1. verb: to be in a place, situation, or state determined to start the day
  2. noundawn, early morning, aurora

4:30 am: The annoyingly necessary ringtone I picked for my phone alarm went off. It is the same alarm sound they used in submarines, so it is supposed to spring someone from any kind of sleep.

Not me.

“Just a few more minutes of sleep.”


4:50 am: My next alarm went off, sending me into a brief panic until I realised I still had time. I  walked downstairs and turned the coffee maker on.

Now to preface this, I had prepared the coffee maker beforehand at night, so all I had to do was hit the button in the morning before I shower, saving me precious time. If that doesn’t totally scream responsible adult, I don’t know what will.

4:56 am: I started the shower while the coffee brewed. It wasn’t going to take long for me to get ready since I didn’t have to wait for shower to heat up. The hot water broke four days ago so I have been getting great at taking cold showers.

PRO  TIP: Running your wrists under the cold water for a minute helps the body acclimate better. That or taking a breath, jumping in,  and not being a little ***** about the cold water is a perfectly viable solution too.

5:05 am: I came downstairs, walked over to the sink in the laundry room and grabbed my white Vans I spent forever cleaning last night. Right as the coffee maker stopped its steaming sounds and the house got silent, I could hear the rain starting.

Noice. I love the rain.

5:09 am: My coffee was near perfect. Here is a little-known reality about Colombian coffee: the best coffee is from Colombia, but it isn’t necessarily sold in Colombia. Most of the good stuff you’ve had is the top notch they sell for export. The rest stays here. You can pay just a little more here to get the café seleccionado, same as export quality.

I haven’t purchased a stove-top espresso maker yet, so today I went with a typical black coffee – or Tinto as it is referred to here. Two glorious cups later I was ready to go.

5:20 am: After brushing my teeth I put on my Denver Broncos half-zip jacket for the rain.



5:23 am: I was on my way to the metro, roughly a 12-15 minute walk.

Although two well-crafted cups of Colombian coffee help, the key to waking up well is the right kind of music. I started off with some electric swing, followed up with French house, and had some Salsa music on the playlist, too.

Eclectic taste indeed.

Electric Swing is good for a quick pace and getting amped for the day, French House is good for just about anything minus funerals, and well Salsa just because it is Colombia after all.

Five minutes into the walk, the rain stopped.

Lucky me.


Trying to beat the sun to work

5:40 am: I entered the metro at Aguacatala station, swiped my metro card and waited patiently with all of the other early risers on the platform. Heading north at this hour is seldom packed – busy, but not packed, making the commute easier.


Over the line, Smoky.

5:58 am: I got to Caribe station on time and got on the bus at the last second. I usually take the 306-B, NOT the 306-A, unless I feel like going on a forty-minute tour of the local neighbourhood on the top of the mountain (spoken from experience).


Looking east

6:15 am: I finally arrived. It was roughly 50 minutes door to door, not as bad as it sounds. As usual, I arrived right on time to have coffee in the cafetín with two teachers named Claudia. Yeah, that’s right, four of my coworkers are named Claudia, it is like cheating in the name game. The coffee was good, sweeter for my taste, but good nonetheless. The best part about coffee with the Claudias is the conversation. Sometimes they will get into a conversation but it actually sounds like a competition of who can speak faster. I am usually impressed as to how much I can follow at that speed.

IMG_0317 (1)

Low clouds near school

6:25 am: The first bell rang, the Claudias and I cleaned up the coffee table and got ready for class. It was time to get going for first period.

The day had officially begun.

Así es como yo amanecí

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