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

Á mi Mexico…… con amor

Heart-Mexico

Tenía que decir ‘Hasta Luego’ en una manera romántica porque es lo menos que mereces como mi primer amor adulta. Ya sabes que yo tuve una aventura apasionada con Cuba antes y sí, yo todavía lo amo pero contigo era algo diferente….. algo madura. (No te pongas celoso…)

Desde el día bendito cuando llegúe a Torreón y fui directamente al Black Bull para un ‘whiskeeeeeey’ y pasarla bien con mi nuevos amigos, sentío que la fiesta de amor continuará.
El sabor de las gorditas de la calle, nadie puede robar desde mi estomago/corazón y hay momentos perdidos cuando se que la única respuesta es una gordita de carne asada con queso y salsa roja…… (Los sueños están hechos de este!!) De yo, mis nalgas y mis dieta diario….. GRACIAS POR TODO!!

Autobuses de México….. qué puedo decir de ustedes? gracias por el entrenamiento para ser mochilera! Desde Oaxaca, México D.F, Playa del Carmen, Guanajuato, Veracruz y los pueblitos entre ellos, ellos me han tratado como reina (aparte de un incidente con un pollero pero…. Jajaja), debido á tus servicios, puedo hablar de México como más que turista. De la morena que siempre va corriendo para un camión al Norte…. GRACIAS!!

México, la gente que tiene son joyas, joyas reales. Desde los jarochos hasta los norteños, ellos me cuidaban como amiga, hermana y mas… 😉 (No así, portarte bien!!). A todo mis amigos Mexicanos, desde mi alma, gracias por todo y espero que un día pronto voy a regresar pa tomar un brandy con ustedes de nuevo. Gracias al equipo ‘SANTOS LAGUNA’ para mi primer campeonato y desfile de ganadores en Calle Independencia, llevo un poco de blanco y verde para ustedes siempre.

Finalmente, a ti, México, la tierra que me ha convertido a una mujer parrandera que canta canciones de Mariachis en la madrugada, donde Tacostao era mi príncipe azul, donde mis trenzas eran famoso, donde oré con una niña huérfana en las calles que cuidar de ella como han cuidado de mí, donde tenía que ir downtown para ir de compras para El Día de Independencia’, cuando fui al club de salsa en Veracruz que era una locura preciosa, cuando compré Pan Guayaba como loca en Guanajuato pa ‘Día de los Muertos’ en Cervantino y miles más de dóndes y cuándos.
Próximo yo voy a Colombia para seguir mis viajes, solo quería que te entiendes la importancia que tienes en mi vida aunque nosotros estamos separados.

❤ NUNCA te olvides de mi, porque como mi carta de ID, has dejado tu huella en mi corazón pa siempre…..<3
De tu reggaetonera preciosa,

Aic3la

Life-changing month ahead!! Colombia or Mexico

colombia n mexico

Heeelllllloooooo people!!! Yes it’s me! Not the reviewing this time, signing in purely for chatter purposes!

Thought I’d get back to blogging as I’m potentially in for some show stopping news…… (love the showstoppers lol)
If you have followed me over the past 2 years you remember my life took a drastic turn for the worst due to illness and I had to turn down of a teaching job in Honduras. I’m pleased to say that I am fully recovered and eager to get back out into the world and dive into more cultures.

All I love to do is travel, meet people and teach…. it gives me an adrenaline rush just thinking about it.

Well the news is that I am in the process of waiting for a response from the British Council regarding a potential placement abroad in either Colombia or Mexico!! I have dreamt about my next adventure since I landed back in London in 2012 and I’m on tenterhooks at the thought of another take off!!

Depending on how my teaching profile is reviewed I could be placed in either country for a potential 11 months as an English Language Assistant. I have heard so much about the program and what it has to offer. Can’t wait to find out more, inc my new destination!

When I find out, I’ll be sure to fill y’all in!!!
xoxo

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

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

 

 

 

Fear….. Friend or Foe????

 

Hey guys, so i’m officially around 12 weeks to my big international move to Honduras and for the first time i can say i was thrown back into my chair by fear and began to rethink my dream….

For those who don’t know or are new to my blog i spent the past year in living in Mexico in what was described as one of the most dangerous towns in the world, Torreón, Coahuila. Now before that trip i had a slight relapse on my dreams as i was moving alone to a non touristic part of Mexico for 11 months to teach adults English but to my surprise i ended up having another amazing experience abroad (i have also lived/studied in Havana, Cuba) of my quarter century life.

The state over-run with cartel intimidation. my year was full of ups and downs which included the occasional gunshot lullaby and our ‘spot they army truck’ game which was never below the count of 5 on some days. Overall my time in Mexico was simply wonderful as even though you could not deny the negatives i got to see the beauty of the country in it’s natural state (well… apart from PLAYA DEL CARMEN!! A.K.A CANCUN’S YOUNGER SISTER!!)

This chain of thoughts brings me to my present issue, HONDURAS…

Studying the history and cultural integration of Central America in University has made me so intrigued by this part of the world as they are so culturally rich yet through corruption, loss of power and extreme poverty these countries are now battling a negative image that the media has glued to them.

I must say that i take precautions and warnings very seriously however i believe everyone deserves a chance and God has put me here to inspire those chances in challenged places.

As you may know from the media reports the Honduras has a deadly gang problem and with the city of San Pedro Sula named the Most Dangerous City of 2011, the tourism has been sporadic to say the least. The deportation of gang members from the USA to Central America created some of the most dangerous cartels/gangs in world history and they are still devastating society to the present day.

One of my main problems is the stigma of having tattoos which has been said to be enough to be a victim in various cases as rival gangs identify their enemies by markings but sometimes regular citizens get mixed up too. I’m not going to live in the capital but it kind of worries my human nature as i have 9 tattoos and am a very outgoing person so i know already that i will have to change my persona to not stand out over there. I’m sure people have tattoos but with such violent associations it is not common. I have spoken to my co-workers and Hondurans and they do not have any issues out there however i will be doing some more research of my own to ease my spirit.

As always the media tend to focus on the negative points but as with everything Honduras does have a beautiful side and without the violence has a lot to offer holidaymakers. Check out this video below:

I have been offered a very good opportunity to teach in Honduras and even though at times i do freeze with fear i am praying 24/7 for God to protect me and give me the strength to follow my dreams and help contribute to the reconstruction on Honduras.

Any thoughts or advice would be very welcome!!!

Enjoy!