Thursday, July 15, 2010


WOW. Finally an update. The reason for the delay is not the busy schedule or lack of internet. Rather,my computer is being STUPID and not allowing me to log in to pretty much anything related to gmail. ANNOYING. So I'm using Emma's computer, and today is the first day off in weeks....time to catch up.

I'm in
Manizales now but let me rewind alllll the way back to Villavicencio. I left off when musicians had arrived and the Residence and things were just getting started. Pretty soon things got hectic...running around doing different odd jobs, going to rehearsals in between and making sure everyone was there, etc. etc. Fun and definitely a different pace than I was used to as a full time grad student, or even at the KC. Not just the being busy part...also the actual task at hand part. The hardest one was the passports. Emma and I had to collect and photocopy passports, photos and visa forms for every have no idea how hard it was to coordinate that. We were running around Villa Valeria collecting, chasing, scolding, photocopying, ticking off names from lists for DAYS. Looking back it was funny, but we were STRESSED.
FJC (filarmonica joven de colombia) and YOA musicians still seem to stick to their own groups...but hopefully as time goes on that will change. As for me, I'm slowly getting to know the musicians. And now I at least know their names, their birth dates and nationalities by heart!
I went into town (Villavicencio) to buy some random stuff I needed. It was really interested...small town, not much brillo, but it was PACKED. I've never seen anything like it. For those of you who have been to Santo Domingo, picture avenida Duarte or Mella at 7 pm on a Friday. That's how packed it was. It looked like everyone was on vacation or something! It was reeeealllly hot an humid, colorful, lots of salsa and cumbia, a little vallenato, all playing simultaneously on the streets. The people are pretty good looking...girls are SUUUPER tacky and wear the tightest and most adorned clothes they can find. Caribe-style. The chicks who work at the hotel can barely walk around...I'm guessing it's a combination of the heels and the fact that their pants might split. True life. Maybe if they dressed more comfortably they'd get more work done. Speaking of which, it's time you hear about Natalie, one of my almost-torments at Villa Valeria.
Natalie is the petite, chipper-looking events coordinator at Villa Valeria. But she is one of the most incompetent and EVIL people I know. She made our lives so difficult! Everything was no before yes. It took 3 days for her to get someone to come and fix the hot water...people were freezing in the shower, including faculty members. She had such an attitude about every request we made and closed the door in my face one time. The reason she is such a pain in the ass is because 1. she's dumb, and 2. she's too busy working hard for Don Omar and Mark Anthony.
The Boricua mega-stars came to Villa Valeria, IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, to perform at the....get this....ANNUAL JOROPO FESTIVAL. Really?! I think it's great, and the people of this town deserve visits and entertainment of this sort. But these A list (in the Latin world) artists must be receiving a FAT check if they are coming all the way here to perform at a Joropo festival...I doubt they are doing this out of the kindness of their hearts. There is clearly money in this town, not visibly though. "Interesting". Meanwhile, Natalie got slighted because Mark Anthony (who turns out was in the room right above me), never made an appearance. He stayed in his room. Same with Don Omar, whose entourage of at least 30 hovered over him if he wanted to walk around. They came and went. But I hear the performance was great.
A whole lot of partying around here. I guess the musicians are taking advantage of the "rest period" before they go on tour. I've had a couple of drinks here and there but no serious partying. I feel old because I'm so exhausted! Charging my batteries before we go on tour.

Concert was fantastic and exciting. FJC goes first and they didnt get much love, but the audience warmed up...especially with both orchestras joined to perform one of Colombia's anthems...beautiful. Technical difficulties posting coming soon. The gorgeous young woman with me is Ana, our photographer. The other one is of me, Emma Development and Marketing Officer and Nina, Executive Director.

Next you'll hear about Ibague. Love you all. Please bear with me through the technical difficulties. XOXOXO

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