Monday, April 26, 2010

My unforgettable experience in a nutshell...

Week 1- exploring the city!
Week 2-no parents, death in our family, riots/fires in the streets, locked out of our room.... SCARED!
First weekend adventure- Hot Springs/Aguas Termales
Week 3- salsa class, first trip to MoJiToS which quickly became our favorite spot :), sushi tei- YUM!
Second weekend adventure- Paragliding/Parapente... too bad I threw up arepa haha
Week 4- parties at VENUSA, first encounter with Alexi Garcia- the most memorable person/best friend that I have met
Third weekend adventure- Chichiriviche Beach: Morena's Place, Cayo Sombrero
Week 5- exposición, mercado principal, alexis to make pizza, valentines day movie
Week 6-yoga!, sangria making, more time spent with alexi and those boys
Fourth weekend adventure- Botanical gardens, sushi tei for Daniel's farewell, and soccer game
Week 7-Venezuela cooking night, tambores party, pool, karaoke
Fifth weekend adventure- HIKE by teleferico, naty's adam's birthday party!, johan and yiyas to cook and play with the boys!
Week 8- average trip to mojitos, hookah bar, britt- ecuador
Sixth weekend adventure- CRAZY camping trip... lago coromoto=fail
Week 9- cooking night, lots of school work
Seventh weekend adventure- el valle and ziplining/canopy
Week 10- shutter island, delicias mexicanas
SEMANA SANTA- Margarita Island
Eighth weekend adventure- alexis parents cabin in the mountains
Week 11- Dear John. enough said.
Ninth weekend adventure- Catatumbo
Week 12/Tenth weekend adventure-Choroni: Chuao, surfing
Week 13- alexis birthday!, ONE YEAR aniversary
Last weekend...

"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others stay for awhile, leave footprints on our heart, and we are never, ever the same."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"When one door closes, another one opens." -BiTTeRsWeeT!

So today is Sunday which means I have exactly 5 full days left in Mérida, Venezuela… it is definitely bitter sweet. Considering I have 3 tests, 3 papers, and 1 project due this week, I am kind of ready to head home. I know that I have so much to look forward to: family, friends, eating healthy, working out, practicum at the Nebraska Medical Center, Ben visiting me, KC to see my favorite little boys, Jewish leadership retreat in Baltimore, my 21st birthday, and then CAMP! It seems as if when one chapter of my life closes, another one quickly opens. It will be nice to be busy, but I know that once I get settled into the summer, I will miss this chapter of my life that is quickly ending. I have not only learned a lot about Spanish and Venezuela, but I have learned a lot about myself. Coming to Venezuela, or studying abroad in general, has been one of the greatest decisions of my life. I have made special friends and memories, taken TOO many pictures, and had experiences that will never leave my heart. I have seen some of the most beautiful places on earth and I hope to someday share this incredible country with my family. I look forward to applying all of the things I have learned to other aspects of my life. Plus, being here has given me the urge to travel. There are so many beautiful places on earth and I need to visit as many of them as money and time will allow. Next big trip→ Europe 2011.

Thank you all for reading my blog throughout my time here. I love you all and look forward to seeing you again… soon!

<3 Kelsey Lynn

Monday, April 19, 2010

Choroni- Heaven on Earth

So we left on an overnight bus Wednesday arriving to our posada (hostel) Thursday around 11 am... To our surprise the hostel was nothing like the website... it was in the middle of nowhere, a full kitchen meant an outdoor barely functioning cooking area and what we thought was going to be a luxurious vacation turned into a borderline camping experience... After pouting and complaining for a good half hour we headed to the beach from which we thought we were very far which turned out to be a much needed, easy 30 minute walk...
The beach (playa grande) was absolutely PARADISE and suddenly our worries went away! It was my perfect paradise... a combination of beach AND mountains... what could be better?
The first day we spent most of our time tanning, playing in the waves, and being beach bums... plus we met our new surfer friend/instructor named Julian or Tarzan as we preferred in reference to his long hair, tan skin, and hippie lifestyle... We made plans to go surfing with him for Friday! and I was sooo excited... because surfing has always been on my list of things to do! :) Thursday night we used teamwork to cook some pasta and veggies and played lots of games! I felt like I was at my own little summer camp and everyone got along great, it was so fun!

