Thursday, July 2, 2009

"I Love You Forever"

Well! Today was the first day of class, finally! On the one hand I am relieved that we have class from now on, at least I can feel like I am getting into some kind of thing that resembles a schedule. On the other hand, from now on, I am on a set schedule. I have two classes each day, Monday-Thursday, 8:00 am - 1:30 pm. It sounds rough, but it wasn't hard today. The first class that I have is called "Cross Cultural Communications" and in the first day, we have broken down what culture is, the ingredients of culture, and the different dynamics of culture. Estuvo facil. The second class that I had was Intermediate Spanish, which will take a little bit of studying. Today we reviewed some grammar and learned how to use a few phrases. Then we wrote a short story about our childhood and talked about a funny thing that happened to us as a child.

Again, classes run on Venezuelan Time. In the United States, I am used to having to be in the classroom before the professor, which means that I need to get there early. Not so here. Class started at 8:00am, but I don't think we started class until 8:20 or so. Again, definitely not what I am used to. Fortunately, we get to take a couple breaks during class, so I took some time to play with the resident cute kid Diego, whose parents work in la cafeteria in VENUSA. During Spanish, we also has a forty minute break for lunch. It was a very pleasant surprise, since I was starving by that time. After class, I took a trip to El Centro to look around and investigate with a friend of mine, Ben. Unfortunately, he had somewhere else to go, so we cut the tour short and headed back to VENUSA on my first...

BUSETA!!! The fare was cheap and the music was bumpin'. Since there aren't really many designated "bus stops", instead you have to yell, over the music, "¡La parada, por favor!" and they'll stop almost immediately, wherever they are. Everywhere you go, reggaeton is BLARING. I am not even sure if they know other music exists! Since I have been here, that is the only music I have heard: coming from cars, kids' cellphones, stores, buses, everywhere! This is the most lively place I have ever been, and it's like that at all hours of the day, both day and night! There's constant cars, music, and talking. I absolutely love it.

Today was the first day that I walked back home alone. Jenee has class until 8:00pm on Thursdays, so I decided to come back home for a while before we meet at around 8:00 to meet our Nuevos Encuentros partners. I can definitely tell a difference when I am walking alone and when I am walking with her. When I am alone, I don't attract much attention, other than the fact that I have short hair. No woman in Venezuela has short hair, NO ONE!! But when I am alone, I don't get too many catcalls or second glances. When I am with other VENUSA students though, I am sure that we stick out like a sore thumb. Everytime I walk with other students, we get lots of whistles, and catcalls. Everything from "mamacita" to "hola chicas" to my personal favorite "I love you forever" in English with a very heavy Venezuelan accent.

I bought my first piece of fruit today as well. On our way to school, Jenee and I saw HUGE mangoes easily twice the size as anything I have seen in the U.S., so when walking home, I couldn't resist myself. I haven't eaten them yet, I am waiting to share them with Jenee.

Tonight we are planning on going to some bars and la discoteca, so hopefully that should be a lot of fun. None of us have class tomorrow, so this is the first time that we really will be able to all get out in a group. I am sure we will have a great time.

Well, now it's nap time for me. Buenas Tardes.

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