end of my first week
rain stopped and as we were at university for most of the day, we
were not affected by the problems with the roads. However, Dan later
told me he couldn't go to work until the water subsided as he couldn't
even cross the street!
rest of the week was really great - I'm gaining a deeper understanding
of the foundation and its work, visiting more pre-schools and setting
our goals and expectations for the next few months.
biggest challenge for me personally is that I really want have a
positive impact here and make a real difference to the foundation.
It seems like it's not going to be easy, but I didn't expect it
office of the foundation I am working for is based at the Uninorte
(University of the North), about a 15 minute bus journey away.
Juliet and I meet a few minutes from where we live to get a bus
each morning. It is really great being located at the university
as every lunchtime, we meet with the local AIESECers to eat and
there are always people about.
university is really amazing, very different from anything I expected.
It is a campus comparable to that of a European university, with
around 7000 students.
tries out the high-tech video-watching terminals
du Nord is an amazing resource centre in the middle of the campus
- it's a room full of around 50 of the latest computers connected
to broadband, there's an interactive games room as well as a resource
centre to watch videos on these amazing fold-out leather armchairs
which recline completely horizontally!
Friday night, we all went out to an AIESECers house and then up
to a club on the top floor of a hotel for salsa dancing into the
early hours of the morning.
Saturday, around 20 of us went out of Barranquilla to the coast
(about 20 minutes away) where the local AIESEC committee president
has a family house. It
was amazing, with a swimming pool right on the edge of the land
with the back drop of the Atlantic Ocean.
& Sonya in the pool
day was spent swimming and relaxing, enjoying the coastal breeze
and the less humid air.
was spent familiarising ourselves with the local area, walking around
and visiting the local mall which was surprisingly modern with all
the latest brand names at around a third of the UK high street prices.
biggest challenge here so far is simply the timing and punctuality
- or the lack of it. It is funny really as there are many similarities
between Colombia and the Philippines where I was last summer. Punctuality
is one of those similarities. Timings for anything are flexible.
first it can be frustrating but once adjusted to Colombia time,
it's all good - it just takes a bit of getting used to, especially
as 10 minutes here can last up to an hour...
Spanish is coming on slowly; I have adjusted to Colombian time;
the only thing I am still finding a bit difficult is the humidity.
Even just minutes outside, I break into a sweat. But the locals
are complaining each day it is hotter than the last - apparently
it is only going to get worse as we enter August, I can't wait...
is really amazing how far I have come in one week and how familiar
the local Colombians are.
and James at the coast
with a family, I have been made feel so welcome, struggling to leave
the house every morning on time as they want to make sure I have
eaten a good breakfast which is normally hot and specially cooked.
so grateful and so far there has barely been any time where we have
been left to our own devices - locals constantly driving us places
and making sure everything's OK.
really looking forward to getting really stuck into the work for
the foundation - there are more pre-school visits planned for this
by James Eder
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