[Attempts at] Settling In

I’ve been in Bogota a little over a week, but it feels like I’ve been here forever– not in a bad way, just in that I feel like I’ve lived quite a bit of life in the past ten days. Every day has several ups + downs: I might have a great time out at lunch with friends, and then the most awkward encounter with a woman who’s showing me an available room in her apartment. There’s no normal life just yet, but I’m hoping to fall into a routine once I have a more permanent place to stay.

I’ve been in a great Airbnb since orientation ended last week, but it was an abrupt transition from the super-scheduled daily life we had during our first few days in Bogota. Orientation was usually from 8:30AM – 5:00PM; we were surrounded by people at all times, had lectures at all times, and ate food at all times. On Saturday when I woke up alone in this Airbnb, I was kind of shell-shocked by the sudden freedom I had to work on my own project revolving around my own interests. Is there such a thing as too much independence?

Not only that, I was also sad for orientation to come to a close because it was such a tease meeting dozens of great people for a few days, and then watching them go off to their respective cities for a year. Fortunately, the English teachers will be back in Bogota in September; but, I’ll have to wait until the end of May for all of the researchers to come back together again.

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The seven research Fulbrighters at Colombia’s Ministry of Education during orientation
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With a few friends after orientation came to a close

Overall, I’m happy so far. But, the thought of being here for the next ten months (even with Christmas break situated nicely in the middle) is intimidating. Maybe once I have a bit more time behind me here, I’ll feel calmer about the next year.

Since orientation ended, my days have been spent searching for apartments all over the city, practicing my Spanish every morning on my own and throughout the day while running errands, meeting my Fulbright advisor at the National University, spending time with new friends, dealing with the Colombian bureaucracy of getting an ID card and phone plan, and trying coffee. I feel fortunate that I live in a city with some solid Fulbrighters and a great Airbnb host, who invited me to join her for a salsa class and at a few coffee shops (below).

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At a coffee place, Libertario, near my Airbnb
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The surroundings from the roof of a different coffee place, Cafe Cultor
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2 Comments

  1. Hutch says:

    Hey Lauren,

    Glad to hear you’ve made it to Bogota and are starting to get a bit settled in. Sending positive vibes your way that you find an apartment soon. I know how unsettling it can be to not have a place…I actually just found an apartment myself over the weekend! We did highs and lows at CG the other day, and it’s crazy to think that I’ve already been with the group for a year. My first session last year was right after the summer break. You were definitely missed at CG on Wednesday. Overall, there were a lot of people hurting in different ways, and I feel that you’re always so good at being empahetic and helping meet people where they’re hurting.

    I just accepted an offer from Airbnb the other day, so really excited about joining them next month. I really appreciate you taking the time to meet with me and and put in a good word when was looking at Google.

    Here’s hoping you get a little more settled in the coming weeks, and that you start to find a routine and some people you can connect with.

    Best, Andrew

    On Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 10:47 PM, wanderlauren <comment-reply@wordpress.com > wrote:

    > wanderlauren posted: “I’ve been in Bogota a little over a week, but it > feels like I’ve been here forever– not in a bad way, just in that I feel > like I’ve lived quite a bit of life in the past ten days. Every day has > several ups + downs: I might have a great time out at lunch ” >

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    1. wanderlauren says:

      Thank you! That was such a nice note to receive 🙂 I already miss CG. And I feel the opposite– I can’t believe you’ve been in CG for “only” a year, it’s hard to remember the group before you were part of it.

      Congratulations on Airbnb!! I’m still bummed that Google didn’t make space for you, but I’ve heard Airbnb is an awesome place to work, so I’m excited for you there. I have a friend who I believe still works there, Aiden, who’s a really sweet guy (and use to work at Google). Keep an eye out for him!
      I’ll talk to you soon,
      Lauren

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