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First of all I would like to thank everyone who followed my progress in Venezuela, sent packages, and who called me (and accepted my calls) while I was abroad. Now that I’m back and reasonably well adjusted, I’ve decided that I should continue my blogging endevour – I sort of missed it the past few weeks. Besides, many of the other blogs that I enjoy haven’t updated in forever, so I’m hoping to start a trend.

The strangest thing about my re-adustment process was discovering all of the little things that I had forgotten about. For instance, I ate at Burger King when I was in the Miami Airport waiting to grab my Minneapolis flight. I had completely forgotten about the concept of free refills, much less one of my favorite sodas, Dr. Pepper. I could have as much of it as I wanted? For just that one price? That’s awesome!

Okay, so free refills aside – I also realized that our airlines (cough* cough* Northwest) leave a lot to be desired. But, with each little thing I slowly remember about our society my adjustment process is slowly forgotten and I become a little more of a fully functioning member of US society again.

I took a visit to Minneapolis to reconnect with old friends and roommates before the Christmas season. I came back and realized that I completely forgot about an alumni band event that my mom had asked me to organize. So, hurriedly contacting the necessary channels, we got together and had a practice at my mom’s house with music and a strong woodwind section.

I spent the holidays in my pajamas for the most part, and loved every minute of it. After playing several rounds of the “Dancing with the Stars” video game with my parents, I realized that there are just some things that you can only do in the US. Lounging around in your PJ’s and playing videogames with your folks on Christmas is probably one of them.

Merry Christmas, and a happy holiday season to everybody.


Merida was cold when I got up this morning. I woke up before my alarm clock and tried to go back to sleep. It was harder than I thought. I took a shower to warm up, got my things ready and had a sandwich for breakfast with Esperanza. We didn’t really talk. Senor Sala (the family’s cab driver friend) came, Espy woke up Daniela, and I brushed my teeth while Espy and Senor Sala took my bags downstairs to the car. Espy went with me to the airport and said “don’t forget us” “te queremos mucho.” I was too much in my processing mode to figure out how to conjugate “Te quiero mucho” to how I wanted it to be, which should have been “les quiero mucho.”

Well, after trying to juggle four bags and still have one hand free (two backpacks, two pieces of rolly luggage) I managed to fall over while standing in line to check-in. I also managed to walk towards the wrong counter twice after checking-in, marking me for a day of screw-ups and uncertainty.

Although the plane was scheduled to depart at 9:40, due partially to the last minute time change by Ch├ávez and the country being Venezuela, my flight was thusly delayed until noon. Having already checked-in, I took this opportunity of being free from my luggage to go walk around the city a bit and take pictures of some murals which I thought were special. Murals captured, I headed back to the airport to wait another hour or so. I’m not really sure what time the plane got there, or when we left, but it was after noon, for sure.

I sat next to a weird dude from Belgium on the way to Caracas. I got my luggage and mentally reprimanded myself for not bringing more Bolivares to pay for the weight overage that I would most certainly have on my luggage. It turns out that I was not the only one from the Merida flight headed to Miami, as one of the airline porters was calling out “LAN – Miami” to come to the head of the line. My departure tax was prepaid, and I didn’t have any baggage overage like I though, so I really didn’t need to worry about changing my dollars.

I tried to ask another guy in the airport where I should head next, but I was so rushed and flustered that I had no idea what I should be saying in English, and thus was extra rambly in Spanish. He was helpful anyway, and kindly guided me towards immigration. The lines in immigration were horrendous, and I would have missed my flight for sure if not for the same porter as before calling out “LAN – Miami” for me to step to the front of the line. He told me I had ten minutes left to catch my plane. I caught the next available customs agent, but couldn’t understand him as my ears had still not popped from the last landing. He thought that I couldn’t deal with the Spanish, tried asking me a bunch of questions in his horrible English that I couldn’t hear either, and then he gave up and just made a broad, sweeping motion with his left arm and said in English “flight.”

I had no idea what he meant by that, but I had little time to care. I ran to the terminal, where the boarding pass checker asked me a bunch of questions I couldn’t hear either, and she too finally gave up on me and let me board the plane. Just in the knick of time, too. I believe that I was the second to last person to get on the plane. After the initial welcome glass of champagne (woo-hoo first class!), I’m well settled into my first class seat, with automatic 10 way adjustments and oversized screen set in to the headrest of the seat in front of me. Even the tray-tables are harder to figure out up here. The sun is setting on the clouds as I zip along the horizon over the Carribean sea.

It’s harder to accept the fact that the sun has set on my time in Venezuela, but knowing that I’ll have family, friends, and a girlfriend to come back to sure make it easier. I don’t know whether or not I’ll continue this blog after I’m back home and firmly adjusted back into my old lifestyle, but one thing is for sure – I would love to do this again.

Thanks for following along with me – Cfox

So yesterday was Thursday, and I didn’t do a hair update for it. Sorry dudes. This will make up for it, though…

So apparently you can catch yourself off-guard in a photo.

I’ve been pretty busy packing my things and getting ready for the trip home. I’ll leave Merida on the 9th in the morning, which means that I have exactly a whole day and a half left here. I’ve got some plans to meet a friend tonight at 5 and chat in the plaza Bolivar for a while, and then again tomorrow for dinner with a different bunch of friends.

I’ll have three checked bags for the trip back home, so it’s less about trying to squeeze everything into my suitcases and trick them into closing and more about packing sensibly and putting like things together. It’s nice to flex my organizational muscles again. I’m definitely taking my time and enjoying my last few days here. I helped make some arepas with Esperanza the other day, and had a decent conversation with the owner of the chemical store across the street from my place this morning. I’m starting to get excited to go home, and it all seems to be coming around at about the right pace – I have to leave sometime, and this just sort of feels right.

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