Past week and Weekend at my families house in the pueblo of Morro.
Merida Travel Blog› entry 5 of 6 › view all entries
First off, I want to apologize to everyone for being a weak communicator. I appreciate the emails, but Iām not spending a lot of time on the internet here.
Sometimes I feel as though Iām making a lot of progress with my Spanish, but then a few minutes later, I have trouble understanding a basic sentence spoken slowly to me. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself and expect quick results. I get down on myself over my lack of communication skills ā¢ but Iāll keep getting back up and continuing to plug away until Iām satisfied. Expecting fluency in such a short period of time is unrealistic for me and I need to remind myself that. I feel a lot of momentum in my knowledge of the language and expect continual results.
Despite this mild frustration, Iām having the time of my life.
South America has a huge futbol tournament every couple of years, and this year, for the first time, it was in Venezuela. After three weeks of tournament play, tonight, Brasil won. The U.S. was invited to play but lost both of their matches. Venezuela didnāt do too hot either. I have never in my life seen so many people, so crazy for one thing ā¢ Futbol! For the past couple of weeks Alonzo, my host father, has kept the tournament schedule and all the scores in his shirt pocket, whereas my father has kept his Treo hand-held. Quite the juxtaposition. Who am I kidding; he would have the entire schedule programmed into his calendar ā¢ no doubt in my mind. Several days ago, I went with a few friends to a local bar.
Esperanza, my host mom is on a mission, a mission to fatten me up and go on a sugar and caffeine rollercoaster. I now am forced to assertively say, āno graciasā, when she brings seconds and thirds. Half of the meals, she doesnāt even sit with everyone, she is full time kitchen tend. Then again, she is on a fairly strict doctor enforced diet and canāt eat much of what we are eating. This afternoon she made ācasilloā a cream like cake and she served it about an hour ago. But she times things perfectly, when about 20% of the dessert is remaining, she nails you with round 2 ā¢ ātarta de quesoā, (cheesecake). I have a hard time washing a dish in the sink before Iām kicked out of the kitchen. Truth be told, Esperanza, Alonzo, their daughter Danella and her boyfriend Luis are one of the many great parts of this experience.
I spent this weekend with my family in their other house in the mountains, in a town/pueblo called Morro. We drove for a little over an hour on windy thin roads nearing the edge of cliffs. We passed about fifteen small monuments celebrating the lives of people who drove off various parts of cliffs. About ten minutes into the drive, Alonso went into a little bodega and came back with soft sweet candies called āaliadoā and three salsa discs he picked up for the ride. Pirated movies and music are everywhere, for $1.50US and 70 cents, respectively. Iām also starting to fall for a Columbian style of music called Vallenatos.
Shortly after arriving and being introduced to a traditional way of making coffee by Esperanza, my roommate Jordan, Alonso and I went for a short hike down to the river. By the way, their house is perched over a cliff and looks over several mountains as the pictures show. I was surprised at 61 he was up for it, but Alonso did good ā¢ until dis cat stripped down to his Speedo ā¢ WOW! He really caught me by surprise. We hung out around the river for awhile and Jordan and I jumped in from a large rock. Afterwards, we hiked back up. We were met by about 15 steaks. I kid you not, Esperanza put three on each of our plates, the meat was accompanied by whole Avocados, a white vegetable similar to potatos, and tomato onion salad. Iām sure you donāt care for these details, but I know my mom does.
The music never stopped, Iām a big music lover, but peace and quiet is nice, too. I think Alonso really exerted himself for our hike and during all this he took a champion nap. Around 9pm we all walked together to the small city center by flashlight. It is really nice how they do most things together. Every night the three or four of them get in their car and drive up and down the avenues taking in the town.
After, I went on a solo hike under the bright stars, really quite tranquil.
Iām starting to plan my travels for August and have some exciting things ahead. But today is just as good as any. Iāll be stopping in Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Iāll be seeing family and friends in Santiago, Buenos Aires, and hopefully Cordoba.
The family is so good to us, we are always the first ones served and they just put a TV in our room. Iāve been working on my salsa steps in the clubs and hope to keep improving. There are many beautiful girls. Each time we go out, we hear a lot of the same songs and one Columbian song stands out, where the lyrics are something like, ā Bonita es esta la vidaā (Itās a beautiful life). Everyone sings it together ā¢ very nice. I canāt believe how much I just wrote, perhaps the guitar works of George Benson and Pat Metheny in the background have kept me flowing. All my best.