I’m exhausted. I’ve been up since 4:30 this morning and did four back to back sessions of music and stories at an all girls school called Gimnasio Feminino. The most amazing part of the day was presenting to a gathering of more than 300 sophomores, juniors and seniors.
I was having so much fun that I forgot I was the one performing. I don’t know if I’ve ever been in the presence of such well-mannered, warm-hearted teens. I think I’ve been hugged more today than I have been my entire life. Although it wasn’t a part of the performance, at one point, a young girl named Tatiana got up and Salsa’d with me in front of the entire student body. It was awesome!
There was another young woman name Valentina who asked me, following the show, if I had ever eaten an “Empanada?” I might be spelling it wrong but hey. When I told her that I hadn’t, she raced out of the room with a friend of hers. 10 minutes later she came sprinting back into the room holding an “Empanada” high in the air and yelling, “Baba I have an empanada for you!” The poor child was out of breath and seemed near the point of collapsing. I sat her down in a seat next to me and she handed me the Empanada. “Please eat this, it is soooo good, you will love it!” she said to me.
There were a crowd of girls gathered around us, about 25-30. Flashes on cameras and camera phones went off as I tasted my very first Empanada. Valentina began explaining to me how food is such an integral part of Colombian culture and that she felt it her duty to have me taste the delicacy that is an Empanada.
I have to say it was delicious! I enjoyed every last bite of it but, my only regret, are the images of me gorging myself on it that are sure to resurface somewhere (maybe facebook).
I am thoroughly enjoying this experience and learning so much. I am finding it very easy to blend in with many of the cultural norms of Colombia.
As I am writing this there is loud thunder and rain pouring down violently. I love it! I really am loving this!