Fruit Friday!

You guys.

I have been here for 71 whole days, and I have yet to really write about the fruit. I am the worst Colombia blogger ever. A million apologies. But let me make it up to you, right now, with a smorgasbord of fruit-related musings and photos. Hope you ate a good breakfast this morning, because otherwise your salivary glands may not be able to handle this.

ALL OF THESE

Some of these look familiar, right?

So. If you know anything about Colombia, besides the crap you see in movies — if you know anything real about Colombia — you’ve probably heard about the fruit. When the Great Gods of Biodiversity were designing the world, they were obviously feeling particularly benevolent toward Colombia, because the variety of fruit available here is just out of control. There are fruits here I’ve never seen or even heard of before in my life, much less tasted. They have names like granadilla, lulo, maracuyá and guanabana — not only are they delicious, but they’re fun to say, too!

You can find your usual suspects here, of course: ripe yellow mangoes, papayas that could double as free weights and little tart apples. Most neighborhoods have at least one fruit store every three blocks or so, packed with crates piled high with almost every source of vitamins you could ever want. And did I mention how cheap they are? At my friendly local frutería, I can pick up two mangoes, four mandarinas (located somewhere between oranges and clementines in the International Citrus Registry), and a nectarine for about US$3. This is a habit I have no intention of kicking anytime soon.

hey dude! at least smile if you're going to bust into my picture!

Fruit juice: for when you can't be bothered to use your teeth to ingest your Vitamin C.

I’m sure I’ll end up writing more about fruit in the future, as I acquire more photos of them (especially granadilla. I just can’t write about granadilla without a picture of it. Visual evidence is integral to understanding it). Honestly, I could write about fruit every week until I leave and still have neglected a ton of them, but I’ll do the best I can in the oh-so-brief time we have. Let’s start with the Ms, shall we?
More delicious treats straight ahead!

Snitches, swans and snacks

death and destruction

Nobody warned me the apocalypse was scheduled for today

So, it’s the beginning/end of yet another week here in sunny hailing Bogotá. Oh yeah. There are massive, intense hailstones smashing against my windows at this very moment. It’s only vaguely terrifying, really.

Hailstorms aside, though, it’s been a pretty good week. I still absolutely love the kids and (almost all) the teachers at my school. I feel like such a nerd, because I wake up in the morning and I’m actually excited to go to school, just because it’s so much fun being with all the kids. I don’t even mind waking up before 6 a.m. to do this, which is just as shocking to me as it undoubtedly is to those of you who have known me for more than a week. The thing about getting up early here, though, is that it’s not nearly as hard as it is at home. Since it’s so close to the equator, Bogotá gets about 12 hours of daylight pretty much year-round, which is glorious. It also means that the sun rises by 6 every day, so I get to walk to school in sunlight, rather than in horrible cold darkness, as it would be this time of year at home. So a point to Bogotá, there.

Which leads us to the chicken-or-egg issue of how early everything starts here. I don’t know whether it’s a result of the lovely constant daylight schedule or that it just happens to be convenient that the sidewalks are visible when everyone’s walking to work, but people get up outrageously early. The public transportation systems start running before 5 a.m., and they’re PACKED by 6:30. Like I said, my school starts at 7, but most teachers are there by 6:30 — this retroactively gives high-school me nightmares. And not only do people have to get up early just to get to work, but they need to give themselves extra time to get ready, because most Bogotanos don’t leave their houses unless they look perfect. One of the other volunteers lives with a woman who’s a cosmetologist, and she gets up at like 3 a.m. to go to women’s houses to get them ready for work. That’s right, ladies. Here in Bogotá, you’re supposed to get a blowout and your makeup done before you even head to the office. Guess I’m never going to fit in here.

wait! keep reading!