Monday, July 7, 2014

A New Country

A new continent, too, if you grew up in the US and learned that North and South America are two separate continents.  And of course, a new language!  Hola todos, from Colombia!

View of Monserrate from my chair
I am here in Bogotá, where I spent this past February learning Spanish and getting accustomed to the area, because I knew that I would soon be moving here.  And now I have!  Three days ago I was with my family, complaining about the overbearing heat and humidity of the New Jersey summer, and now I am drinking hot tea and eating a mango as I watch the chilly morning mists rise up to encircle the 17th century church atop Monserrate.  Why on earth am I in Colombia, when what I have wanted since the day I left my beloved Oxford was to return there?  Well, there are two main reasons.

First, my boyfriend has taken a job as a titular professor at the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, and it looks like he will be here for a couple of years.  I had not found a permanent position in the US, and we were both tired of carrying on a long-distance relationship over Skype (internet-dating, as we jokingly called it), so I decided to join him for a while, with the added bonus of experiencing some of his culture (he's an Italian-Colombian mix) in the mean time.

Second, I have been hired to teach at a London-based international school here, and I have been led to believe that, when my two-year contract expires, they will assist with my transition to any of their other campuses, if I am so inclined.  London is close enough to Oxford that I should be very happy teaching there, and if I must take the long, roundabout route back to Europe, then so be it!  Fortunately, my boyfriend wants to be back in Europe as much as I do, so we will both be working toward that goal over the next two years.

He had a photo of the Radcliffe Camera framed for me,
so I could have a bit of Oxford here in Bogotá!
I am not quite ready to change the name of my blog to "A Rainy Day in Bogotá," though it does rain an awful lot here, and because of its altitude it remains quite cool year round.  So really, it won't feel all that different, weather-wise, though it is a far cry from Oxford in other respects. But I hope to use my time here as an opportunity to reflect on my past travels and experiences, to learn from them, to grow in new directions in this unfamiliar soil, and to carve out a life that feels a bit more intentional than that of my haphazard twenties.

I hope those of you who have followed me this far (and have stuck with me through eternities of silence and random bursts of productivity!) will continue on the journey.  I will try to keep the posts brief and interesting, but you know I can promise nothing.  Skim if you get bored.  Otherwise, enjoy, and feel free to comment.

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