Friday, January 4, 2008


Just a short note to let everyone who is interested enough to tune in know that I am safe and sound in Medellin. If only becasue the name Silicon Valley is already taken this place should be known as the Silicon Basin. The number of augmented chests could support a Hooters franchise on every other block in the city. The tallest building I saw on my first day of exploring was a hospital devoted exclusively to plastic surgery. Granted there is some surgical tourism that takes place here, but the majority of the young women in the massive registration hall appeared to be locals.

They call Medellin the city of eternal spring. The weather is beautiful, the surrounding hills verdant, and the ghost of Pablo Escobar has little to say in a metropolis that has made a dramatic turnaround from its days of cartel notoriety. The central plaza and an entire floor of the city museum are devoted to the corpulent sculptors and bright paintings of Paisas most celebrated son, Fernando Botero. The city also boasts Colombia´s first metro. The clean and convenient trains run on elevated tracks that afford excellent city views. Recycle bins can be found on many sidewalks which are noticeably cleaner than any I´ve been in Latin America--much cleaner than the sidewalks I tread in New Orleans earlier this week.

There might be a volunteer opportunity for me teaching English in the Bogota schools. The YMCA is the sponsor. I interviewed with their regional coordinator this afternoon. They would organize a homestay in exchange for my services. A much better way to work on my Spanish than another round of language classes.

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