Vincent Valstar

Cannabis enthousiast – Seeking discomfort

The first two weeks at school (20.01-03.02)

‘’Whaaat? His second blog story already?! Time flies, hold my beer!’’

Es verdad, time flies indeed! But first, before I start my story telling, let me take the opportunity to dedicate this episode to Luis Rivero, who loved my first blog but was very disappointed to be not featured in it. Luis is an exchange student from Mexico, going to La Sabana as well. He’s a great guey Moreover, I forgot to introduce y’all to Lina! Lina is my buddy who helped me with the preparations, while I still was in the Netherlands, and now she, and all the other buddies, forms a great team for the exchange students of La Sabana to do activities, party and provide info when necessary.

Where were we with the last blog? Oh yes, the Sunday after the party (20.01.2019). Happy birthday dad! My sister and I gave him a quite ironic present. My dad is called Kees, which is the same pronunciation in English as ‘’Case’’. Now there happens to be a thing in English called ‘’Beauty case,’’ and there we go: Beauty Kees on a beauty case :D

The day after, university started. Exciting! Only one problem, the uni isn’t in Bogotá. La Sabana is located 20km up north, that means 30-60 minutes of travel time (depending on the traffic over here). Anyway, it is definitely worth it! Click here to walk around La Sabana. The classes I try to pass are as follows:

  1. Spanish
  2. World of Coffee (WOC), I had to take this course as Colombia is a coffee country!
  3. Legal Aspects of Sustainable Business
  4. Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol (learn how to professionally ‘borrow’ those free candy bars at conferences)
  5. Organizational Psychology
  6. Creativity, Innovation, and Design of products and services, which is quite a self-developing course! Me gusta!

A regular day in Bogotá starts quite early: around 6AM people are already working, in school, or doing their daily thing or so. I have to get used to this…

Anyway, trip plans are in the making, despite the 80% mandatory attendance which killed most of my plans to skip class and travel throughout Colombia. Mmmhhh… From this day (27.01.2019) it is only less than a week away that Don Matthijs, a cousin of mine, will come back to Colombia for a couple of weeks and also pay me a visit! That weekend after (weekend of the 9th of February), Remco, Orliany, Vivien and I will fly on Friday to Medellin! Not just only to discover the city and its people, but it also for some personal reasons. One of them is Bart, a friend from who’s family and mine went to wintersport together for the last two years. So, as we spoke each other last wintersport (Christmas break 2018), we agreed on visiting each other. I’m looking forward to see him again and the city he’s been living in the last year.

Speaking about meeting friends, last Thursday (24.01.2019), I met with Juan José!. That was a solid 4 years we haven’t seen nor really talked to each other. Together with Juan’s friend Teresita and a beer of Bogota’s Beer Company, we spent the night talking about our shared experiences, Colombia and its culture and many other things! #efmoment

‘’All great news and fun and such, but Vincent, how’s your Spanish?’’Glad that you asked. In one word: quite crap (update 05.02: it is getting better every day :)). The language is definitely my #1 barrier over here. However, no te preocupa  (no worries). With Spanish classes and my motivation, I am learning more Spanish than ever. The aim is to be at around B1 level at the end of the semester… Vamos!

‘’Seems like you’re living the dream, man. But what about any drawbacks, as it is common most people keep those experiences off the internet…’’  Well, I actually never felt really unsafe in Bogotá. Of course, you should keep an eye for pickpockets when in public spaces, and not bring any unnecessary items with you. However, on the 25th, a Friday after a party, I saw something happening right before my eyes. I was on my way back home from a party in Chía, when I saw two guys running towards a taxi, which was standing next to the road. One held a big gun and the other some sort of paper. Luckily, I was in a car, but it made me realize that walking in the night alone is, unfortunately, still dangerous…

So, the second week of the semester started, which basically means nothing special. However, on Monday 28.01.2019, I had my first rugby training! I always wanted to play rugby, so when I heard about the rugby trainings at La Sabana, I immediately applied. Another highlight of this week was the fact that I switched homes. I left my first home to live in the apartment in which Simone lives as well! Simone is an Italian exchange student also studying at La Sabana. Other students like Luis, Luciano (another Italian exchange student), and Valentina (a buddy from La Sabana) lives in the neighbourhood as well!

Last but not least, my cousin arrived! He visited me in the weekend of the 1st of February! On Saturday we went to club Baum, a technoclub with yes, a baum (tree) inside of the club. We had great talks and I hope he rest and relaxes on his holida

Up next is Medellin and the pictures of that city trip, and I will present you my ideas I have so far for my time after my exchange 😉

Hasta Luego!

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