Bogotá, Colombia

I’m back! And because I know you were all desperately wondering, my trip to Bogotá was adventurous and beautiful (as expected).  I wrote my omelette blog from the airport, and did not sleep a wink on either flight — I was just too excited.  And as beautiful and exciting as Bogotá was (is), I am happy to be back in Washington.  I guess that’s how you can tell you’re home: no matter how exotic, relaxing, or fun your travels are, the return home takes on some form of a yawn, as an overall sigh your body releases upon landing in your hometown.  Just seeing the national mall from the window a few feet away reminds me of the first time I ascended from Washington, during the interview trip that I write so much about.  Every time I see the National Mall from an airplane, I remember the romance and excitement I discovered upon leaving California and venturing out on my own in this dramatic yet ironically serene city.

Anyway, more about Bogotá.  The city was beautiful, and confusing, for the aspiring development worker.  I hadn’t traveled abroad since my summer working as a teacher in Tanzania, so naturally, that summer was all I really had to compare to.  In terms of traveling, I prefer visiting places that few people go, and usually in the developing world.  I’ve never been to Europe — that’s not to say I don’t want to go, but I’d honestly rather go to Europe after I’ve seen the parts of the world that I spent years studying.  If I ever acquire some obscene amount of money (unlikely in the near future), I’ll go off on a European vacation.  But in the meantime, I’ll visit the world less-traveled.

Bogotá took me by surprise with its development.  It is so incredibly modern, yet it still holds a grasp onto its South American village culture.  The transmilenio metro system made it relatively easy to get around, and the food was to die for.  The altitude, however, made me feel like my lungs were constantly being crushed.  Forget about the fact that we hiked to the top of Laguna Sagrada de Guatavita, the lake from which the premise of the Legend of El Dorado was derived (a children’s animated film was also produced, obviously, it was horribly inaccurate).  Aside from the fact that I’ve ignored stairmasters for years, my running did not prepare my lungs for this.  So my muscle soreness, inability to breathe, and lack of rest left me pretty uncomfortable.  But contrary to the fact that I had issues walking/running/breathing, I was very happy to be in such a beautiful city, and to have such a gracious best friend to show me around!

This is me, after running (and tripping/falling/ripping my jeans at the knee) to Simón Bolivar’s farmhouse.  In the picture, I am sitting in gold paint-dust that was used for some ritual practice that was being performed — I definitely couldn’t get the gold out of the jeans, so I have some baller ripped pants now.  About five minutes after I took this picture, a bug flew into my mouth.  I kept telling myself “you’ll laugh at this later…”

Anyway, here’s my Flickr slide show — enjoy the photos!  Food posts coming soon.  My writing can’t keep up with the photos I prepare for this blog.  Look forward to cookies and Filipino food recipes.