Happy daylight-savings-time friends! I know for all of you back in the United States this day means one less hour of sleep, but for me it means being on the same time zone as Minnesota and only one-two hours apart from friends in Wyoming and California. I love it and it makes Skype conversations much easier!
This has been another fun, eventful and relaxing weekend break from school. I am really starting to appreciate how much there is to do in Cali sometimes, even though there are other times when it all feels same old, same old. However, now is not one of those times :)
The weekend started at 3:00 PM on Friday with a post-conferences celebration at Mister Wings' two-for-one margarita happy hour. We cheered (is that even a word?!?) our glasses in celebration of the end of parent-teacher conferences and my friend Tara's new job in Indonesia. After happy hour we headed north on the Mio - just eight noisy gringos (Americans) on public transportation. Twenty minutes later we ended our journey at Cosmocentro, one of the many malls in Cali. However, Cosmocentro is definitely unique because their entire roof is devoted to.....go-carts.
Yes, go-carts. One of the things Tara said she always wanted to do before she leaves in Cali in June is to drive the go-carts at the mall. So, drive them we did, and the go-cart style motorcycles too! (Although much slower and more carefully!) Who knew go-carts could be so much fun as an adult?? I definitely had one of those laughing-so-hard-your-stomach-hurts moments for the duration of our driving time. :) We ended the night with more chatting on my friends' rooftop patio and finally made it home around midnight...still wearing the school clothes we put on at 6 AM that morning. A perfect post-school Friday celebration!
Saturday morning Kelsi and I made it to spin class at the new gym we are going to. Still in our neighborhood, a bit more expensive, but much nicer, we are totally happy with this new gym and their many class offerings. And despite his obsession with all things Lady Gaga, the Saturday morning spin instructor really did give a good workout. :)
Returning from the gym I finally connected with my friend Ilse in Uganda, who left Minnesota a month ago for her 2.5 year stint in the Peace Corps, and just recently got her Ugandan cell phone. I loved hearing her voice after such a long time and hearing first-hand that she is happy was absolutely fabulous. She is spending her days training for future placement within Uganda, learning the language and learning how to wash her clothes in a bucket. I am so so so proud of her and continue to remain in awe of her determination to just make the world a better place for everyone.
The afternoon found us watching season one of Gossip Girl as we sat Tara down and demanded she watch with us and be indoctrinated into the world of Chuck Bass. Around 8 PM, aka Colombian dinner time, we headed over to one of our favorite Cali restaurants, Platillos Voladores (Flying Saucers) because I cannot get enough of their tofu green curry dish. So delicious. :) The night ended with a celebration for our friend Martha's birthday as well as celebrating the return of her boyfriend from Switzerland where he was studying. Enrique is our go-to-guy for the up-and-coming nightlife scene in Cali, so we are super glad he is back.
Today has been filled with grading and catch-up conversation with my family. I talked to all three of grandparents for awhile and had a chance to Skype with my soon-to-be seven-year-old goddaughter Stefanie! After she adjusted to the idea of talking to me through the computer it was great to hear about what she is up to in school and what she has planned for her birthday party at school and home. One of the hardest things about living abroad is definitely missing the people at home, and this is only made all the more obvious when those people are young and change so much from day-to-day.
Overall this weekend reminded me once again of how grateful I am for friends and family, near and far, and the ability of the internet to make that distance feel just a bit shorter.