Sunday, 4 August 2013

First Weeks in Bogota Pt 1

Beautiful Bogota: Surrounded by Mountains, Level with the Clouds
Welcome back! I have just finished my first official week of school and that marks 2 weeks of me being in Bogota. Now that I'm here, I am not at all surprised that Colombia is currently rated as having the happiest people on earth. They have been nothing but friendly and helpful towards me and have consistently gone out of their way to help me even if I insist I will be fine on my own. It was a bit overwhelming at first but I have gotten somewhat used to it thus far. It has definitely helped me make the transition out here as smooth as possible, and I feel like I experienced a bigger culture shock when I took the 3 hour drive to TRU. I have already fallen in love with the city, and besides it being surrounded by mountains, it has nothing else in common with Kamloops.

The first thing I noticed about this city is how "Alive" it is. And that might be attributed to the Avocado man who woke me up at 7:30 am Sunday morning screaming on his megaphone about all the different Avocados he has to offer. I swear I thought there was only one kind. But by no means is he alone. In my short 5 minute walk to the Bus to campus, I come across everything I could imagine being sold on the street. Oh, you forgot your belt in your rush getting dressed in the morning?(which I did ) The street vendors have you covered. Long night partying and forgot to charge your cell phone? For a few dimes I can borrow one of the 15 vendors cellphones I come across offering calls to all the carriers in Colombia. Hats? Check. Feats by Fre? Check. And a wide array of Colombian specific food like Arepas con huevos, tamal, and a whole bunch of fruits that I have never heard of and I'm going to have to work up the courage to try.
Yes, I know. This is a bus stop.
 Oh, but the fun doesn't stop there. Once I get to my bus stop I get bombarded by the Drivers "assistants" yelling at me, telling me where their bus is going. So once I find the bus I need to take, my next hope is that he will stop for me, which doesn't always happen so I have to revert to my passed life where I robbed banks and jump into a moving vehicle... only this time the driver decides to stop once I leave the ground and I end up running into the door! Not a single surprised look on any ones face. You gotta love Bogota.
If you want a ride, Hop In. 
The Beautiful La Sabana
Once I arrive to campus, it is a completely different atmosphere.  Once you pass the Security guards you see Long brick walkways which lead to the main buildings surrounded by well kept, empty fields. There are a few bridges on campus that lead you over the only bodies of water I have seen since I've been out here. One of the first things I noticed were the outdoor basketball courts with a set of pull-up bars right beside them. I now know how I will be spending a lot of my free time between classes. One day I went to go shoot around and they ended up having basketball tryouts for the university team. I wasn't expecting much but I definitely didn't expect it to be like the episode in Fresh Prince of Bel-air when Will started to play for his High school team. Although it definitely was one of my favorite episodes (video below). One thing I definitely was not ready for was the altitude. 8629 ft is no joke. All in all the level of talent was recognized, and some great opportunities came from that day which will be covered in a later post. 

Heading towards the Concert on Orientation Day

Part 2 will be coming soon which will include topics such as Nightlife in Bogota, our trip to the Underground Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira, and The Transmillenio, which is Bogotas "unique" way of dealing with Public Transit. 

Well I'm off, Its time for me to stop procrastinating and book my Flights this weekend to Medellin's best festival, the "Feria de Los Flores." I have to make up for missing Caribana and Center of Gravity for another year Somehow! 

Jah Bless
Jah Guide
Jah Rule

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