Skip to main content

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!


Popular posts from this blog

Bygones -- by Marina Keegan

I had a dream the other night that I was checking my email.

That dream sucks.

And woke to woes of seniors writing

love songs for tomorrow and

Tomorrow and the melodies

That flirt us forward, whispering

the next thing and the next thing

and  – so we beat on

birds flocking south until we

circle round and realize maybe

maybe all that running wasn’t worth it.

Maybe we should build a cabin.

Or teach high school.

Or use our hands.

My palms are smooth as words –

Weak with fashion and double spaces.

I want everyone else’s club and job and class

The grass I sleep in always browner than

Than that around erasing dreams

To sit and breathe because you

Only bank for two years then it's over

And twenty two is nothing new

It’s just another chance to build

For when we’re twenty three

And twenty four

And time begins to sell for more than

Any 9 a.m. to never.

We’re not stuck.

That's the thing, we're not stuck.

We owe no one our nothings.

Yale will be what it was,

Gothic dreams of lucky, of…

Day 351: You can place your bets, world.

I started the day with a grave mistake -- eating butter chicken for breakfast. Those ten minutes of scream-inducing euphoria were hardly worth the sluggish pace and sessile nature of the rest of my day. I attempted to counteract the unfailing lethargy which results from consumption of Punjabi food by swallowing down some coffee ice cream, thereby only adding to my foods-that-should-not-be-eaten-for-breakfast list and exacerbating the problem.

We left home before noon for Shenandoah National Park, with hot air ballooning dreams for the day. We soon learned, however, that due to impending thunderstorms, this mission would not be successful. We instead spent the day exploring the side of the park we've never seen before.

We had a lunch of fried chicken at one of the park's rest stops before piling back in the car and driving around some more. At a lookout point, we met a park ranger who showed us the coat of a lynx found in the park and suggested a trail for us to hike. We fou…

My Move to Mumbai: Frequently Asked Questions

Hello, dear readers!

By now, you've probably heard the news: in Ratna's-gap-year fashion, I've taken a leap and moved to Mumbai for a one-year consultancy with Aangan Trust, a nonprofit that works to make sure that even the most vulnerable child has the right to a childhood free from trafficking, child marriage, child labor, and abuse.

Transitions are tough, and it turns out that this one is no different, even though it's one that I've chosen for myself and been very excited about for a while. It's one thing to pack up your bags from New York and move to a new place in Mumbai; it's quite another to adjust to the daily reminders of the little things you don't yet understand about where you live, and the small ways in which you don't fit in.

Part of what has made the transition tricky is a stream of (well-intentioned) questions that sometimes make me feel like I have to justify why I made the choice to be here. These can be hard for me because someti…