Friday: we got off to a late start due to no power and catchin up on some much needed sleep, cooked yummy breakfast- eggs and potatoes!, then off to the BEACH for SURFING LESSONS! and everyone got up! Tarzan was quite the teacher :) It was just as much if not MORE fun than I expected and I definitely plan to go again in my future... That night we cooked dinner again (black bean tacos) and played more camp-like games! plus some drinking games! We luckily had a night without rain so really wanted to make it to downtown for the nightly tambores dancing... but since our posada was kind of far from el centro and we were getting pretty into our ultimate charades we didn't know if that was going to happen... all of a sudden our wishes were granted... a what we originally thought to be creepy truck pulled up with tarzan and our hostel family to take us to el centro to go out! We all hopped in the truck...! They took us to a really cool but expensive surfer bar! unfortunately the tambores wasn't going on but we met some cool people from Germany, hung out by the water, and headed back around 1:30 AM... gooood night!

Saturday: early wake up... the town is starting to get more and more busy for independence day weekend! we hopped in a fisherman boat to Chuao the famous city of cocoa~! The boat ride was a blast with huge waves and the water was bright turquoise, absolutely magical. We spent a few hours at the beach in Chuao, toured the city, tasted some famous cocoa, then hopped back in the boat for stop #2... it started to DOWNPOUR on us in the middle of the ocean on this boat and because no valuables got damaged, it was actually really fun! We got to the second beach and played in the waves in the rain which was super fun! Then we headed home for another night of cooking dinner, playing games, exhausted, and early bedtime!

Sunday: last day... we spent a few hours on the beach with the early rays and then did a little shopping! I got some gifts, a fun little wrap/dress/coverup, a hippie headband, and lots of jewelry! then it started to rain on us like always haha but we managed to cook some lunch, shower, and pack our things for another long night of traveling! when we finally got to the bus terminal there was a TGIFridays near by and we were of course ECSTATIC to eat good american food! We all had the 30 bolivares (7ish dollar) special... a big burger, fries, drink, and icecream! what could be better after a long beach weekend!? (ok lets get serious... im DYING for a good ole salad from karen's kitchen... these carbs are killing me haha)

We finally made it home after another 12 hour overnight bus.... I am absolutely exhausted and have a lot of school work to do... but the trip was overall a complete success despite our complaining at the beginning! everything worked out perfect which just reiterated lesson #2 on my list (everyone doesn't always go as planned... that's what makes it fun!) we all got along great, got lots of sun, i finally did surfing, and visited what i truly believe was a little taste of heaven... CHORONI!

11 days left. wow. i'm not sure how i feel about this... like anything it is bittersweet! there are things i am excited for at home and things i am sad to leave! This has been one of the greatest experiences... EVER.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Saturday: laguna de urao, old school coffee plantation, yummy bar-b-que lunch, boat safari 1: monkeys, birds, iguanas, vegetation, palofito (house in the middle of the water), set up hammocks, nap, boat safari 2: sunset, freshwater dolphins, dinner cooked by the lovely ysaac, boat safari 3: gator hunting, dumb dumb birds, owl, etc., then LIGHTNING!, stars, relaxing, music, sleepy time in hammocks! WOKEN UP TO CRAZY STORM! 4 am - 6 am watched the incredible lightning from our hammocks :)

Sunday: breakfast, boat ride back to town, waterfall, pirate caves, pizza lunch, head back!

INCREDIBLE TRIP! Too magical to put into words.
19 days left.... next excursion: Chordoni Beach- WEDNESDAY!

Monday, April 5, 2010

What Doesn't Kill You Only Makes You Stronger

20 Things I Have Learned in Venezuela:

1) Life is too short to be anything but happy
2) Things don't always go as according to plan... that's what makes it fun!
3) Simplicity is always better
4) Learn from the choices you make, regret the risks you don't take
5) Treat others the way you wish to be treated
6) The US is obsessed with physical appearance... It truly is what's on the inside that really matters
7) Happiness is a decision: you get to decide how happy you want to be!
8) Mixed people are the prettiest... that's proof that culture and diversity are God's gift, embrace it. -Mrs. Weatherhead
9) Every once in awhile you just need to get away... where better than amidst the peace of nature
10) Be who you are and say what you feel- those who mind don't matter, those who matter don't mind
11) Everything sounds better in Spanish :)
12) Child rearing is more or less the same in various cultures
13) Knowledge and experience are the two thing that will never leave you... you can lose your phone or your camera, but everything you learn from experience is everything you have and you can access it at any given time. -Alexi Garcia
14) The only thing that stands between a person and their dreams is fear... and sometimes lack of money...
15) Water is the only thing you can't overdose on
16) We were all put on this earth to talk; interact... so do it! That's how you learn!
17) Look for the good in others, judging is only a waste of time
18) Being away helps you discover who you really need in your life
19) Open your heart and mind, thats how we grow
20) We will never visit every spot on this precious earth, but we can sure as hell try. Venezuela is a just single country with yet SO much to offer.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


**click the link to the right for pictures :)

Saturday- ARRIVAL! I bought a really awesome Spanish quote book in the airport and am going to translate the whole thing! it is really cute :) then there was a guy standing at the airport with a sign that had my name on it! (I have always wanted that to happen haha) We got in quite a bit later than we anticipated so we just grabbed dinner at the incredible buffet and went to the dance show! Then to the beach and saw some beached jellyfish haha, really cool.

