Clean Campaign

Trip Start Aug 30, 2011
Trip End Dec 30, 2011

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Where I stayed
Calle 28-El Mirador del Alpes
What I did
French Class, Cleaned the house, Went to Grandma's

Flag of Colombia  ,
Saturday, October 1, 2011

Boy is time flying! Today I turned the calender and looked upon the month of October, I'm already more than thirty days into my immersion! If time continues at this pace I'll be home almost too quickly. I had been told that this trip is going to go fast, but now I actually feel the time rushing by. There are moments where I can't fathom that I still have three more months, but those days are mostly in the past.  Colombia is teaching me so many things at once, I hardly have time to keep up with the day of the week. My watch does provide a constant reminder of the hour, however it is usually telling me I'm already late. When I am passing the intricate and colorful graffiti in the city, I especially feel like the rabbit from "Alice In Wonderland". As I am beginning to realize all the things there are to do I am grateful for the time I still have left. I have started noticing  a jump in my comprehension level and tonight when were watching "Chuck and Larry" I only heard about fifteen or twenty new words. My main area of improvement is speaking with correct grammar and a heavy Colombian tongue. After I can get those two things down, I'll just be another white Colombian (and there are actually quite a few). In fact I sit by one in my French class. 
The first two classes we didn't talk much, however today was a good day from some bonding. We both bought our book for the class last week, however, we also need an "exercise journal" and a CD. That will be another 40,000 pesos. Claudia and I discussed the possibility of getting them together and having study dates in the near future. It's very nice when people open up to and offer assistance. Still, no one understands me quite like Tati and it can take a few attempts to get my message across. We manage though and are able to carry out a conversation. It would be helpful to have a partner to study French with particularly because next week is our first exam. I am little nervous to have my first "college exam" and will be preparing all this week, all that I can. The activities I help Tati with in English I also do in French, yet I'm not sure that will be enough to ace the test. However, I have found many helpful youtube videos and websites to give correct pronunciation and further encourage my learning. 
After the four hour lesson I was ready to be home. The traffic was oddly horrific today and instead of the usual fifteen minutes to get home, the trip doubled. Thirty minutes of head banging movement and heavy polluted air left me light headed. The seven flights of stairs to the front door were killer and I entered the house cross-eyed. That is one thing I will be thrilled to have when I come back to Vail, clean air.
I hate feeling the smog in my lungs. There are some people who wear hospital masks out in the streets when traffic and air are thick, I would to if I didn't already stand out so much. Pollution is so noticeable it's sad. "El Rio de Medellin" (River of Medellin) looks more like a sewage drain. The muddy water carries old bottles, wrappers, cigarettes, and I have even saw a shopping cart drifting along. When the rain pours it leads to the the river and brings with it all the garbage littered on the ground. I have only seen one "please properly dispose of your trash" sign in the Activity Park of Belen. Even dog owners aren't bothered to pick up after their pets. In our neighborhood park there is definitely potential for a clean up and some pretty signs and garbage pales. When I saw someone pick up a piece of trash I was shocked, but after they realized it wasn't what they thought it was, they tossed it back on the ground despite there being a disposal fifteen feet away. I was encouraged to pursue the park's cleanliness when Bruce (an American) picked up trash we were passing the other day. Just because Colombian's haven't started cleaning up the area on their own doesn't mean they don't care, right? I hope that is the case and that I can motivate other's to have pride in their beautiful land and keep it clean. My campaign has just begun!  
When I mentioned my intentions to my family they thought it was "cute". Not exactly what I was looking for but I'll take what I can get. 
As for tonight, things are quite calm here and we are cheering on Team Medellin once again. When Papi wants to watch his team there is no hope for quiet in the family room for about two hours. I have retreated to my room to record the day's adventure and when the game is over Tati and I are looking forward to watching "Genomeo and Juliet". 
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Aunt Kathy on

Way to go Lealabelle!!! Start a "Be Proud of a cleaner Medellin" campaign.
Show them how its done!! and the health benefits.
Stay well. Love you, Kathy

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