Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Waning Curacao

I swear there's something in the air that just changes when you pass the halfway point of a trip. It's kind of like the moon. Before I took astronomy I wouldn't have known there was such a thing as waxing gibbous and waning gibbous, and when you look at those moons in the sky, one or two days on either side of the full moon, they are the same, but reversed: maybe you can't immediately pinpoint it, but something is different. As of today we are thirteen days in to our adventure with nine days to go, and I feel a shift in mood, energy level, desires, satisfaction, thirst(literal and figurative), and just general state of mind. Also, I think the time starts to pass differently -- again -- as we pass the halfway point.

I am sick today. A fever and headache -- early signs of dengue fever, so I'll keep pretending it's that until it's clear that it's not. Oh wait, that's probably already the case. Anyway, six or seven people have been sick already; we have a hospital run every couple of days. Flu, dehydration, antibiotics...our professor from the Netherlands asked today, "What's wrong with you Americans, always getting sick everywhere you go?" My response: We eat preservatives in all our food and our bodies are flummoxed whenever we arrive in any other place in the world, it seems. Then again, we tend to find eggshells in the scrambled eggs here from time to time, and one girl said she found a piece of glass in her food at some restaurant downtown, so who knows?

I feel like we have to be more studious for the last half of our trip, and I wish it were the other way around. I wish they had thrown us in and scared us and then had it lighten up. I feel like I've done a lot of fun stuff, but now there are a lot of studious things scheduled for the next eight days. Yesterday we visited the central bank of Curacao, kind of like the Netherlands Antilles Federal Reserve, and heard some lectures and international banking transaction information, then had snacks. It was a cool building. As we were walking in, I pretended we were there to ask for a bailout. Just for the U.S. in general.

The fireworks began popping up last night. Tonight we will attend a celebration on the beach with drinks, live reggae music, and more fireworks. Apparently there will be fireworks all over the island tonight. And drunk people.

We have New Year's Day off, and then this Sunday will be our only other remaining full day off. There are stil a bunch of activities to squeeze in. And we are starting to think about the final exams! But first, we must do our part to ring in the new year. I'll be in 2009 an hour before the East Coast...see you there.

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