my Spanish was and is still very limited I am lucky as most of the
local AIESECers can speak English very well.
& housemate Juan
staying with Juan Carlos, known also as Juan K, it is harder to
communicate with his family but I am trying and already feel like
I have improved.
I have come in contact with are so friendly. In the house, I am
constantly offered more food and drink with meals always prepared
- I am feeling truly spoilt.
is different in some ways to how I expected it, with all the modern
appliances and western television with the delights of MTV and other
such channels. Mobile phones are used less here, with very few people
texting as calling each other is so cheap and also you can't text
roads and layout seems in many ways Americanised with a grid system
and roads numbered vertically & horizontally. There seems to
be no real centre for the city and the transport is mainly by bus
or taxi with the average journey costing about 20 pence, 1000 Colombian
students in Colombia
summer, AIESEC UK sent a number of people besides me to Barranquilla
on summer opportunities. I'll introduce them now as they are likely
to come up quite often over the next two months.
is from AIESEC Southampton working on the CEED programme (Cultural
Envoy for Exchange Development) helping the local committee.
Evans is also from Southampton working on the Pioneers programme
with another charity.
Hiner is from AIESEC Sheffield and she is working with my charity,
the Costa Atlantica Project.
is a graduate from Strathclyde University who is working as a teacher
for a college based at the Universidad del Norte (University of
Dan Tatnall-Murray another student from Birmingham University who
is also working for another development charity.
arriving I had an introduction at work on Monday but then went to
the Beach on Tuesday as it was Colombia's Independence Day. It's
not really celebrated apparently - at least not as much as Love
and Friendship Day in the second week of September. At any rate,
it was an excuse to take the day off work.
& James at the beach
of us headed for the beach. It was a bit cooler on the coast and
great to be in and out of the water the whole day. I tried my luck
with surfing with little success but it was great fun!
day ended with sitting outside watching Colombia vs. Argentina in
The America's Soccer Cup. Unfortunately Colombia lost but it was
still a great night adjusting to the climate and getting to know
the locals that have all embraced their new little UK community.
so far has been really interesting. Yesterday, I spent the whole
day visiting local pre-schools that our foundation supports, assessing
the current situation before we see how they might be able to be
helped and improved.
first glance, the programme is really impressive and aims to build
and improve communities with greater family involvement and education.
The Costa Atlantica Project is part of the Bernard van Leer Foundation
which is involved globally in supporting projects which are designed
to improve the educational, social and developmental opportunities
of the children from birth until the age of eight. There are eight
communities supported locally and we will visit the rest of them
over the coming week.
we arrived at work today, the heavens opened and there has been
thunder and lightening most of the morning, with loss of power twice
but only briefly. There are signs on the street warning of rivers
Barranquilla is built on the coast, all the roads are prone to flooding,
causing people to stay at home and the city to come to a standstill,
apparently. Hopefully it will ease up soon. At least the thunder
by James Eder
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