Thursday, February 28, 2008

Las luchas del toros

Okay, in case you don't know what that means, you should find out before you look at these pictures...
I know!! I can't believe it either! Yes, I went! Yes, I hated it! It was horrible and I debated about whether I should post pictures, but I did, and I am, so here goes....
There is a bullfighting season in Medellin. It lasts about six weeks. It ended last weekend. There is a special stadium made and used just for this purpose. There are usually 6 fights during an event (or rather 6 bulls getting tortured while dying a slow, painful and pointless death while people cheer on for entertainment purposes). The entire thing lasts about 3 hours. The stadium seats about 5,000 people. Some Colombians love it, but others do not like it and would never go. It seems to be more popular with rich people as it is an expensive sport ("sport" is not the first word that came to my mind when I saw this).
So why did I go? Well, I knew I would hate it...remember my vegetarian years? Well, yes I now love the taste of meat, but I still cry when I step on a spider and I still can't bring myself to kill a cockroach (my roomies can attest to that). I always worry more about the animals that might die in a movie than the humans and I have never been able to watch Lassie or even Bambi for that matter...they live happily ever after right?
So, I went because it is a cultural thing here and I thought I needed to experience it. Enough said. Here are the pictures. I will not describe the gory details. If you want to hear about it, just ask me the next time we talk and I will tell you about it. And honestly, many of you may not want to look at the pictures. It really isn't nice.....
I have decided that in the future when I feel like I need a cultural experience in Colombia I am going to go to mass, which I haven't done yet...maybe next week I will go to confession and ask the guy in that little room to forgive me for going to this horrible event....

Tina, Tony, Jenna and Jennifer in front of the stadium

At our seats....Jennifer, Tina, Jenna, Tony
Jose, Carolina, me, andvLiz

Before the fights start there is a procession of the horses and matadors. The horses are wearing armor because they too participate in the fight....another very disturbing piece of this event

The white things are knives in the bull's back. The guy in the black is getting ready to stab the bull again with more knives.

A very sad and hurting bull....yes that is blood

Sorry!! I warned you that you might not want to look.
And I REALLY don't understand why people enjoy this and why it is even allowed.
Where is PETA when you need them??

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lonely Hearts Club Party

So on February 15th we had a party at our house. It was a Valentine's theme so that is why everyone is wearing red. I didn't do a great job of taking pictures. The house had lots of fun decorations and a wall to leave Valentine's for people....but here are a few pictures of some of my new friends. Most of these people are teacher's at the school. Several of them are leaving after this year. I am starting to realize how difficult it is to socialize in a community of people that are very transit. It's kind weird!!

Carolina, Kristen and Juan

Steve, Sarah (also from Santa Rosa, small world), and Tina (roomie from Canada

Jennifer, Elena, and Liz (my team leader)

Christina (my other roomie from Wisconsin, Elena, Liz

Jennifer, Gerjit, and Jenna

Sunday, February 10, 2008

weekend in Santa Fe

So I went back to Santa Fe this weekend with a group of friends. I have already been to Santa Fe once, but it is a fun town to visit and nearby. We left Saturday morning and came back Sunday night. We just hung out by the pool all day and went out at night. It was a lot of fun. Don't get any crazy ideas that any of these men might be dating potential for me...they are all gay.

This is Liz, she teaches 4th grade and is our team leader.
Sarah is her roommate. She teaches 5th grade. She is from Santa Rosa. I have traveled with both of them a few times now.
Steve teaches art. He is from Canada but he has been here for 10 years

Dany is Steve's partner and Colombian.
Juan is the Communications Director at school and also Colombian.

So this is a group of people that we saw sitting in the bar where we were partying on Saturday night. It was about 3:00 a.m. and this boy is twelve years old. He is hanging out with his uncles. He was drinking rum! And even ordered it from the bar and got served. Liz spent about 20 minutes yelling at them about how wrong this was. It was frightening to see, but hilarious to watch Liz rant at them about it....

Protest/March on February 4th

On February 4th there was a huge protest/march in Colombia protesting FARC. FARC is the group that is responsible for a lot of the kidnappings that happen. Everyone wore white that day and at noon people all over the country gathered in specific places and had one minute of silence to remember those people who had been kidnapped. We participate at school. So these are the students at school. After the moment of silence several people spoke. They were all people who had been kidnapped themselves or know people that were kidnapped. Then we all walked around the school together with signs and singing songs etc. It was pretty interesting. I don't quite understand all of the politics, but it was interesting to participate in the event. Supposedly, there were marches happening all around the world, including in the United States, but it was not widely publicized and probably only took place in Colombian communities.