The new definition of progress

So tomorrow will mark my two month “anniversary” in Medellin. I now have a waxer, a nail girl, a market, a trip to the beach…I have even had a visitor from Boston! A male visitor ❤ I feel like I am collecting these things, people, events just to try and provide meaning to my life here. I still feel pretty lost and all I can do is keep asking myself, aren’t things supposed to be getting better?

My life isn’t as comical and out of body as it was in the beginning, but it still has its moments. Spanish lessons are getting more interesting by the moment and I feel as though I can consider my teacher a friend now. She asks me about boys, worries about me when I walk into class distressed, and is always willing to help at the drop of a hat. Despite this progress, I still get myself into these situations of confusion.

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There are the taxi drivers.

I climbed into one off the street, tisk tisk I know, after having drinks and some dinner with a new co-worker and as I stumble through my destination request, the driver keeps grunting, “huh?” “huh?” He turns around and realizes I am not just an illiterate Colombiana that can’t speak Spanish, but an asian girl from the U.S. The traffic ridden trip is full of animation. He proceeds to tell me his life story of how his brother was murdered in Miami because of his involvement in the drug trade. How he has 3 other brothers still in the U.S. and that one of them is a cop. I even know about his 20 year old son’s international business studies and plan to go to the U.S. to stay with one of the responsible brothers.

There are the grocery store trips.

Like the time I got sick and barely managed to make it to the store, let alone wander around aimlessly looking for the specific juice I needed to nurse me back to health.

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There are the day trips to nearby Pueblo’s

Remember that boy I had visit me? Well I decided to plan a private tour to one of the largest tourist attractions near Medellin. We promptly left at 8 am with the promise of boating and arrival back in Medellin by 7 pm to have a full night in the city. There was no boating, and our tour guide was practically coercing us to stay overnight so he could spend time with his girlfriend and her two children fathered by two other men. No me gusta. We eventually got home a little past 8, but not without begging.

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I’m not sure if these stories signify progress or stagnation. I am still holding onto hope that my silver lining is learning this language. At least I will have that.

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