Excitement is OVER!! Barranquilla, Let’s do this!!!

Banderas de Barranquilla

 

Soooooo after months of waiting and waiting I attended my pre departure orientation with anticipation to find out that I have been placed on the Caribbean coast in Barranquilla!!!

Years on perving on Colombia, I must admit that my heart has always leaned towards this culturally expressive region of the country. Between Cartagena and Santa Marta,  The Gabriel Garcia Marquez museum, close the the San Andreas islands and of course HOME OF CARNAVAL :D it couldn’t be more of a dream come true ❤

I will be arriving in the Bogota, 2nd August for orientation then on the 6th of August it’s a quick zoom up to my new destination! As yet I haven’t sorted out permanent accommodation but will be staying with my tutor until I settle in and etc.

I was almost in tears when I found out where I was going. 3 years ago when I made the decision to go to Mexico instead I could have never imagine I would get a 2nd chance at the same dream ❤

Moral of the story: NEVER GIVE UP YOUR DREAMS!

P.S. Any advice or recommendations on life in the ‘Quilla’?? I haven’t even looked at my suitcases yet as the love is yet to grow for the dragging battles ahead but I can imagine it will be a 2 case job plus hand luggage. (Quite an improvement considering I took 4 CASES to Cuba and 2 BIG CASES to Mexico….. ) Bit of a flashpacker i know hahaha

Would be good to hear from peeps! :D Gracias in advance.

 

 

 

 

Excitement is OVER!! Barranquilla, Let’s do this!!! was originally published on The Many Words Of Aic3la

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Á mi primer amor….. Cuba

cuba flag

Perdonamé Cuba, yo se que en hace mucho tiempo no he hablado sobre ti, casi como que no estábamos juntos pero porfa aceptar eso como mi disculpa.
Sin ti, no podría ser la mujer quien soy hoy, tu lo juro eso. Fuiste tú que me ensenado a ser fuerte, independiente y orgullosa. Era mi primer tiempo fuera de mi hogar por tanto tiempo y con todas las complicaciones, todavía usted me dio todo que necesitaba para sobrevivir.
Un mundo sin Face, sin móvil, sin comida rápida, sin TV!!! Era una lucha pero cause de ti, cuido mis relaciones con amigos y familia como oro. Nadie puede entender los conflictos personales que se presenta en un mundo tan cerrado pero abierto.
La loca chica que se enamoró con el Malecon, casi cada noche estábamos ojo a ojo con las estrellas, y sin duda con refresco de limon y mi botella de ron (3 anos) ese paz que tuve en estos días solo puedo encontrar en mis sueños. Creo que no existe en el mundo despertada.
También mis leyenda con palabrotas contra otros, creo que en 3 semanas, sabía cómo destruir un hombre con Cuba-ñol jajajaja, gracias mis locos amigos en el Malecon, las amistades que erán hechos en tu presencia eran desde loca y frágil hasta los que están en mi corazón para siempre.
Conoci a mi segunda madre Merici, ella erá mi fuerza en momentos cuando un abrazo valia mas que diamantes. Sabes las problemas que tenia allá, y ella con tu poder, y me dio el coraje para andar con mi cabeza arriba orgullosamente. Ahora ella esta con Dios y yo se que cuando veo las estrellas en formación de ‘La Osa Mayor’ como mi tatuaje, ella esta mirándonos con cariño.
Cuba, no puedo describir la libertad que tu me ha dejado, esó es más que palabras pueden explicar.
Tuvimos nuestra primer encuentro con la naturaleza y aunque me gusta el mundo natural creo que es mejor si voy por las calles, no por las valles! Mucho estrés para los bichos, no vale la pena!
En tiempos buenos y malos, con peleas y amores, entre los engañadores y las aventuras, nada puede tener la maravilla que tuvimos. Desde Coppelia helados por desayuno hasta mis pizzas en mi borrachería, todos sabían que usted, Cuba, me tenía desde mi llegada.
Como un primer novio nunca voy a borrarte de mi vida, incluso si te sientes que no te amo te lo juro que sigues en mi corazón pa siempre.

