|Thanks for nothing, JFK.|
Today I moved.
Don’t worry, I’m still living in Bogotá but am now in a different area.
As I mentioned before, my host sister, Mariana suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which makes performing even the simplest tasks a challenge. My host parents needed to hire a full-time caretaker to live in and watch over her 24/7 and as I was taking up the only spare bedroom, I needed to move out to make room. Luckily, Gloria, another teacher at Nueva Esperanza had an open room in her apartment and offered it to me.
I am now living in Ciudad Kennedy, a barrio in southwest Bogotá. Intrigued by the name, I did some research and learned that the barrio is in fact named in honor of President John F. Kennedy after his assassination in 1963. The barrio was developed during an urbanization project in 1961, partially financed by the Alianza para el Progreso (Alliance for Progress) and President Kennedy visited Bogotá during this period to show his support for the program. There is also a major hospital a few blocks from my apartment that also bears the martyred president’s name.
|Ciudad Kennedy, with the hospital in the distance.|
So, basically, I traveled all the way to Colombia only to end up living in a neighborhood named after a U.S. president.
Sarcasm aside, I am actually really happy about the move. Kennedy is a lot closer to, well, everything. I will have easier access to public transportation and therefore have an easier time getting around this crazy town. Whereas before, planning a night out on the town was a logistical nightmare, I will now be able to have a real social life and start showing off some of those hard-learned salsa moves.
Besides the social benefits, moving here will also allow me to stabilize my teaching schedule at Nueva Esperanza. Although Usme was closer to the school than Kennedy, there was no direct public transportation from my old apartment to the school, which meant I had to rely on rides to get there. Living in Kennedy, I can take a bus that goes directly to and from Nueva Esperanza, making it a lot easier to get to work.
|My new diggz.|
This year has been all about changes. Living in Bogotá, I’ve had to learn to be flexible (quite literally when it comes to taking TransMilenio) and to roll with the punches. Although living abroad is not easy, I’ve learned that it is doable if you keep an open mind.
I came here because I wanted to change the world. But with each passing day I am beginning to believe that by the time this experience is over, it will end up being the other way around.