23 March 2014

Still here...!

Ah, it's March, must be time for my annual blogpost. Yes, I have turned into not much of a blogger, eh?! But I'm still here, in the "south" (ie, Latin America)!

As a brief update:

I spent basically all of 2012 & 2013 living in Cartagena, Colombia, where I taught English at the Centro Colombo Americano. It was the first time I'd ever taught & I really enjoyed it; I'm also glad I had taken the one month intense ESL teaching certificate program (CELTA) in San Francisco before I left there--it helped a lot.

At Ciudad Perdida with niece Carolin & friend Luisa!
I was able to travel quite a bit in Colombia, both with friends (some living in Colombia, some who came to visit) and solo. It's a hugely diverse & fascinating country -- I highly recommend it! Just to mention some highlights: traveling with Spanish friends who live in Colombia (& whom I met during my junior year in Madrid 1981-82); when my "German niece" (from the family I lived with in Germany in 1978-79!) came to visit & we did the 5 day Ciudad Perdida hike with friends; and also when my sister & her 11 year old son visited me in Cartagena--my nephew said it was the best week of his life. I love being an aunt! :)

What 11 year old (& 50 something year olds!) wouldn't love a mud volcano?!
Surprisingly, there was so much to see & do in Colombia I didn't venture much outside of that country, beyond trips back "home" (which could mean a few places) for special events. But I did get to Peru for a couple of weeks--Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley are all that they say it is and more--and Ecuador for a month. While in Ecuador last July, I volunteered for two weeks on the coast in the fishing village of Puerto López, helping with a Spanish reading program in elementary schools, an after school kids' club, and teaching English.

When I decided that I was ready to move on from Colombia (after all, my 6 week stay there turned into over 2 years!!), I decided to go back to Puerto López to volunteer again. So here I am for a couple of months! I'll be moving on again soon, but perhaps I'll be back to Ecuador. I haven't yet made it to the Galapagos & that is definitely on my list.

And no, I haven't turned independently wealthy. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to help out with some vacation rental apartments, something I can do totally online. I started doing this with some apartments located in Cartagena's Walled City in 2012, and a few months ago was able to add on renting out vacation condos in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Check out my webpages, always works-in-progress:

The current plan is to travel more while maintaining the "rental business" thanks to the internet. Know anyone planning to visit Colombia or Belize? Please share my links! :)

Will try to make sure it's not another year before I update things again...meanwhile, I'll catch you on the road! (in Latin America? Europe? the U.S.? Who knows!!) Let the adventure continue.....Hasta pronto!

Teaching an English class on the beach with a fresh tropical juice in Puerto López!

Reading with kids in Puerto López!

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