Monday, May 14, 2007

Back to Keeping it Real Domestically

After quite an adventure, I am back in the ol' US of A. I was unfortunately not able to access a computer very often during my stay, so I will have to do my best to recollect everything that I experienced in the correct order. Anyway...

It seems that I left off on day three. Oh what a day the third one was. My lovely guide and I toured the Casa de Moneda, which I like to pretend means the house of money. Situated in downtown Bogota, the museum houses a collection of coins which illustrates the progression of coin making technology in the country. I'm a big coin nerd, so it suited me very nicely. A substantial art collection is housed in an adjacent building. Much of the art present were works by the artist Fernando Botero. His specialty is fat people and fat animals(sometimes fat fruits), in both paint and sculpture. My favorite was a quite over weight version of the Mona Lisa that he painted.

The Casa de Awesome temporarily standing next to the Casa de Moneda.

A nice scene on the way to the big square.

From the museum we took a short stroll to what seemed be sort of the national square of Colombia. I saw the National Capitol Building, which houses both parts of the Colombian congress. At the other end of the large square is the presidential compound. Both, in the spirit of freedom, were closed to visitors.

The National Capitol Building

Here is a church on the square with all of the important national buildings. Rather than try to recall its name, I will tell you that Colombia is a very catholic country, and that there are really churches everywhere... even in salt mines.

Here's me and Angelica guarding this presidential soldier guy to make sure he doesn't try to smile or anything.

As it began to lightly rain, we took shelter in a military museum, which might not have been entirely smart, being as the museum was half open-air. Anyhow, I got a quick run down of all the major conflicts of the country, from before the war of independence, to Colombia's involvement in the United Nations operations during the Korean Conflict. While we were avoiding the rain, we were also stalling until 7pm. One or maybe more times a week, depending on the numbers in one's license plate, a vehicle is prohibited from being on the road during rush hour. Pretty interesting way to cut down on congestion. Well, more on Colombia tomorrow.
A quick peak at some of the armaments showcased in the open courtyard of the museum.

The Circle is Complete

The very first entry that I wrote in this blog was about my experience assisting a small group of Japanese reporters on a tour of Springfield. That was the 7th of December. You can find it if you click on December in the archives on the left and then scroll to the bottom of the page. Now, in May, I return from Colombia to find a letter from the State Department. It turned out to be a thank you card for my assistance with their program. "Dear John, we uber love you" was pretty much the gist of it. I was pleased to get it, but I am pretty amused with how long it took to arrive.

Fan mail from the US State Department.

I was shocked on my ride home today to hear that my high-school, Ursuline Academy, is closing. A press release on the website sites financial difficulties as the reasoning behind its decision to make its 150th year its last. I am a third generation graduate of the Academy, and I was saddened to hear that I will have been the last of my family to attend. Now the dreaded SHG is the only Catholic high-school in Springfield. BOOO!!! Hehe.

Oh and PS. DO check out the Andres Carne de Res Website. Reload it once or twice. Click on the little boat. This is one of the best webpages that I have ever seen. Its interesting despite the fact that I have no idea what they are babbling about. Check-check it out. Later.

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