2023 in Review
2023 was a big year for me, and I want to look back and appreciate it.
Generally, I've been occupied with:
Two semesters of classes for my Urban Studies Masters (4CITIES)
Traveling Europe, some for class, some for fun
Moving to Vienna in February and to Amsterdam in August
I'm proud I survived all the school and travel while taking care of my physical and mental well-being.
🐜 A favorite memory
Learning to cook hormigas culonas (aka "big ass ants") in a private workshop at Casa Común in Barichara, Colombia that Mapy planned! We started with a bowl full of frozen ants and had to remove the head (because the pincers will still cut you), legs, and wings. Then, we fried them on some traditional ceramic cookware from the region. We tasted a few when they were rare, medium-rare, and well done.
Certainty, an experience I'll never forget. The smells and tastes were so fun. I loved seeing Mapy's reactions as she got out of her comfort zone. The woman who taught the workshop was part of a collective commune and told us how she's been building community with it and elevating people. It was all so fun and brought me a lot of joy, and I hope I can do it again one day.
Happy times 💃🇳🇱🚴♂️
I did a 10-week class called Dance to Share taught by Maria Alabern at CREA. The style was inspired by Azonto / West African Street dance. It was quite challenging each week but a highlight of each week. I signed up because of the teacher's energy during the trial and found a wonderful group. My highlight of the semester was the high I got from our final performance in front of an audience.
Cycling in Amsterdam made me happy. It just feels good, relaxing, safe, and free!
I have started to like cooking and want to do it more.
I really enjoyed my classes in Amsterdam:
Vienna was also a lovely city to spend a semester in. It was my first time living alone, which was better than I expected. I wish I could be at the Donauinsel every day during the summer.
I am thankful for having many great friends, near and far, in my life. I've felt that a lot this year.
Finally, my girlfriend Mapy has been by my side and brought me much joy through the challenges.
Leisure reading was few and far between, but I read a ton for school.
Learning Spanish has been a slow process. Every time I go to a Spanish-speaking country, I'm less prepared than expected. Ultimately, I need to just practice speaking more. Here are the resources I used:
|My favorite (and free) tool for learning about Spanish
|For expanding vocab ($70 for lifetime license)
|Was okay but always changing teachers wasn't fun
|Sucks me in to maintain the streak but feels increasingly useless
|I've tried watching more shows and movies in Spansih
60 PRs merged on Github, admittedly many in my own repos
dev experience and maintenance including: upgrade to Node 20, Webpack 5, improve the GitPod workflow
I made a Facebook group scraper for finding housing in Amsterdam and wired it up with Google Gemini (like ChatGPT) free tier to assess how good a posting is.
Complete my internship focused on researching Just Streets
Write my thesis about the economic geography of edible insects
Contribute more to open source, especially after graduating
Keep learning Spanish
Travel Europe, gotta make the most of it while I'm here
Most importantly, dedicate energy to my relationships with friends and family