Thursday, June 14, 2012

Día 287: I live in turquoise.

The office gives me a rush like no other.

(Or maybe it's all the Colombian coffee.)

I love being around environmentalists. I love playing with words. I love finding perfect phrasing. I love taking notes about how happy I am and how The English language is actually quite beautiful.

(Even compared to Spanish.)

I love being in a bilingual workplace. I love documents. In short, I love TNC.

We continued to work on the specific wording of the funding proposal this morning, fine-tuning one fairly elaborate section of the document. At noon, we ate. Imagine my glee when Mauricio suggested Crepes & Waffles! (We talked about India in Spanish on the way to the lunch.)

Mauricio, Diana, Rosario -- some of my crazy colleagues! :)

I can't get enough of the menu at Crepes. It's enormous and it seems like everything on it is perfect. I had promised myself that I wouldn't put up any more photos of food for a while, but what I ordered today was the highlight of my stomach's life.

Call me boring; call me desi, but the red curry chicken crepe at Crepes & Waffles is about as authentic as Indian food gets. I forced all my colleagues to try a bite from my plate, and a few of them had trouble finishing their own meals having experienced this splendor. For my part, I managed to finish the whole thing. Every last bite. And that's saying something.

Too full for ice cream (¡que pena!) we returned to the office, where a representative from Fundación Alma, another NGO in Bogotá, was sharing lessons learned from a similar project they implemented in Barranquilla.

As Juan Carlos spoke entirely in Spanish, I was having a bit of trouble following the experiences he was sharing. Being a fairly detail-oriented worker, it's difficult for me to follow a conversation when I don't understand parts of it (I experienced this a bit during meetings in Mumbai as well). I was very thankful when Diana, TNC's newest full-time employee and a Colorado State master's student, moved to my side of the table and whispered translations and explanations in my ear. ¡Muchas gracias, chica!

I was totally jazzed that I had a female driver, Maria Victoria, today. We talked in Spanish all the way home about her three sons, two of whom are celebrating their birthday this weekend and will have a Phineas and Ferb birthday cake -- my favorite TV show! She'll be picking me up again tomorrow, and I'm so excited.

Back home, I "medi-napped" for a short while before my first official Spanish lesson! Mario (mi profesor) and I reviewed some basics before moving to the conversation section of our class. His main observation was that I speak Spanish as though I'm stressed, and I need to chill out -- good call, Mario!

I enjoyed dinner with my Colombian parents Rosalio and Mario before Viviana and Leo came home and wanted to hear all about my day. I just introduced them to Flipz milk chocolate-covered pretzels, and I think they quite approve. But now it's time to put the snacks aside and do my Spanish homework!

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