After a week in Bogotá, I was happy to be back in Manizales and ready to start the new trimester. When I started in 2015 there was only one other new teacher, so there were never any official welcome events.
Since this was the beginning a new calendar year, there were a lot more fresh faces. So this time around, instead of getting our schedules and jumping straight into classes, everyone started off with a week-long campus orientation.
Obviously I already had my bearings, but it was nice to be part of an official welcome event. Monday kicked off with a breakfast with the department heads, followed by a tour of the English Lab. Then we walked through the campus farm and ended the morning at Cafetera, which is where they conduct agricultural research.
It is also the same department that studies coffee! We were lucky enough to receive a preparation demonstration. I’ve often heard that the method of preparation affects the flavor of the coffee, but it was never something I actually noticed until I had three cups made from the same bag of coffee. I’m not an aficionado like Barret, but even I could taste the difference.
After lunch I also had the luck of finally running into the campus peacock with its beautiful feathers on display. I took a ton of photos and I also persuaded the person next to me to WhatsApp their best images as well.
I was mesmerized as it slowly rotated like a beauty pageant contestant, but what I enjoyed most was watching people squeeze behind it. The peacock was blocking the only entrance to the auditorium where Automation was holding its monthly meeting. Definitely an only-in-Colombia moment.
The breakfast-coffee-peacock trifecta meant that the first day of orientation was off to a good start. I am excited to start teaching and I also have the feeling that the next few months are going to fly right past.