Archive for August, 2010

Bus Strike!

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Yesterday morning I went to church, so I got on Bogota’s bus rapid transit system (called the Transmilenio) and headed south to what is known as Soacha, a municipality about to be swallowed up by Bogota proper.

Now, to get to church, I have to take the Transmil as far as it goes and then get on a tiny bus called a colectivo, ride that for 10-20 minutes, and get off to walk another five minutes to church.

As it happens, the Transmil system is being extended on that end so that in a few months, I should be able to cut out the colectivo step of my transportation: a real benefit in time and money.

Apparently, bus drivers in Soacha don’t share my enthusiasm, which may be why they went on an unannounced strike yesterday. So, the few buses that were in operation were charging extra and not going as far as normal. The only other options were to pay for impromptu taxi and “bus” service: people driving personal cars and pickup trucks with wooden walls, as you can see in the following picture:

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Today when I went to church, everything was back to normal.

I guess you never know what to expect in Bogota, other than excitement at every corner.

Gearing Up

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

I made it back to Bogota for another year of teaching! I’ve been back for almost a week now, and it’s been busy, busy, busy.

The school looks a bit different since the new building is closer to a state of completion; fifth and sixth (I think) will be using a couple of the new classrooms this year, though they won’t have their drop ceilings yet. The new computer lab and library won’t be ready for at least a few more months.

This morning I translated, then “translated,” and finally gave up and summarized in Spanish for about 3.5 hours of meetings. That was draining.

Currently, I’m working out my plans for the eight computer classes I have again this year. I hope to finish before the night is through, but reality is often crueler than my naïve estimations.

School starts with a picnic this Saturday, with core classes starting Monday, and the regular schedule beginning Tuesday.