Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pam and Mary Ann's Visit: Monserrate

The week of Carnival/Mardi Gras, my Aunt Pam and Mary Ann escaped from New Orleans' Mardi Gras madness to visit me in Bogota- my first (and so far, only) visitors!  I hadn't been living here for too long at that point, so I wasn't sure exactly what to show them, but I knew I wanted to see Monserrate, the church at the top of the mountain near my house.

After taking the "scenic" route (i.e. I didn't know exactly how to get to the base- oops), we arrived at the lovely old house that serves as the base for the gondola and funicular.

Looks steep, huh?

 Good thing we didn't have to climb it (although that is on my list of things to do before I leave- many people climb it on their knees, as a pilgrimage). 

In the area where you board the gondola, there's a little garden.  I thought it was cute.  

Preparing to ascend.

Ascending... it was already obvious that the view would be fantastic.  

Passing a descending gondola on our way up.

Bogota is huge.  

I included both photos because a different person has her eyes open in each.  

 The view from the steps of the church.

The view out the doors of the church.  

Mountains on my right, Bogota on my left.  Camera in front of me.  

After this photo, it started raining pretty hard, and we took refuge in the nice restaurant at the top of the mountain.  We had warm drinks and waited for the rain to die down; when it did...

 The light was golden and gorgeous.  This is the restaurant where we had our drinks.  We wanted to come back for dinner, but alas!  Sickness struck on the final day and we had to cancel our plans. 

And that, folks, is Monserrate!  I was very happy to have two such lovely companions with which to explore it!


Edited to add:  I forgot to include two photos from Pam's camera- a view of the church itself, and of the interior of the restaurant.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Animals in the City Part IV

Here's a burro friend in the Plaza de los Periodistas!

Video from emergencia Social Protest #1

Here's some video from the Emergencia Social protest- in the middle, you can see the little skit with the "law" in a Scream mask holding a scythe.  This march was moving past my office window for at least two hours.  At the end, you can see that the last of the marchers are followed by a line of police/military, and a gigantic tank. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Emergencia Social Protest #1

Wow, I have gotten really far behind.  Sorry about that, folks!  Let's see if I can catch up.

We'll start with this group of pictures from early February (wow, have I gotten behind!) or a protest regarding emergencia social the emergency measures the government was considering in order to deal with lack of funding for health services.  There were two protests within a week of each other, down the main avenue, Carrera 7; this is the first of them:

The white bits on the ground are pieces of confetti (i.e. ripped up used office paper) that we were throwing from our office window.  

The janitor in my building looks on.  This was on a Saturday afternoon, so it was just me, Hans (a colleague), and the cleaning staff. 

"Emergencia Social: Profit for the few, suffering for the many"

"Your house or your life"  "Uribe is dangerous for your health"

We'll save each other together or we'll sink separately"

A little skit to demonstrate the evils of the new law.  The guy in the grim reaper mask with the scythe is the law.

"Doctors who prescribe enough are not criminals"

"No to the US military bases: sovereignty and dignity" - See?  It's not just in the US where people can't stay on message at protests!

"Health is not a favor; it's a right!"

Javeriana [University] Students BTA- Present!  (I don't know what BTA stands for, sorry!)

Some people showed up to the march not to protest, but to sell food.

The police are always in the background in Bogota, but especially during marches.

A "dead body" in a stretcher (killed by the man impersonating the law with the grim reaper mask & scythe) holds a sign that is kind of hard to translate literally.  "Del paseo de la muerte" is "walk of death" and refers to being brought with serious injuries to the hospital, and being kicked out and left to die because you can't pay.  So:  "From walk of death to genocide" means the deaths from this practice will increase dramatically under the emergencia social.

"Health isn't a favor; it's a right!"

To be honest, the daunting task of uploading all these photos is what kept me from posting for so long.  Up next: a video from this same event (if, upon review, it's any good).

Friday, March 5, 2010

US Sexism in Colombia!

I found this in a bookstore, and had to take a photo of the back cover.  It's a book from the '80s by a "doctor and psychologist" named William F Hardley, and was originally published in Michigan.

The title translates as "What He Needs, What She Needs" and it's plugged as a book describing how to build an infidelity-proof marriage, but it reads more like a tutorial in 19th century gender roles.  The list section is my favorite.

She needs: affection.      He needs: sexual satisfaction.
She needs: conversation.      He needs: company in recreational activities.
She needs: honesty and openness.      He needs: an attractive wife.
She needs: economic support.      He needs: domestic support. 
She needs: family commitment.      He needs: admiration.

Thanks, Bill!

Granted, it's more than twenty years old, but this sort of list seems fifty years out of date, at least!  Here's the cover:

Animals in the City Part III

These goats are gazing out of the bed of the truck at the dairy stand to the right which is selling the fruits of their lactic glands.