McDonalds is the same anywhere. really.


path to the pool
Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.

today was a journey, like all new and shiny new, like i have to remember that i don't speak a lick of spanish and am meeting new people both local and from my country and trying to make a good impression and be helpful and smile and just be cool. i think i pulled it off :)

we had breakfast at the hotel. let me take a second and say - all the Semester at Sea kids will agree with me here - fruit in other countries makes our stuff taste like sawdust. this pinapple was like flavored water. anyway, breakfast, then off on our way by 8am. we all accompanied brad and ray to a TV interview. it was so interesting, they use so much less equipment than we do! it was a talk show, basically five people having a conversation, then they interviewed Auturo, Greg, and Cameron, then Brad and Ray played three songs.

afterwards, Laura and i went to Auturo's home, where he'd brought together about twenty local kids. we stuffed CD envelopes to hand out at the concert, and then hung out with Auturo's extended family. my non-spanish-speaking was kind of a spectacle, kids would try to speak to me and honestly, i just didn't get anything at first. i kept laughing and shrugging sheepsishly, i felt a little ashamed, but mostly frustrated with myself. i wanted to express something like "i love it here and i would laugh at your jokes and ask you about your life," but that's pretty difficult to pantamime. the people were just lovely and we had a great time.

we got picked up by Greg and swung by McDonald's for lunch, oddly enough, and went over to the venue to watch the band rehearse. after spending a couple hours there, the girls hit the pool and the boys took a trip to the barrios (sp?), which intensely effected them. that area is south-african-townships, indian-untouchable-villages poor. the kind of life where it scares you and angers you that people live this way, and it's in every nation. we all know about the ONE campagin, yeah?

we met up again later and went to a local restaurant for dinner. the owner of the restaurant served us himself, and his three year old daughter came out to see what the commotion was all about. she was a beauty, very shy and sweet. dinner was some good food, and we had a new guest to share our meal: a pastor from Miami named Pedro, who was Cuban-born and very cool.

after dinner, back to the Holiday Inn and back to my bed. our hotel is absolutely beautiful. the photo above is the path to the pool.