Sunday- TO THE BEACH! these crazy ladies started giving us unwanted massages on our feet... we told them we didn't have money and that we didnt want them and they INSISTED! so we paid them way less than they asked for and that was that... oy vey! but it kinda felt good... haha the waves were really fun to play in! then we went to the pool for water aerobics and volleyball and nap time. that night... Italian restaurant, lots of wine, deep talks, the dance show, and then there was a little dance party at the pool!

Monday- EL CENTRO-- shopping! I needed a new swimsuit and well everyone wears thongs there... so YES i bought a thong! dios mio! but i fit right it :) haha I also bought a cute coverup, dress, belt, and necklace... everything is SO much cheaper there! then we returned for a nice nap and got ready to go out! we spent the entire night at our hotel but it was so fun cause there was a lot of crazy people, a band, and of course all inclusive food and drinks! :)

Tuesday- pool fun, another nap, jumping in the waves at the beach, italian dinner, dance show, music by the pool, and walked on the beach where we saw a million jellyfish and a LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLE laying its eggs! SO AMAZING!

Wednesday- SAFARI JEEP TOUR with our venezuelan parents! Stop #1: held parrots :) Stop #2: castle from a battle that i learned about in my history class (it reminded me of masada in israel) Stop #3: beautiful famous church Stop #4: la restinga-- boat ride through the manglas (camera broke :( ) Stop #4: punta de arena, beach, most eastern tip of the island... CRAZY waves! and lunch Stop #5: off roading and absolutely amazing view! Stop #6: cocada- a fancy coconut drink... then we went to the big mall in the city in hope to find a camera but no luck... then dinner at the hotel, dance show, and BEN! we were exhausted!

Thursday- Last day :( lots of beach time! waves, drinks, frisbee, cute little kids, got to talk to my mom on the phone!! then lunch and then napped by the pool! thennn..... we went to KAWI BEACH for a concert! it was sooo much fun! lots of dancing! the beginning was kind of crazy because me and marissa missed the bus but the hotel paid for a taxi for us and it all worked out. the place was soo cool and it was lots of fun! we got back to the hotel at 4 am so just went straight to the beach in hope to watch the sun rise! and had to leave for the airport at 615 am! what a night! we were sooo tired!

SPRING BREAK 2010... id say it was a success! minus a stolen blackberry and broken camera!

only 4 weeks left... lets live it up!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oh... so you mean I have to study too?

The past week was one with lots of schoolwork, but it feels good to have gotten it over with. I guess it was bound to come eventually... haha

On Tuesday, I was able to Skype with Ben, which was the highlight of the week, it is so nice to see his face and we finalized the date when I will get to see him again…. May 6th.. I can handle that! Tuesday night, we had cooking class at school and learned how to make Arepas—Yum!

Wednesdays are always long but that night two of my Venezuelan friends stopped by to give me a little break from studying, which was nice and much needed.

Thursday was el dia de liberacion ☺… for me at least! I took care of a presentation and test and then went on a little exploration with my friend Megan. We went to el centro to finalize our ziplining plans, had lunch together at an adorable café, and went to Mercado Principal… TWICE! I got some gifts for my cousins, more incense, a t-shirt, and really fun hippie pants that will be great for Margarita Island! That night we continued the liberation…. And WENT OUT! We started at my friend Albertos house with some wine and guitar hero. Then went to Birosca and Poco Loco. Got home at 4 am… EXHAUSTION but very worth it.

Friday… our good friends Luis and Alexi took me and Brittany to this little mountain town called El Valle. We had a really yummy lunch, a peaceful day on a cliff, took fun pictures and just relaxed. That night, we hit the bed at 10…. Much needed.

Saturday was a very productive day. I worked out in the park, got some homework done, and then WENT ZIPLINING! It was a blast! Minus the bugs…. My legs are BITTEN UP and so so itchy ☹! Also, my camera doesn’t have the string to attach to my wrist so I didn’t get very many pictures but my friend Megan got some GREAT ones and videos too! So I will certainly be sharing those as soon as she puts them up. That night I just had a chill night with a few of my Venezuelan friends and was home by midnight.

Today, Sunday, I am going to work on some more homework and then go to my friend Andres’s soccer game at 330! He is really good so I am really excited to take a break from schoolwork, sit in the sun, and watch his mad skills!

HOME- SIX WEEKS! >>bitter sweet.