I’m Working, But Not Really
This week has been busy and productive, but I have yet to enter a classroom.
Saturday I went with my temporary roommates to Samacá, a nearby pueblo, to watch semi-trailer trucks race backwards. I ate street food and met some Colombians who may end up being students of mine.
Sunday, we went to the city center of Tunja to shop for household items and wander. At this point, I tried taking out money and I was denied by two different banks. I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t the end of the world and it would all work out.
My boss had told me that Monday I needed to go to the Language Center at 10AM to meet the director. I decided to go with the exchange students to the ORI (Office of International Relations) beforehand just to say hello. I am so glad I did. I learned once I was there that I was supposed to be there at that time. Monday through today have been a blur of running around. My “permanent” home was extremely dirty, so my roommates and I have spent a great deal of time cleaning, especially in the kitchen. I’ve also been all over campus and town running errands and dropping off paperwork and such.
Since Monday I have:
- called my bank
- found an ATM that works
- applied for my cédule de extranjería – the Colombian version of a green card for my American readers
- introduced myself to the director of the Language Center
- cleaned – including scrubbing my bedroom floor on my hands and knees – it was that dirty
- bought food and bottled water – it’s not recommended to drink the water here
- put in a work order for the things that need to be fixed in the house
- put more minutes on my phone
- unpacked and organized
- applied for internet – this is pending, I need my cédula in hand
- been “enrolled” at the university
- submitted my paperwork to ORI
- received my student ID at UPTC (the university)
I’ve had a few moments of panic when things weren’t working out as I expected, but overall I’ve stayed positive and calm. I expected the first few days to be extremely hectic. It has worked out well that the university has not expected me to work officially, because I have been very busy. I’m glad I didn’t have to start teaching at the same time I was trying to get settled.
I will leave you with a picture of an arepa. They are a traditional Colombian food. It is a corn pancake that can be filled with different things such as cheese and guava paste. I eat a lot of them, because they are cheap, delicious and gluten free.