Wednesday, February 25, 2009

i´m in mérida now

it´s been like a month since i´ve had a chance to sit at a computer long enough to write in this thing... my family here in merida pays for internet by the minute. it reminds me of the good ol' AOL days.

it´s really beautiful here, but we haven´t had any free time at all. right now i´m skipping out on a talk on marxist economics to hang out in the cyber café.
we have spanish class every morning at 9 and a meeting with some sort of something or other every day around three.

this is mi clase and mi profesor cristian. it´s the best spanish class i´ve ever taken

this is my neighborhood, and a wall near my language school

yesterday we met with a bunch of cuban doctors from barrio adentro. barrio adentro is the mission that expanded free public healthcare and made it more accessible to isolated and poor communities. they use cuban preventative healthcare methods and go out into their neighborhoods doing in-home consults and advising people on lifestyle changes, like issues with their diet in order to prevent hypertension, diabetes, or whatever the local ailments may be.

also, they sell inhalers here for like 2 bucks (and barrio adentro gives em out for free)... so if any of you asthmatics out there want me to bring you back some inhalers, let me know!

the past couple of days we didn´t have class because everything was closed for the feria del sol and carnival. in mérida people celebrate by wearing cowboy hats, drinking out of bull hoofs, getting drunk, and going to bullfights.

in our free time, my friends jorie, malia and i went looking for drawing zones around the city. we spent yesterday at the zoo

this pretty much sums it up
i don´t know why i keep forgetting how upsetting zoos are, but they really suck

they have deer in the zoo here

and lots of cool birds

i lost my pencil right away, so drawing kind of got sidetracked

there were also tapirs at the zoo

the day before, jorie and i went to the cemetary.

it was one of my favorite days in venezuela so far. we found a really beautiful grave and spent a couple hours sitting in the shade, drawing.

the graveyard was kind of sketchy though, there were a couple coffins above ground, it looked like a lot of the tombs had been broken into.

and there was a creepy portal to hell

we spent the rest of the day taking it easy in poet´s park

without taking breaks like that, it´s almost impossible for me to appreciate or process new information. i´m getting overwhelmed with really successful cooperatives and inclusive social missions, and now the time i get to myself is the most precious.

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