"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz"What could I possibly mean by quoting a movie from 1939... we'll it means understand that things are not always what one thinks they should. It also means that Venezuela is a different environment than a lowly gringo from Iowa (it's by Nevada and Canada) is used to.
|This guy probably had a worse week than me. His special lady friend was not impressed.|
Good things, bad things, you know I've had my share...
But Kellen, what is this cryptic message you are providing? Are you ok? Yes, more then ok, things are good. I actually have a new wallet now and a decent phone. No bank account changes, no crazy charges on cheap booze, prescription drugs, and hookers on my credit card, and no identity theft since the misplacement of my wallet.
Those things = Good. Could have been a lot worse and I am thankful it was not.
My new roll as middle school softball coach = Good. The other coaches are fun to work with and the kids want to get better.
My classes so far = Good (fingers crossed). Still on the honeymoon, hoping that the divorce or fighting doesn't start yet/happen.
|Doin' alright, doin' alright for sure.|
Going to the beach = Very Good.
|Nestled in the mountains|
DP (Dirty Pizza) = Good. It's a like the Masters, a tradition like any other. Mainly because I don't know any other staffs that have met and enjoyed pizza/drinks consistently for years (so I'm told).
Rainy season = Good. It calms the students, especially the crazy middle school kids by my door. If you teach, are raising, or have raised a middle school student here's to you [puts hand in air for a high five]. You guys are saints.
Finding peanut butter = Good. Unbelievable find at a small shop, and relatively cheap (about $7 for the small [American small])
Arepas = Good. Morris' family owned recipe, filled with eggs, cheese, and turkey with Tabasco = Muy bueno.
Frank's mojitos = Good. The guy is a Picasso of mojito making. Attitude, originality, and style. It's like silk against your throat (not literally- you'd choke).
Director's Social = Good. A solid spread of food, drinks, and ambiance with your colleagues set up and paid for by the director as a thanks for committing to CIC, the students, and our mission.
|One hour and fifteen minutes down, many more to go.|
Not good = driving to and from the beach. The way there approximately two hours, not bad for a little piece of paradise your saying. I know, I should be more patient, well explain this: the way home was nearly four hours. We literally over the course of just over an hour moved 400m (the size of a standard track). FOUR HOURS! It was so bad I was reading off Uberfacts to pass the time. The drive from the beach to the little town nearby is maybe three miles. Those three miles took over two hours. In fact, once we got out of the beach area we had to sit in another traffic jam where Morris' car got hit by a motorcyclist. The mirror was ok thanks for asking (the guy didnt' take his hand off the throttle, he was fine).
|This guy road down the hill sitting like that (it was slow, very slow).|
|Hey you can g... wait a second. What do I..|
Not good = Venezuelan traffic signs/roads. More confusing than a children's toy instructions and more potholes than Northern Afghanistan.
|Ten points if you hit it.|
Not good = Water outages. I think that one is self-explanatory.
|Sing it with me... "You got three hours to use your water!" (sung to Eddie Money's Two Tickets to Paradise).|
Not good = Water rationing. three one hour blocks for water. A great reason to not do the dishes, a bad deal for personal hygiene.
Not good = my Spanish. I'm so bad that I even laugh at myself.
I've found this country to have many great people and things, as well as many things that make me scratch my head. It really is a great juxtaposition. Things happen here that really have a dramatic impact on my friends and colleagues livelihood, and it seems that no reason is given (and I don't mean this in a political way). However, I have found a great resiliency among the people of this country and it is inspiring. We (you, me, people in the States) really do have it good, and living here has let me see tiny glimpses of how trying it can be and is for some. It's a constantly humbling experience once I leave my bubble of school.
Side note: One night we went out for Sushi (good), then went with one of Morris' friends to an Arabian club/sushi/hookah bar. I have never in my life ever received the minority stare (getting looked at due to skin tone [I made up that term]), but boy did I get it there. Cue the screeching record on the juke and whiplash giving head snaps. It was a good experience though. It gave me more insight to anyone that has ever received that. I know it made me feel uncomfortable, but knowing that people all over receive those daily made me really think about perceptions and reactions. ELE people, ELE (everyone love everyone).
That's all the material I have at the moment. Dirty Pizza tomorrow, Directors social, and hopefully the beach Saturday, so the chance for a new adventures is high. Actually the adventure forecast is probably at 60% for the weekend. Just have a feeling.
Stay safe, hug a loved one, and enjoy the boys of summer. Fall will be here before you know it, followed by the dreaded frozen stuff. Soak up the sun and enjoy the dog days.
I'll leave you with so more pictures of the weekend.
|Yeah I had one of these and it was a terrible meal. And by terrible I mean awesome. The little yellowish chip looking things are flash boiled plantains. Jack pot.|
|Beach on the left was us. I caught some tasty waves.|
|Juxtaposition again. Beauty and graffiti.|
|The old I was bored landscape shot.|