...since apartment searching has officially kicked my ass for the day, I thought I'd take a moment to post some more pictures from the first weeks here...
This is from (if I recall correctly) Barrio Coche, a heavily Chavista sector of Caracas. The banner, atop an apartment building, reads: "On the Way to Bolivarian Socialism!"
This is just one (poor) example of the way the revolution is manifesting aesthetically on the walls of the city. It really is incredible, especially in the barrios, where Chavez's power is strongest, nearly every inch of wall space is covered with slogans, denunciations, and exhortations to build twentieth century socialism.
Finally, the newish octogonal building at the far left of the photo (taken from a moving car, sorry) is a 'Barrio Adentro' clinic (and notice the way the houses of the barrio clamor up and over the hill in the background). These are the government projects which bring free health care to Venezuela's poorest people. The care they offer is free, and surprisingly extensive. Folks get treated for everything from colds and broken limbs to long term, intensive care illnesses such as diabetes and various cancers. I even know a few foreigners -- fellow teachers at the institute -- who have used its services. The vast majority of these clinics are staffed by Cuban doctors (pardon the sarcasm, but this is of course yet another example of Cuba and Chavez's anti-human despotism), while the Venezuelan government builds its endogenous medical population.