Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fun and Games in Chia . . . Oh, and Lots of Food!

I had a relaxing weekend in Chia, the small town next to Bogota, where I visited my friends Luis Carlos and his wife Fabiola. Besides the fact they are wonderful hosts and always feed me until I need to adjust my belt buckle, they speak only in Spanish (Note: when Luis drinks he begins to speak English). So do their friends who often stop by. It’s great practice. I sometimes think I haven’t learned much, and visiting Luis this weekend proved otherwise. When I first arrived in Colombia, I understood some words but understanding the context was difficult. It’s still not easy, but I now can participate in most conversations and I usually understand the gist. Not only is it a great feeling but I am motivated to study even harder.

It’s been almost two months since I last visited them, and since then, the other noticeable change is my physique. I’ve lost between 10 and 15 pounds since leaving the United States. I’m on the move all the time and I eat less than I did at home. I also eat more fruit and less meat. I think, however, there’s more to it than that. There aren’t many overweight Colombians. Anyhow, I compensated for being flaco by eating as much as I could in Chia. Fabiola and Luis cooked a huge pot of bean and pig soup, which is comprised of big beans and pieces of pig skins. With rice and arepas (If you don’t know what an arepa is, read tomorrow’s blog.) it’s feast. To drink they served Cola y Pola, a combination of soda and beer, a Colombian favorite of mine, as well as lemonade, made by mixing limes with water and sugar. On Saturday night we played board games and Luis and I stuck with tradition by drinking aguardiente. As you’ll see below, I enjoyed trying on Luis’s Halloween costume. I’ve written enough. The photos below will do the rest: