December 2, 2011
The students are studying English and it was a good opportunity for them to have a conversation with me and ask questions. The initial questions were:
"What is your name?"
"how old are you?"
"are you single"
"what do you think of Colombian women?" (this question has been asked frequently by men and women, both men and women seem to have a sense of pride in the beauty of Colombian women) In the United States many people would think this was objectifying women or possibly being sexist for a man to be talking about women this way. But this seems to be the culture and women talk about it equally. I am in no way sexist and usually try to have an objective view on life and reality, I attempt to see these bodies as vehicles for our soul. Many people here have a reverence equally for the natural feminine beauty of the planet around them too.
I am then told "you need to marry a Colombian woman!" Okay maybe I need to keep this visit short before they try to get me married here!
Many of the same questions were asked by both classes.
Other questions about what kind of food we eat in the US and asked about the music, someone did ask about favorite books. I found it interesting that they have not heard of some of the bands and musicians we all have heard of, U2, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Sade, Emmylou Harris, etc... I had named a variety of music that most people in the U.S. has heard of and they are unknown here with the exception of someone having heard of U2. Then they asked me about musicians and I had not heard of any, they looked surprised because these are very popular musicians. Then someone asked about Shakira, who is a Colombian singer, and that name I did hear of but do not know here music.
Family, music, dance, food and conversation appear to be the recurring theme in Colombia.
After the first class was over, I went with several of the students to have coffee. We sat inside a shelter area drinking coffee and talking. They all agreed to answer the question, "what makes you feel alive" and I was able to record that.
Later in the afternoon I worked on the broken shower faucet and fixed two broken door knobs.
I began to feel a little bit of a sore throat in the afternoon and then stuffed sinus, symptoms of a cold in 95 degree heat! Nicholas has been sick with the same symptoms and I must have caught it. My energy is a bit low due to feeling a little sick.
I did get an opportunity to help correct some of the English papers and I found it fascinating how most of the students added so much emotion to an objective story of facts. The assignment was to take the brief highlights of a news story and expand on it. The information given were incomplete sentences of just basic facts, name of person, age, where he was, the fact he was injured only and a few small detials. Enough information to write an article for a newspaper. Most of them added emotion to it and even things about him being scared, or terrified, described the nature of the injury when none was given, and a few other detials added like that. It is as if they live from their heart and that comes out in how they write a story like that.
The shower faucet had a probem and the stem was stripped so the knob would just spin around. I was able to get that fixed.
Late in the evening, I found myself sitting on the stairs talking to Sandra. I had this thought about a time sitting in my sparse East Bay San Francisco California apartment when I was wondering about breaking out and doing something else. I knew I needed to go somewhere and contemplated Moorea Island of the French Polynesia. At that moment I was trying to imagine some sort of future for me, I never would have dreamed my future would find me sitting on the stairs of a home in Colombia having a conversation. Both of us were very tired as we sat having a sleepy conversation.
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