Apparently before the road through the Andes from Mérida to Caracas was built, it took twelve days to get from one city to the other. This road was built I can't remember how many years ago by I can't remember which dictator, but now it takes only (relatively) twelve hours to drive from Mérida to Caracas. (Take a look at a map between the two cities and notice how they are not that far apart from each other and you'll get an idea about the Andes and how twisty the roads are.) The road opened up travel between the two cities and made Mérida boom compared to what it had been before. Now its a beautiful tourist and University town with a pretty young population and low crime.
However, even though this road is great for Venezuelans who need to get from place to place, it is not great for Katy and her stomach. Yesterday, we went for a 3 hours drive up into the mountains and though we say a lot of amazing things and the ride up was really great, but on the way home I got so so sick. Between the parasite that's been hitting me each evening around 5:30, the hairpin turns, the two land roads, the speed bumps that stop us suddenly every mile or so and the diesel fumes coming from the cars around us, I was pretty overwhelmed by the nausea. By the time I got home, I basically hit the pillow and slept for 11 hours.
Hopefully today I am better. It's past 7:00 and I don't have any of the normal sick feelings. Hopefully then, the parasite is all but gone through my system.
Meanwhile I am trying to toe the line between being a typical American study abroad student and partying at bars every night - which is not something I'm particularly interested in doing anywhere I am - and going out with people and having a good time. Plus I'm in the middle of the transition time where I need to get used to my weekly schedule and not feel like time is stretching out around me endlessly, until class, after class, between class. That will come after the transition though.
I'll post pictures from the trip into the Andes and other things tomorrow, possibly. But for now...
Bolivar. There is a statue of him in every city and town it seems. Sometimes he's alone, looking majestic, sometimes it's just his bust, sometimes he's with his dog. Always Bolivar.
A typical street in downtown, on one of the many rainy days we are experiencing here. Sometimes in the morning the sun shines, but always in the afternoon it rains. May is apparently mostly the rainy season though, so maybe during June we'll see a change...
In the entrance of VENUSA.