Espero que usted me entiendes y lo encuentras en su corazón para que me perdone……

Aic3la

Plantain or Plátano…..

fried-plantains4

Plantain or Plátano?

As the title suggests, even though language separates them immensely there is no denying that Latinos and Afro Caribbean people have a lot of things in common.
Discovered or re-discovered as’The New World’ in 1492, this area of the world is famous for its care-free lifestyle, its tropical climate and welcoming people to name but a few, however there are many similarities that people many not have been exposed to making these neighbours, almost flatmates.

Historical
On that infamous wrong turn (Originally bound for Asia!), Christopher Columbus amongst others, introduced European Colonizers to the Caribbean and South America as a new land waiting to be governed. From the brutal slave trade connecting West Africa to the islands and mainland to the Spanish Encomienda system in Cuba, from the start Latinos and Caribbeans have shared memories of imperialism at its worst. It is well known that countries such as Cuba and Brazil had a vast number of slaves brought over to work on various plantations but there were also prominent numbers of African slaves taken other colonies in Ecuador, Mexico and Peru for the similar purposes, in turn creating pockets of African culture in these countries The Amerindians, the Aztecs and other native groups were forced into a system of slavery in order to make the region profitable and from this we see one of the earliest similarities between the cultures.

Geographical
When someone says they are going to the Caribbean, the most common assumption would draw to islands such as Jamaica, St Lucia or Trinidad however the Caribbean diaspora goes as far as the Mexico across Central America and down into the South American continent. There are 30 Modern-Day islands territories including Cuba and the Dominican Republic making them a part of the physiological structure of the Caribbean however regions such as the UNESCO protected Garifuna culture and the Mosquito coast of Central America to Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina of Colombia can’t be denied to influence of the Caribbean Sea upon their lands. The fact that in 2009 Peru officially apologized to Afro- Peruvians for the devastation caused by slavery across history shows that African presence definitely made a huge impact on their country and culture and in many parts is still alive today. We can also see the that geography plays little part in the cultures of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana who are all run by foreign department regardless of being on the South American Continent. Therefore the Caribbean is not just a chain of islands; the most accurate definition has to include multiple Hispanic countries as well.

Musical
The 90’s created a rebellious musical movement around the Caribbean and Latin America. From the influence of the USA and the desire to create their own identity music genres of Dancehall and Reggaeton were created. Infamous for their sexually charged lyrics and infamous dances such as the ‘Dutty Wine’ and ‘El Perréo’ the two genres have gained a lot of enemies, blaming them for social problems such as increased peer pressure, drug use and glorifying vigilante behaviour. Another theme up for debate is the degrading of women, many of the songs talk about infidelity, domestic violence and promiscuity as a common theme which has caused protests all over the region. This being said we can’t deny the percentage of female liberation these genres have inspired. In a society very much controlled by Catholism, Latin American women found comfort in women such as Ivy Queen and the late Jenni Riviera who spoke about current issues affecting young Latinas as well as giving them power in a ‘macho’ society. Though very different culturally, Grammy Winning Jamaican vocalist ‘Lady Saw’ did the same for young women of Jamaica, being the first women to rap within a male dominated genre and even gave brought the importance of safe sex to a very conservative island. However we interpret the controversial genres there is a prominent common ground in both culture’s approach to rebellion and equal rights.

Gastronomical
Food is one of the biggest evidences of cultural assimilation that can be found in both cultures. There is no doubt that if you visit any Latin American or Caribbean you will be offered a meal that includes the staple diet of ‘rice and peas’ or ‘Arroz con Frijoles’. Whether it is the economic popularity of the dish or the caloric benefits the two have cemented themselves into the cultures. The tropical climate has also made way for a number of snacks to be made in a similar way. The ‘baleada’ or the ‘Arepa’ are easily compared to the ‘Fried Dumpling’ or ‘Pattie’ due to their easy preparation and wide range of variations. However the most popular connection between the two diets has to be the ‘Plantain’ or ‘El Plátano’. This starchy banana can be boiled, mashed, fried, roasted or chipped, you will find a bunch on almost every Latino and Caribbean shopping lists. At any stage of maturation you will find a recipe including this staple food from the abundant plantain chips to the tasty chapo juice containing blended plantains.
These are just a few examples of how the two cultures have come to be almost identical although linguistically they could not be further apart so next time you pick up a plantain just think of you are holding they key to the assimilation of Latin American and Caribbean culture.

