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Dave and I arrived in Medellin a few days before our volunteer program actually starts, so we were able to be tourists this week! In addition to taking in as much Botero as possible, we saw some distinctly Colombian modern art, caught some stunning views of the city as we rode the aboveground metro and enjoyed an assortment of fried meats in bread.

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Medellin is very modern, especially compared to Cusco, where the most attractive area is the segregated touristy part near a Spanish-style plaza. Medellin still has some of those plazas, but they’re surrounded by high-rise apartment buildings and wide open green spaces, and are fully integrated into the city’s bustling downtown. Cutting through the city is a gorgeous, brand new metro system. So far all the dogs we’ve seen have had collars, and trash is bagged and put on the curb for pick-up! There is even a street-sweeping crew that comes by to clear all the fallen hibiscus blossoms that coat the sidewalks. Talk about luxurious!

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However, Amaga, where we’ll live during the week, is about an hour west of Medellin and is a bit more rural.

Las palabras del dia

Pan salchicha – Pig in a blanket

Arequipa – Dulce de leche (sweet milk, sort of like carmel)

Arepa – think corn tortilla

January 9, 2014