I’ve been awfully quiet of late, ample opportunity to offload a few gallons of pressurised mind bilge into the swirling cesspit of the interwebs if ever there was one.

Life in Colombia continues apace, as I’m led to believe it had done for some time before my arrival.

The crackly white noise of my radio silence belies a glut of travel, to the tierra caliente (tantalisingly close to Bogotá and of a different climatic species altogether) and yet further afield to hedonist’s playground, Medellín. The onset of the rainy season has put paid to any further questing for the time being, due to a mixture of washed-out roads and the realistic prospect of a boatload of rain on arrival wherever I might still reach.

Nigh on three months have elapsed of a fumbling foray into teaching and for the most part it’s going swimmingly. I’ve honed my preparation technique to a level where I’m no longer spending equal time planning as teaching – far from it – and I feel my presence in front of the baying learners is now buoyed more by respectable methodology and knowledge, rather than the floaty but putrid carcass of crass bravura.

But as previous dispatches might hint at, the restive student body is positively convulsing now, and so I find myself treading the fine line between work and strike-breaking as the student paro rolls on for another week. Most of the buildings relevant to me on campus are barricaded to enforce the strike, while my employers continue their undeclared policy of information blackout to make sure I’m as disoriented as many of my students.

Phone shot = low quality

Nacho students demonstrate on Avenida NQS Bogotá

I’m giving informal classes in various outdoor spaces around the campus if students turn up and want to learn, however this situation is only tenable for so long when a) going about business-as-usual during a strike clearly undermines the cause and b) the weather’s bloody atrocious.

The strike also threatens to jeopardise my already laggard salary payments. I see this as an issue for the university and not the strikers , so it’s by no means a criticism of their rightful consensus to walk; neverthless, it is at very least going to result in a robust exchange of views should my rent be late, again, next month.

Time will tell. More wholesome bloggy goodness to follow soon, and on less contentious ground I hope to tread.

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