(This Article is based on my own personal opinion and research do not wish to offend anyone, just putting some food for thought out there….)

Let me know what you think!
xoxo

Graduation babaaaaaaay!!

graduate babay

 

So i have been having an emotional few weeks accepting that my life might be on a new path but i’m trusting in God to take me where i need to be cz he made my heart and knows what it wants…..

Today was actually the first day of many that i can say i was filled with pride as a result of my hard work and determination. I was one of the stereotypical students during my time at University, even though i decided to stay home, i live in London PARTY CENTRAL!!! So i was always hitting a student night (50p vodka shots and foam parties!!) and rolling into class whenever i got to many ‘absent’ emails in my inbox. I did like education but as with many students, i was not taught how to write or read effectively.

In our young days we are taught pronunciation and confidence in speech what we need to do but it seems that at University you actually had to REEEEEAD the words and take them in……. lol…… I know, sounds crazy but you would be surprised how many people struggle with this concept.

In my 3rd year i was lucky enough to spend my year abroad in the magical city of Havana, Cuba where i learnt the importance of living life to the full no matter your circumstances and dancing the night away. I did go to class out there as i wanted to improve my Spanish in immersion classes however i learnt my most valuable ‘Cubanol’ in the late evening on the Malecon with my beloved ‘Havana Club 3 anos’ Rum with refresco Limon looking at the clear bright stars singing along to the passing boomboxes or live band. (Learnt a lotta good swear words too lmao!)

It was not until my return from Cuba and the realization it was my final year that i pulled my big girl pants right up and started studying . After choosing my modules i was blessed with amazing tutors that helped me through my struggles and guided me into the place i am in today. (Latin American, Caribbean, Brazillian Portguese departments at London Metropolitan University, I THANK YOU!!) It was hard and i missed a lot of good parties but it was only on this day i realised the worth of what i had done.

I was living in Mexico this time last year so i missed my initial graduation ceremony but today i got my time to shine.

In places where women are killed for wanting to study i have managed to become another positive statistic and make my family, friends and peers super proud. I don’t know if i will continue with mainstream education but i will definitely keep on learning.

I dedicate this blog to my family, friends and the memories of some very special people in my life:

Mr A Burke a.k.a Dad

Mr H Bailey a.k.a Grandad

Mrs Merici Galvez a.k.a My Cuban Mother

Their spirits will always be part of my successes and i know you were all shining down on my today as i walked that red carpet, showing off my education.

Never give up on yourself cz we are all we have under the spotlight.

From yours truly and now……….

Miss A Bailey with a B.A. Honors in Caribbean and Spanish and Latin American Studies with a Certificate of Proficiency in Brazilian Portuguese!!!!!!!!

xoxo

La Idioma de mi Corazon….

Primero donde esta los acentos y todo de eso en WordPress ingles si creo escribir bi lingual!! Ya fue mucho tiempo para aprender cuando los uso y ahora que!!! jajaja

Pues bienvenidos a mi otro lado, lo llamo la idioma de mi corazon…..

He aprendido Espanol hace 12 anos desde secundaria pero como todos con segundas lenguas voy a comitir errores asi te bienvenido ayuda de todos lados. Tambien he vivido a Espana, Cuba y Mexico asi tengo una mezcla de dialectos de estos paises y pronto Honduras tambien WHOOP WHOOP!!

Pues me llamo es Aic3la y voy a tratar de poner algunos puestos en Espanol asi mas gente pueden disfrutar mi locura!!

