he llegado a medellin

15 Jun

hola todos!
I LOVE colombia. Jason Hall (another Madison aiesecer) and I arrived yesterday night to Medellin, when we walked outside of the airport there were probably 15 aiesecers waiting for us, holding an aiesec banner, and cheering! It was exciting, I didn’t really know how to react at first, and I was scared to use my spanish, so instead I just smiled a lot, haha.
But Federico, my “padrino,” which apparently translates to english as “godfather” (but I think it more accurately is buddy at least in this sense, because this guy is the same age as me) made me speak in Spanish! I’m so glad he did because today I already feel more comfortable speaking, and I’ve either began thinking in spanish a little bit, or forming responses in spanish uber-quickly out of nervousness…because today when I was talking to my dad and carybeth on the phone I accidentally kept dropping in spanish words….it almost was difficult for me to think and speak totally in english, maybe not difficult, but it seemed strange at the time.
After leaving the airport we went to eat dinner in a shopping mall. When I was in line a man saw me (and immediately knew I was una estadounidense), he came up to me and was like, “what do you want, a hamburger, anything? I will buy it.” haha, then the girl I am going to be living with, Cata, said, “See, I told you you would be a celebrity.” It was awesome meeting everyone at dinner and hanging out last night…I can’t remember all the names of everyone I met, but I will know them soon!
Hoy en dia, I went with Santiago (the reception coordinator), Ana, and jason to ride the metro…I thought it was just going to be a regular subway because I wasn’t catching what they were saying when they said: “metro cable.” It’s considered part of the metro system, but there are huge cable cars that fit about 10 people in them that go up the mountain side of Medellin. (medellin is a valley, and it is surrounded by mountains on all sides) The view was amazing from the cable car to see all of the houses built into the mountains, in the mountains is where most of the poorer population of Medellin live) On the way up they talked to Jason and I about how el metro cable changed the lives of the poor families living in the mountains, now they have access to basic services, jobs, etc. Los Paisas (people that live in the region of antioquia where medellin is located) are very proud of their metro system, understandably. The view from the top was amazing.
After that, jason and santiago left to do something for his job, and ana had to go home so I met Federico en la plaza de Botero. We walked around, I saw a lot of the city and a museum, and we ate dessert on a rooftop restaurant. As we were walking around I noticed that everyone seems to stare at me, or at least their glances linger a little longer than average. Federico also put me through pronunciation bootcamp, as well as not allowing me to speak in english. For all of the afternoon I spoke in Spanish and he spoke to me in english so we could both practice. He would not let me mispronounce a word and make me re-do it on the spot in embarassing spots like on the metro where EVERYONE was listening, “No, el p de papa, paPA! Let me hear it again.”
They are having us stay in a hotel for 3 days before we go with our families, and I start work on Tuesday, so I will more to update about soon. Oh, and Dad, they were surprised to hear you actually had to go to school to be a chiroptactor and that’s what you do as your full time job now. Apparently here they only have self-proclaimed chiropractors, who aren’t actually chiropractors at all.
Things learned in Colombia so far:
1. Manzana Postobon is the most delicious soda ever, it is apple flavored and we have no equivalent for it in the U.S.
2. Colombia really does have some of the most beautiful women in the world…it was apparent from the minute I got on the flight from Miami to Medellin

7 Responses to “he llegado a medellin”

  1. Peter June 15, 2007 at 9:37 am #

    Sounds awesome, Molly!Good luck with starting work. I wish I had a language drill sergeant to whip me into shape. I always start conversations in French, but it usually shifts to English very quickly. Weak.However, last night I spoke a bunch of french and met two people, one who was named Pierre, and he had the same Asics as I have, just in a different color. Quel coincidence, n’est-ce pas? (I just thought you and anyone else reading your comments might like to know that.)I hope everything goes well while you’re getting settled in.Have fun!

  2. Alex June 15, 2007 at 12:39 pm #

    Peter’s right, your spanish is going to be amazing after this. Colombia sounds amazing, seriously.

  3. Meena Zia June 15, 2007 at 7:52 pm #

    Molly-You are a celebrity already! Will you sign my face when you get back? Ok thanks a lot. I hope you are taking advantage of every person who offers to buy you something, that’s what I would do. Que Onda guero?!?!

  4. Andrea June 16, 2007 at 1:08 am #

    Mol it sounds like Columbia is amazing… hope you took pictures of that mountain view : I want to see them :)PS earlier you said you hoped others would be stalking you, well, be careful what you wish for, I am definitely enjoying the stalking I am currently doing and have plans to continue

  5. SarahEliz June 16, 2007 at 2:59 am #

    I can’t believe that you guys are finally there, after everything that we went through to make this happen. Your post made me so happy, seriously almost brought tears to my eyes and I’m not even being dramatic. You have just begun to experience a summer, a city, a culture that will change your life forever. I can’t wait to see you next week. Hugs to everyone in Medellin from me!

  6. SarahEliz June 16, 2007 at 3:01 am #

    ….y parcerita, para q’ sepas, solo voy a hablar en espanol contigo. listo nena? chau pues. [that is paisa-speak. ask someone if you don’t know what any of it means!]

  7. Anonymous June 18, 2007 at 2:23 am #

    Hi Molly, I just love reading about your trip! I know what you mean about thinking in Spanish. That is so great they are having you speak spanish. So, when the guy offered to buy you a hamburger, were you able to get a veggie burger? How easy is it vegetarian food down there? Keep writing! hugs, Aunt Joani

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