Yesterday we woke early, went for a run, got some work done at home, took a taxi to our meeting and arrived early enough for Casey to get a coffee, met with some really smart and helpful people at the U.S. Embassy, bought a bottle of whiskey at the commissary (much cheaper there), took a taxi to our next meeting and got their so early we both had a beer, participated in a totally interesting dialogue with people at a progressive Colombian institute, bought some groceries, made a good inexpensive dinner, sampled our whiskey with our housemates and went to bed early with a plan to be similarly productive today.
Our plan was foiled by 1 a.m. That’s when the mosquitoes, that had entered through the window we left open, started attacking me. (They left Casey alone.) I turned on the lights, waking Casey, searched for them, and killed one (splatting my own blood on the wall – the bastard). But when I turned the lights off again, another started whining by my ear. I swatted at it in the dark, waking Casey again. I turned on the lights again and searched for it. This process continued for an hour, until Casey, exhausted, and having already moved back our wake-up time, sent me to the couch in the living room. I went, ate a snack, read the paper to try to calm down from the mosquito battle, and finally fell back asleep.
Our alarm woke us feeling painfully tired and we skipped our run. Then we caught a cab with a driver who had no idea how to get where we were going, and didn’t trust our directions, and traffic was bad, so it took an hour to get to the national library. When we got there the wifi was being upgraded (and so wasn’t available), meaning we had to search through their card catalogs (which I haven’t had to do since grade school). We scanned a few months worth of newspapers, with a little success, and then found out the person meeting us for lunch had to cancel (this was when Casey commented that we should have just stayed in bed). We ate lunch at the cheap but decent place by the library and took another cab to the National Geography Institute. The driver didn’t know where that was, and we didn’t know exactly, so we ended up walking a bit. The Institute only had really old maps (which we still bought) of the region we’re researching, and told us google didn’t photograph that area because of the conflict. Then Casey’s phone was dead so we couldn’t use our safe-taxi app. We got on the Transmilenio bus and, thankfully, figured a way to get near our apartment. We napped and woke up in time for the big Colombian soccer game, which we watched at a bar with friends. Colombia lost. We got some dinner and then I bought us good Colombian chocolate on the walk home. Casey didn’t want to eat any of it tonight, but I had a couple squares.
In summary (and I’m sorry for the long ranting post), one day of fieldwork can be way more productive than the next, despite no real change in our own efforts. But I’m glad we have some friends here, and each other of course, to smooth out the tough days when nothing much goes our way. Now it’s 10 p.m. and we have high hopes for tomorrow. The window to our room is closed…