Its Friday and i am without Vodka.I may need to do my nosy and see if Enrique has some liqor in his cupboard!
So i went to a car factory today. Not sure what use that would be in life but it may come up in a pub quiz. Chevrolet. They make 3 times of cars here. I know the whole process from assembling parts from Korea to dipping the chasis in foul smelling acid to painting it then sticking on engines and wheels, to making sure its waterproof. Go on ask me. I am an expert now!!
That aside we did get a talk about the social responsibility side of the Colmotores factory although i'm not sure why i needed to get up at 5.45am to see it!
We then went to meet the Secretary of Education in Bogota. Rotary has some great pulling power in terms of setting up meetings. Maybe they could help me meet up with Johnny Depp? mmmm. Anyway, the school. So yesterday we went to a school held together with donations and sellotape. Today we seen what the government was doing. Brand new escuela for 3000 young people aged 5-17yrs. The school day is in shifts, You either come in at 6am and finish at 11am or you come in at 11am and finish at 6pm. I know which one i would prefer!
The school co-ordinator Estella was indeed a real star. She spoke to us about the strong belief in education and how the government has committed funds to ensure that schools were accesible for all. She told me that she had always worked with the children of Cuidad Bolivar, the barrio we visited yesterday and that despite their reputation she loved working with them. She was proud of her school and the work they do. It was screaming out of her! I asked her about discipline in schools and the strategies they used to deal with it (i am here on official work business so i gotta ask!) In all her time as a co-ordinator she had only ever expelled 2 young people completely. They prefer to work with the young people and find a solution to their difficulties.
If you wanna know more about the school system just ask me. Again if Colombian education comes up in a pub quiz then i'm your phone a friend!
We did visit another school - mucho sameo but they did feed us soup of Colombia (3 different kinds of potato and chicken!)
Our wee bus that had been driving us about all day was asked to take us all home. We dropped Liz off at 4pm and i had arranged to meet her at 6pm at the cultural centre. I got home at 6.23pm. Not sure if the driver was aware of my time schedule but at least i got a wee tour of Bogota.
What does it look like i hear you ask? Well its clean in the most part until you start to head out of the main city areas. There are loads of high buildings (pisos) in the same brown brick colour. Think of the colour of a really good hot chocolate powder and that s your colour chart. Next to them are small 2 storey buildings some english looking, some spanish but others of a non specific country of origin. Like some of the fruit on sale here! The flores es mucho grande. Street traders are everywhere as are shops of the same type all next to each other - rows of hairdressers, rows of florists, rows of religious shops!
There are many trees, green grass, some unusual graffiti and i`m not sure of the word...como se dice..... rainwater catcher thing like in the near end scene of Grease when Danny is racing a car and Sandy is singing a song? You know what i mean, it runs through some of the main streets. I seem my old friends from Saracen Square sitting having a weekend aperitif by the stagnant water. Lovely!
Bogota is mixed. The candaleria is old whereas other parts are new so its quite non describable.
So anyway Enrique is home. He speaks no English and smiles alot. I´ve missed going out so i think i`ll ask him if he want to join me for a whisky. We can smile at each other for the rest of the evening. It good for the soul. It releases endorphins dont you know!
Off to Boyaca tomorrow. More relaxed, muy bueno y tranquil.
Jx (or Jeam as i keep getting called)