Tag Archives: Colombia

Booked!

19 Jan

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Home from Boston, surrounded by the piles of arcs I collected, my mind has turned to summer.

This summer, my niece, my twin sister’s only child, graduates from high school and turns 18 in the same week. I got to thinking I’d like to be there for those two big events and checked flights. Prices were very good.

So, in conversation with my sister last night we talked it over. As the Superintendent for elementary schools in her district, her time can be flexible, even though school will still be in session if I were to arrive the last week of June. We looked at the calendar and talked things over. I went online while we were talking and found nonstop, round-trip, PDX to YYZ  flights on Air Canada for $422, a very good price. We talked it over and I though tempted to book it right away, I decided to sleep on it and book it in the morning if I still felt confident.

I am now booked to go and I feel very happy about it.

It makes me amazed, how easy all this is to do now. It used to take days or weeks to make these kinds of plans.You’d make a plan. Then you’d have to go see a travel agent. They’d give you some options. You’d think them over and decide. Later, you’d get your paper tickets. It is all so different now.

I started shopping for my own tickets when I lived in Colombia. Once my Spanish was good enough, I skipped the travel agent and would just call the airlines directly. I can’t remembered how I paid, but it must have been by credit card over the phone. I still have my Lonely Planet guidebook  Colombia: A Travel Survival Kit   ©1988.

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The inside covers refilled with notes, including flight information I scratched down while on the phone with Avianca.

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It is a ratty old book now, but it is a storehouse of memories.

Springing forward SOLSC 11

11 Mar

I’m enjoying the posts about the time change. I hate to admit it, but I had no trouble adapting this year. I set my clocks ahead in the early afternoon on Saturday, took my dogs for a walk & came home to the “new time”. Saturday night, I stayed up later than I would on a school night, but had a great sleep. But it has all had me thinking about Colombia’s first time change.

In the summer of 1991, I travelled to Medellin, Colombia to teach at the American School, there Much of Colombia was experiencing a drought, though Medellin and its environs were less impacted. Medellin, called the City of eternal spring, had excellent infrastructure (you could drink the tap water among other positives). It was a wonderful place to live and work and I ended up staying three years.

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 In an effort to conserve energy, he federal government implemented several policies. For my first year there, we had only 12 hours of electricity a day. Each week we alternated between 6 am to 6 pm and 6 pm to 6 am. additionally it was decided to implement Daylight Savings time for the first time ever. Colombia lies just above the equator, so daylight hours only vary about 30 minutes from one solstice to another.

Some people accepted the decision, some resisted, and some were confused. Many would ask “Old time or new time?” when you made an agreement about a time to meet. Arrogant North Americans that we were we would argue trying to explain that it didn’t matter, just change the clock and go with it, but friends and coworkers sometimes couldn’t do it.

One problem I face is my alarm clock. It is about 15 years old and has a chip that automatically changes the clock. Alas, the chip changes the clock based on the dates we used prior to 2005 when revisions were made and  DST began on the second Sunday of March and ended on the first Sunday of November, from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. So now, I have to change my clock 4 times a year.

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