Four weeks, 800 words

YOU GUYS, I KNOW. I know it has been a little bit of a while. But! I promise you all, I’m still alive and generally very happy. A brief life update: We spent the first three weeks after arriving in orientation at a house in a town called Cota, just outside of Bogotá. Despite being next to the city, Cota felt like being way out in the middle of the country, complete with cows, chickens, stray dogs with the potential for fleas, all kinds of exciting plants, minimal air pollution, and a really incredible cheese shop hidden at the end of our street.

I probably would've been okay staying here for more than three weeks.

The three weeks of orientation were your typical cliche whirlwind of madness, crammed with a series of classes on everything from teaching writing to how to deal with the slightly slower pace of work here in Colombia to Spanish tongue-twisters (sorry, trabalenguas. There’s your vocabulary word for today). And of course, there was the bonding. Oh, so much bonding. After classes and dinner, most of us would head to the little tienda across the street for a beer or five — I think we probably gave the lady running it enough business to take the rest of the winter off. On a few nights, we ventured into “town” (either Cota center or the neighboring town of Chia), but the 10:30 p.m. weeknight curfew made significant adventuring kind of challenging. Oh, curfews! It really was just like summer camp (except with fewer canoes and more beer).

and then what happened?