize everyday here how spoiled we are and how little we actually do need to get by. I am not saying I am thriving in this environment! I have some internal struggles being the spoiled brat I am. But it’s going OK so far, and the people are so great it helps a lot! Still, there have been a few times I’ve dreamed of checking in to a hotel for a night – with AC of course, including a search I did on hotwire a few hours ago!

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Roll with it 

It’s been a little crazy the last 2 days because my host family just moved. Yes, I know! I got to their place on Monday night, stayed two nights and then was moved to another family’s house to stay while the first family moved. It sounds complicated.  Maybe it is.

So Wednesday night I stayed with the volunteer coordinator, Libary, and her family. Then last night we were told the new place my family moved to still didn’t have ac so could I stay another night? Roll with it Melinda!

This is my new mantra to myself. Part of my reason for coming here was to hopefully change some things about myself, even a little. One of those is my lack of patience. Another is my need to be in control. So here we go! I tend to like having a plan and sticking to it. haha. Roll with it. This isn’t that bad.

So I am now in the new house but it doesn’t have wifi. So short post now via my phone and my local data plan. I also can’t take a shower because my towel is at Libary’s house with some of my other things since I stayed there for 2 nights.

To focus on tbe positive here!

1. The negative is really not that bad! I always had a place to sleep!

2. Shout outs to Libary. This 23 year old works 2 jobs and is amazing. Good thing I am the only volunteer she is coordinating this week because it’s been busy for her for sure!

3. Finally,  I got to the institution today and the children ran and hugged me so hard we all almost fell over. Great reception and easy to roll with that.

Buenas Dias 

So it’s my first full day and I thought I’d get a post in before my adventures around this busy city.

My desayuno (breakfast) and coffee were provided by my Colombian mom (who is my age but treats me like a mom) Marcela. Juevos and pan (eggs and bread) and both were a little sweet and delicious!


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I’ve Arrived

It was a long eventful day but I am in Cartagena now!

I took an uber pool in Toronto at 530am thinking no one would share the ride at that hour on a holiday Monday. Wrong! I ended up with two drunk girls who hadn’t gone to bed yet and were hilarious and woke me up for my flights. They got dropped off in Mississauga and I got to the airport with plenty of time for my flight. Gotta love the people you meet in uber pools.

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