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Día 311: Estoy aqui.

Last night, Diana and Fredy took me out salsa dancing, and I fell in love with Latin American culture all over again. I was exhausted before we left, and even during the walk over, but I was bowled over by what we saw when we entered Disco Jaguar. Everyone here has rhythm. If I was expecting something akin to my perception of inane nightclubs in the States, I was gravely mistaken.

I was perfectly happy to sit in a corner of the room and just gape at the casual perfection with which the Latin Americans around me were moving their hips and feet at a speed mathematically unimaginable. But I was grateful for my dance lessons from Diana, and for the sequence of Colombian boys who deigned to dance with me and went on to lie to me about my ability levels of both salsa and Spanish. I love to dance but tend to be inhibited when it comes to dancing in public places, but Latin rhythms are irresistible. What a night.

And what a perfect way to start off the 21st birthday of Kenneson Chen, the world's most entertaining and precious person!

Today was spent in true Kenneson style as well -- shopping more than I ever thought I could! The entire Zamora family accompanied me as I made my last minute Colombian compras throughout the day. They first took me back to the market I visited on Day 284. We had lunch at Wok, and my doggie bag truly understood my intentions for the (big) part of my meal I was not able to finish.

"Reheated oriental food tonight!"

We then set out on a mission to buy some decorative doors that I had seen and loved my last time at the mercado de las pulgas -- these wooden panels represent doors found in different regions of the country, and I can't wait to gift them to Mama!

Two bags in tow, it was time to go to Palatino in search of assorted comfy Colombian cotton products, of which I found quite a few!

Our last stop was Unicentro, where we met up with Diana, Fredy, and Kate, whom I awkwardly introduced to Paula before she and I returned to our errands, picking up a few "necessities" from Éxito.

After debriefing about our day (and my purchases), the Zamora clan drove me home. I'm so pleased at the family I've "collected" here in Colombia.


  1. Salve Ratna!

    First let me just say how much I enjoy reading your blogposts every day and seeing what you're up to on your exciting gap year!

    As far as Salsa dancing is concerned, I have a suspicion you did better than most...or at the very least much better than me! :)

    LOVE the picture of you and Kenny!

    Lots of Blessings,


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