I am learning many interesting things in Venezuela.
Did you know that the country is officially called 'the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela'?
The currency is the Venezuelan bolívar (popularly called "b's" (as in 'bees' not b.s.) and how many you get for a dollar depend on wether or not you buy them at the black market.
People are very friendly and outgoing. I always love being at an international school and listening to teachers who have lived and worked in so many different countries. They teach children that speak 3 or 4 languages, even in First Grade. And they aways have interesting stories of all the places they have lived.
On the way through the city it feels a lot like the Philippines: half finished concrete buildings, lots of potholes in the roads, sidewalks that end abruptly. Palm trees. Stalls selling bananas or coca cola.
Food remains important. I've sampled many wonderful things: the warm fried cheese bread remains one of my favorites. We've had pastas, salads, barbecued meats.
I was told that, whenever people here want to protest something - high costs, or lack of products, power outages or political ideas - they gather in the streets and bang on pots and pans. Often a tweet will get more people together at a specific time and a pot-banging crowd gathers in no time.
Products can be very cheap here. Today I bought 2 cinnamons buns for breakfast, a 1.5 liter bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice and 2 pastries. Total cost was less than 4 dollars. But there is also a huge lack of some necessities.
The librarian who is hosting me asked if I could please bring a bottle of shampoo, because there is no shampoo or soap available anywhere. Some people were grading big old bars of soap with a cheese grinder to make detergent.
But when customs opened a box of books, in addition to books they found toilet paper. They quickly went through all boxes and labeled the rolls as contraband. The librarian was fined for smuggling toiletpaper!
Can't trust those librarians one bit...