I have been studying with a private tutor, reading books, listening to the radio, watching movies and attempting conversations with several people at my job, but nothing was about to prepare me for the 10 hours per day of Spanish I was about to encounter at my 5-day Spanish-speaking doula course in Manizales.
But, as luck has it, my course happens to be the same week as the 33rd International Theater Festival where the streets are the setting and the people the actors.
This festival has been my only relief from wanting to bash in my head every night before going to bed knowing that I have another 10 hours of understanding almost nothing the next day.
The festival consists of mini and grand theater projects from all over the world including Spain, Venezuela, USA, Italy, Mexico, Holland, Brasil, Guatemala, Argentina, Uruguay, Honduras, Salvador, Australia, Japan, Chile, Ecuador and China.
The performances have been taking place in universities, museums, local theatres, cultural centers, the cable car stop, parks and throughout the streets.
Shows run from 9 – 11 in the morning until 9 – 11 at night, and have a wide variety of themes, settings and costumes.
And it doesn’t hurt that the backdrop is Manizales, one of the most beautiful cities I have been to in Colombia.
The city is nestled in the mountains, with streets running through it as quaint as San Francisco with restaurants, stores, museums and street kiosks as cool as NY’s village.
It also doesn’t hurt that the men are delicious and everyone is super friendly, even more-so than Medellín which I thought was impossible.
The weather is hot during the day and cool to cold at night.
Its absolutely perfect here, with everything one can desire for a nice little vacation from your vacation or to stay for a little bit longer to get more acquainted with the people and their culture.