Time Zone: Caracas, Venezuela (a half an hour ahead of central time)
How far did we travel this week?
In miles, I traveled about 100 miles to La Azulita, which is a little city in the state of Mérida. (I live in the state of Mérida, and then within it there’s the city of Mérida, where I live).
How far have we traveled on our journey so far?
So far I’ve travelled to Los Llanos, the beach Parque Nacional Morrocoy, and then el Paramo.
How did we get around this week?
I traveled in a bus with my friend Aletha to get to La Azulita and then when we were there we either walked around or we traveled in the back of my friend Maria Jose’s (who invited me to come to her house) dad’s truck!
What was the most interesting place we visited this week?
I loved traveling and spending five days in La Azulita. It’s this gorgeous town that’s south east of where I live. We traveled into the mountains to get there and it was a beautiful ride. But I must tell you, mis chamos, that I don’t get car sick, but the roads are so bad that I definitely got motion sickness. They wind left and right and then they dodge the potholes, going at 65 miles an hour! But the view was gorgeous, driving around the Andes Mountains.
Weather Tally (enter the # of days for each weather type):
Partly cloudy: 1
What is the air temperature right now?
Right now it’s 75 here in Mérida, but in La Azulita during the day it was 80 and muggy, which made for a very sticky feeling.
How was the weather this week?
In La Azulita it was really muggy and hot. I think the only sunny day there was, was when I was in Mérida. I’ve noticed the farther up you get into the mountains, the more likely you are to have a cloudy day. This is because the higher up you go into the atmosphere the air gets colder and water condenses easier. Thus, clouds and rain.
What animals did we see this week?
There was not a lot of wild life in La Azulita, I saw a lot of parrots as usual and dogs walking around the streets.
What was the coolest thing we saw in nature this week?
I didn’t get to capture a picture of it, but when I went to the pool for Maria Jose’s 18th birthday party there is a gorgeous waterfall that we hiked to. But we hiked through the river to get there, and there were this humungous boulders in the middle of the river, but covered in moss. So they were like huge chiapets!
What languages are spoken here?
In La Azulita, they speak Spanish, but differently than in Mérida. Here they speak a lot faster, truthfully they curse a lot more (which is what I was told before I went there, that is a part of their culture), and to say something’s cool you say pelo cochino (pig’s hair!). This is because in Venezuela, to say something’s cool you say fino, which means fine. So a pig’s hair is very fine, so they say pelo cochino!
What type of money is used here?
They use the Bolivar, the official money of Venezuela.
How much does a bottle of water cost?
In La Azulita, it cost about 10 bolivares, so 50 cents.
What was the best meal this week?
People in La Azulita are known for feeding you a lot! This was amazing, because I was staying there for free! The best meal was definitely the lunch that I had at the beach. I had sancocho, which is the soup with corn on the cob, yucca, chicken on the bone, squash, and green bananas (in one of the pictures). Then we had tekenos, which are little pieces of fried dough filled with cheese and then we had cake that was guayabana flavored, which is guava in the US. It was sweet and a little bit fruity. And then after we went swimming they were grilling pig and cambures maduros, which means mature banana. The grilled pork was salty and crunchy and then I put a slice of cambur maduro on top, which was somewhat gooey and sweet. So good.
What music did we listen to this week?
We listened to a lot of music from Colombia, because we were only three hours from the border. It was actually pretty awesome because every morning I woke up to the sound of Colombian music.
What activity was the most fun this week?
I loved going to the pool for Maria’s birthday. I loved being able to sit down and talk to her family and then go hangout and play keep- away in the pool! It was so fun seeing the kids hit the piñata for candy and then learn how to sing happy birthday in Venezuela!
What did I read this week?
I read my Bible every night and then I read some stories for my classes for Children’s Literature and Civilization.
What games or sports did I play?
I now play kickingball every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and go to rugby practice Tuesday and Saturday and Sunday I tried handball!
This Week’s News: (short story about what happened this week)
This week I went to school as usual, but this Friday I got to play in a kickingball game for the University of Los Andes! How crazy is that?
Here’s the great cake we ate
Here’s my friend Aletha as we’re driving from the pool. We got to sit in chairs in the back of the truck.
Here’s the crispy pig with one cambur maduro
Here’s a view from our benches at the pool
I got to go to a huge bonfire that they have twice a year in a valley of La Azulita, the whole town comes to it
The family I stayed with in La Azulita. They were all so nice and generous.
Here’s the sancocho that we ate at the pool party