I’m Working, But Not Really

by theadventuresofbeka

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.

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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.

$0.50 USD. Worth every penny (or peso, I suppose).

$0.50 USD. Worth every penny (or peso, I suppose).

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