August 24, 2009

Maggie and Kristin's Day of Productivity

As a teacher, female and oldest of three siblings, nothing makes me happier than productivity.  Judge all you want, but I seriously thrive on it.  If this productivity had anything to do with lesson plans I would call Sunday the best day ever…but it doesn’t so I will settle for exceptionally successful.

Sunday's list of accomplishments begins with breakfast; a great place to start if you ask me.  Maggie and I walked down the Paso Ancho, which is a main road near our neighborhood.  In Spanish, Paso Ancho literally means wide pass or wide street.  So we walk for about 10 minutes to Pasopan, a bakery/breadshop we spotted a few days ago.  We proceeded to enjoy café espresso with milk, pastries and a vegetarian omlette for $8,000 pesos or about $4 US. LOVE it.

From there we proceeded to La Catorce to do our weekly grocery shopping and pick up some essentials.  We found the bug spray and each bought two bottles because the bugs here in Colombia have waged war on our shins and they are definitely winning.  We hope the purchase serve as a turning point.  We also bought our weekly supply of granola and yogurt, which I have become completely addicted to after having it at the Radisson’s continental breakfast everyday during the first week, as well as arepas and cheese.  Arepas are little corn/bread type tortilla things…sort of the size of a pancake.  They are pretty bland by themselves but cooked lightly with melted cheese on top they are an amazing breakfast.  Maggie & I have a serious arepa addiction.  Upon leaving La Catorce we were able to pay with our Sedexo coupons (sort of like the Colombian version of food stamps…but for middle class people) and debit cards without issues! Hooray for not being poor Americans anymore!

After La Catorce we headed to the Club (see previous post) for yoga class.  I felt a bit nervous because Maggie has only just begun to teach me some yoga things, but her and Catie assured me it was fine.  Turns out it was more than fine because what we thought was a new class at 12 was actually the continuation/cool down of an 11:00 class.  Therefore my first yoga experience was pretty simple.  While not a complete let down, I think we were all hoping for a more complete experience.  We will continue to seek it out in other locations!

Next we made our way to the artisan markets at Loma de la Cruz to pick up Maggie’s sandals.  In the process I also found myself a new purse, which is just perfect!  I love the colors and it is exactly what I have been looking for.  Long enough to hang over my shoulder, but also with a zipper to protect my belongings.  Hooray!  I also purchased some shoes from the same lady who made Maggie's.

View of Three Crosses monument from the Loma de la Cruz
View of small street the market is on (shops are to the left)

New purse
New shoes

Upon leaving we decided to attempt to master El Mio, the Cali version of a Metro/public transit.  The system is only 1-2 years old and is actually just a set of blue busses that run throughout the city.  The main line runs down La Quinta (fifth) which is actually Calle (Street) 5, a major street from North to South Cali.  We got Mio cards and hopped on the buss with costs $1,500 pesos ($0.75 US) to ride anywhere.  After a somewhat detailed conversation with the woman at the ticket booth we found the right bus number and hopped on!  Busses come about every 5 minutes, and while the busses still have to wait at all stoplights, they have their own lane so even on a non-express bus (express busses are only on weekdays) the ride was only 25 minutes long (takes about 15 minutes in a cab).  We feel very excited to have discovered how easy the Mio is and we will probably be using it more frequently now.  Taxis in Cali are very popular and pretty economical, but as with anything, public transit is of course cheaper.  FUN FACT: There are more taxis in Cali than in New York City---ridiculous, huh??

The Mio lets us off at an outdoor mall by our house called Unicentro, about a ten minute walk.  We stopped off at Juan Valdez Café, which is the best coffee shop in Cali, according to my students and others.  Maggie and I both enjoyed iced mochas with vanilla.  DELICIOUS!  Iced coffee literally completes my life every time I have it…it’s just so good.  So far the only thing Colombia seems to be lacking in is Chai tea, which I still have yet to find…(ILSE---I believe you will agree this is clearly stressful; please have a soy Chai for me soon!)

Geyser...in the middle of Unicentro Mall.  Weird and yet pleasantly delightful.

Maggie browsing shoes we can't afford.
Iced mocha with vanilla. Thanks Juan Valdez.

Last night we enjoyed some downtime, revealing in our productivity and looking ahead to the second week of school.  This week we are discussing the Distributive Property, which is essential for so many things in Algebra, and I have a fun activity planned for it!  Reference I am a math nerd…sorry!

Exciting events to look forward to this week:

  • A trip to Zara (clothing store I became addicted to in Spain, which they also have here in Colombia)
  • Beginning of regular ultimate frisbee games between teachers after school on Tuesdays
  • Welcome back Happy Hour @ the director’s house on Friday afternoon
  • Curtain installation!!
  • Potential planning for upcoming trips around Colombia
And finally, the perfect ending to our wonderful day. :) 

White rice + tons of cooked veggies + tilapia + wine = delicious.

2 comments:

Pam Chumbley said...

Kristin- I can't wait to meet you in person, I feel I already know you thru your blogs. Maggie is lucky to have an adventurous roomie!

Pam (Madre de Maggie!)

Tim Lowe said...

From another american in Cali, Hi! ;)

Well, Jamundi actually.

Tim
http://www.flickr.com/photos/harebaremi/

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