Trip Start May 16, 2010
18Trip End Jun 13, 2010
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1. We got robbed at gunpoint last night. Walking down CENTRAL AVENUE for two minutes to catch a cab. A man and a woman were waiting on a motorbike at an intersection. At first I thought they were trying to make a left turn on the street, but I noticed something was wrong when I looked over and saw that there were no cars on central avenue but the motorcyle had still not moved. When we crossed in front of them, the man jumped off the bike and started grabbing at me. I was confused for a second before he pulled out a gun and started yelling at us in spanish. I handed over everything I had, which was basically my dysfunctional umbrella, my crappy side sling bag, my necklace, and 4000 colones (8 bucks). (I'd also like the point out that I had an infatuation with my big beautiful purple umbrella, and even though it was slightly dysfunctional, I am extremely pissed it got stolen. What the hell are you going to do with an umbrella?) They also stole the soccer ball that we bought for the kids. Thank goodness I left my cellphone and camera at home. The scary part is, I had my house keys in there, and I had a slip of paper that had my address on it. Now we might have to pay to switch all the locks in our host mother's house, which will probably amount to 100 bucks. The funny thing is, we were on the central street, with cars passing by and people across the street. Nobody did anything. And plus, who is stupid enough to rob someone on the most busy street in the city? They both had helmets on, but I'm sure they were ugly. Luckily, Scott somehow kept his wallet. We hailed down a cab and went home in shock. Me and Aparna were both pretty startled for a while, but our housemates were kind enough to talk to us for a bit, and we crashed in our beds after an eventful night.
Lesson of the day: Never carry more than 20 bucks on you. Always take the taxi after 8PM. Security guards DON'T DO JACK.
2. After spending two days painting the entire school white, we came to the placement today to find a rather detailed masterpiece of the male anatomy in red crayon over the walls. Scribbled beside is are some not-so-very-nice words regarding Chinese people. On the door, in big red letters, blasts "Se Vende Marijuana", which basically means "we sell weed". When we asked around the kids, they all pointed at the corner convenience store, which is located about 20 metres away from our building. There are a bunch of sloppy unfortunate looking teenagers who hang out there everyday, play on the pinball machine, whistle at girls, staring mindlessly out in to space. I'm pretty sure that's all they ever do. Not surprisingly, it was those stupid goons who created that wonderful piece of art. The most infuriating part was that they had seen how hard we had worked on painting the building (since they have nothing better to do), and we had once kindly warned them not to do anything about it. I hope non of the kids we teach will ever end up like them. I shot them as many dirty looks as physically possible, and will continue to do so until I leave the placement. We've also told everyone who works (and will work) at the placement not to buy stuff from that store. Oh, and we teach the owner's child too. What is wrong with this world???!!!!
On to a slightly brighter note: Construction volunteers are coming in next week to even out some of the land near the building and build two more classrooms. They'll also be making tables out of the scrap wood that was stored in the building. As for the mural, it's been put on hold until we have proper equipment so we don't die from the fumes. Things are starting to come together piece by piece, I really wish I could spend more time to see the final project, but we're going to make the best out of the time that we have left here. Hopefully someday in the future I'll be able to afford a flight back here to see how it has changed, and those stupid goons gone.
On an even brighter note: We are still alive! That's always something to be grateful for.
Added Bonus: We are going bungee jumping tomorrow! Definitely not mentally prepared. Ohmycrap.