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A new phase in Cartagena: from host family to hotelroom

A new phase in Cartagena. When I started writing this blogpost, I wanted to call it “saying goodbye to Cartagena”. But that is not true! Next week, I’ll still be in and around Cartagena. It still feels like a goodbye though, goodbye to a phase. This is for two reasons.

First of all, this week I moved from my kind host family to a new place in Cartagena, a hotelroom in another area. Secondly, this week were my last Spanish classes! From now on: no school, and just a focus on traveling and working.

I will tell you all about my week. It’s weird to write about school now for the last time. Maybe my next travel diaries will be really different. At least a little bit.

Haven’t read my travel diary from last week yet? Click here.

Do you want to study Spanish abroad, or another language? Click here.

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Monday: resting after the weekend

On Mondaymorning, I had classes like usual. It was the last week that I would have Spanish classes, so it felt a little strange. I was the only student left in my class, and therefore I now had private classes! We also had to move to another location, because there were so many students in the school that there wasn’t enough space.

My teacher told me that the class on Friday was cancelled because of Easter weekend. I could compensate this by taking one afternoon class this week. I decided to do this today, on Monday. I didn’t have anything else planned.

That is why, on Monday afternoon, I was in class with another teacher. In this class, we focused mostly on talking, which is nice. For me, that is the most important thing about learning Spanish.

streets of Cartagena, Colombia

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Tuesday: a new phase in Cartagena

This week feels a little bit like the last week before starting a new phase in Cartagena, and in my travels overall. From next week on, I won’t be taking Spanish classes anymore. I will still focus on learning Spanish though: I will, of course, talk Spanish during my travels, and I have also downloaded Spanish books on my e-reader.

Because I have a little more freedom, I can now decide what to do with my time. I want to focus a little bit more on working, so I can earn a little more. Also, I want to stay in one place less than three weeks. This means I’ll be traveling around a little bit more, and I’ll discover more places.

Dinner at Bololo

Next to it being a new phase in Cartagena with regards to freedom, it is also a new phase with regards to finances. I had already paid for most of this old part – the first twelve weeks – when I was home. The Spanish lessons, the accommodations (sometimes with breakfast and dinner): this was all already paid for.

Of course, I still spend money in the past twelve weeks. Meals, snacks, activities, transport to other places… But from now on, I will spend even more money.

Long story short: on Tuesday after school, it was time to work. In the evening, my hostmother wasn’t home and I ate dinner at her brother’s restaurant. This was delicious!

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Wednesday: even more working

On Wednesday too, I decided to work. I started a new project recently – the one I wrote about last week – and therefore, I could work quite a lot this week. I have been working at my host families house.

I also wanted to do something in the city before I leave my host family. Therefore, I looked at some tours in Cartagena, to do tomorrow after school. I decided to go for a walking tour, because I had not done that one here yet.

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Thursday: a Spanish walking tour

On Thursday morning, I had my final Spanish lesson. We didn’t do a lot of grammar anymore: we mostly just talked in Spanish. It was a very nice class. Despite the fact that I’m happy that it was my final class, I was also a little bit sad to leave the school. It was a very good and fun experience!

In the afternoon, I did a walking tour through the historic centre of Cartagena and Getsemaní. This last one is a popular neighbourhood in Cartagena, with a lot of graffiti and decorations in the streets. This is also the neighbourhood where I had been living for the past three weeks.

When I arrived at the meeting point of the tour, the group of tourists was being divided into a Spanish group and an English group. There were a lot of Spanish speaking people: it was the Easter weekend for them today, so there were a lot of tourists of Colombia too. Spontaneously, I decided to join the Spanish speaking group.

In front of the clock tower, Cartagena

This way, I could practice my Spanish during the tour. It was quite a challenge. The tour guide spoke to about twenty people, and these people were also talking to each other. Also, we were walking in one of the busiest areas of the city, with a lot of noises everywhere. All in all, I was able to understand most things.

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Friday: a free day

The last dinner with my host mother

On Friday – Good Friday – I was free from school. I decided to do nothing special. There weren’t a a lot of tours, or at least nothing that I was interested in. Good Friday really is a holiday here.

I also decided to work a little bit today. Next week, I’ll have a few days without internet. I will be going to a very fun location on an island, and I’m looking forward to it very much! But I won’t be working a lot…

On Saturday, I ate my last dinner with my host mom. She cooked pasta and she also got a bottle of wine. We talked for a while after dinner. First about Easter and religion in Colombia in general, but after that also about extraterrestrial life, and life after death. It was a very interesting conversation, but it was a little difficult in Spanish.

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Saturday: start of a new phase in Cartagena

Saturday was the day: the start of a new phase in Cartagena. Today, I would be leaving my host family and go to a hotel. Originally, it had been my plan to go from my host family directly to the location on the island, but that was not possible. The whole Sunday was already booked. (Later, a friend of mine who now works on the island explained this to me: a group of 30 Colombian girls had booked the whole hostel).

In the morning, I slept in, watched a movie, and packed my bags. I ate lunch with my host mom, and then it was time to go. I booked an Uber to my new location, and I was there by the end of the afternoon.

streets of Getsemani, Cartagena, Colombia

In the hotel, I didn’t really do a lot. There is a pool (yay), but there was no sun anymore on the terrace. I just unpacked my stuff in my room, worked for a bit, and then I went to get dinner.

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Sunday: a chill and work day

And then it was Sunday, the first day of Easter. I started the morning with a nice breakfast at the hotel. After that, I went to sit in the sun at the pool, and I even swam for a few minutes! Mostly, I just sat on the side of the pool, reading my book.

After that, I worked and wrote part of this blog. The rest of the day, I alternated between chilling and working. A nice end of my week. Next week will be a week full of adventures and new experiences, so I need all the rest I can get. See you next week!

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