Mi primer amor en cualquier idioma es la musica, sobre todo los generos me cae en amor con canciones y hay algunos muy cerca a mi corazon k quiero compartirlos con ustedes y te lo juro hay miles maaaaas……

Disfrutar! x

Primero es tu mi primero encuentro con espanol, soy caribena y mi profe trataba de unir mis mundos y culturas y la resulta era esa:

Segundo era el himno de Cuba cuando fui en 2009 para estudiar Espanol en la Universidad de Habana, CADA DIA, CADA FIESTA!!:

Unos de mis memorias mas fuertes de Catalonia, Espana cuando estaba trabajando en un campamiento de ninos, han ganado La Copa Mundial:

Desde mi querida Mexico tiene k ser el grupo Jesse y Joy:

Uno de las leyendas de Mexico Selena:

Bachataaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa:

Un Clasico:

Y eso k casi me pone a punto de llorar cada vez lo escucho:

Y finalmente, mi precioso reggaeton, no me importa k nadie dice es musica, si no te gusta, es tu cosa!!!

 

Espero k te gustaba mi primer puesto en espanol y disfrutaste!!!

Deja un comentario si quieres y te escribo pronto!!!

Disfruta! x

 

 

 

Global Food Cravings……

Hey so as i sit here enjoying every crunch of my crisps i thought i would do a quick blog about foods i miss from the countries i have been to and what i miss when i leave the UK….

UK: it has to be Walker’s Cheese and Onion Crisps and Heinz Salad Cream (My extreme addiction to salad cream led me to take 4 bottles to Cuba with me on my study abroad, they last 10 months!!!)

 

  

 

 

Cuba: The avocados and guavas were sooo fresh and tasty. Also the man 2 blocks from made house who made what could be the best and freshest churros in the world.

     

 

Jamaica: Jack Fruit and Sugar Apples…… AMAZIIIIINNNNGGGGG In generally crave anything from Jamaica as its in my heritage and we even though eat the traditional dishes in England, there is just something about eating home food in your home country that makes it taste so much better!!

    

 

U.S.A : Well most things you can buy here in the UK but nothing is like Aunt Annie’s Cinnamon Pretzel with a Strawberry Lemonade to wash it down or a ‘Love It’ size cup of French Vanilla and Cookie Dough Ice Cream, Cookies, Fudge, Caramel and chocolate sauce.

 

Mexico: My undying love for Gorditas especially carne asado con queso or a burrito con salsa valentina (Any one know where i can get Salsa Valentina in London?) OMG mole chicken with real chocolate sauce with rice or chicken pozole is the best winter warmer!!! Bombas or tortilla with melted cheese and salsa are a good party dish as well. Although i could eat most Mexican food without a problem!!

    

 

Greece: I fell in love with tzatziki sauce when i went there 6 years ago and i still but it thanks to Tesco!!!

 

Catalunya, Spain: There is a Seafood Paella call Fideua that i have when i spend my summers in Spain !! It is made with little noodles cooked with seafood. Anyways i love that too!!

 

After all that i think i’m going to go a bit mad then maybe find a gym because the thoughts alone must have given em a few calories!!!

Next place i’m off to is Honduras and i’m already excited about the food there!! Any recommendations are welcome…..

My last saturday being 24……

Technically i should be out dancing up a storm trying prove to myself i’m still 21 but in truth im sooooo happy to be where i am in life now. Yeah i will probably not like the first time someone ask me my age after next saturday but i think it is a blessing in itself that i get to enjoy my quarter decade on a Saturday!!!

As i reflect back on the past few years of my life i survived some of my deepest darkest moments and managed to drag myself and follow the light to my dreams. I am not a religious person by show, i believe in God through every part of my soul and body but don’t have a specific place of worship. In saying all this NONE of this would have been possible without him and i am eternally grateful.

In the last 4 years i:

Intensely and almost lost myself to grief from losing loved ones and managed to pull through

Studied Spanish for a year in Havana, Cuba

Spent the past 3 summers teaching English in Catalunya, Spain

Taken at least 1 holiday a year including The Bahamas, Florida 3 times, Turkey, Madeira, France and Jamaica.

Worked and lived for a year in Mexico

Received a Bachelor’s Honors Degree in Caribbean, Spanish and Latin American Cultural Studies

Started learning Brazilian Portuguese

Saw the Paralympics live in London 2012

Transitioned to Natural Hair after many relapses

Happy and proud of everything i am flaws and all….

In life i think we have to go through trials and hard times to appreciate the sun and good times when they come, whether it happens when you are young or on your deathbed, someday it will all click into place and  you will smile at your existence.

Might start writing down my bucket list cz i have ticked off a lot already!!