following day after the heavy downpour Juan K told me that there
had been a tornado on the coast that came onto the land near to
the university. While all of the other universities in the area
were closed and evacuated, apparently students at Uninorte were
unimpressed with the lack of urgency and response displayed by their
was the first day I experienced having to get on and off the bus
while it was moving - right after witnessing a guy losing his grip
and falling off the bus. I thought the stories of such incidents
were a myth until I experienced it myself. One of the best aspects
of the roads in Barranquilla is the bus system - the locals find
it amusing when I praise it: it's clean and efficient compared to
buses back home - never having to wait more than a few minutes maximum
for the next bus to come along. I think they are so efficient as
they are all in competition with each other for customers, racing
along the roads to be the first to pick people up.
aspect of the buses is the street sellers who get on the bus, climbing
over the barrier without any disapproval from the driver. The other
day a kid selling stickers came around - although I did not understand
what he was saying - it sounded passionate and a hard sell as he
placed a sticker on everyone and then collected the majority of
them afterwards as well as some loose change from people.
& James dressed up!
week the foundation had a visit from Marc Jan Mataheru, visiting
from the Bernard Van Leer foundation over in the Netherlands, one
of the many supporting organisations of the foundation we are working
part of his visit, we were taken out to dinner with the staff of
the foundation in honour of his visit. The dinner was located in
the Barranquilla Plaza, conveniently just opposite Juan K's apartment.
It was an interesting evening as we spoke to Marc in English gaining
a deeper understanding of how the two foundations work together.
Struggling further with Spanish we laughed a lot and spent time
with Beegy and Jese those we worked closely with (see photo at the
foot of the page).
culture - home from home
I arrived in the country, being Jewish I tried to make contact with
the local Jews in Barranquilla. Despite numerous attempts I finally
got a response, a phone call from the Rabbi inviting me to the service.
was really special experience, meeting the local community and recognising
local tunes of some of the prayers at the Friday evening service.
After the service, I was welcomed back to a family's home for dinner.
While the family were disappointed to hear it had taken so long
to get in contact with the community, they apologised and were more
than pleased to have me as a visitor. They were all so impressed
with the adventures that I had had over the last few weeks and wished
that more people were able to experience what I have here in Colombia.
the meal they kindly dropped me off at an AIESECers house for Sonya's
leaving party - another fun-filled night except when one of the
AIESECers ended up walking in to a glass door with a tray of glasses,
cutting herself, resulting in as hospital trip. She was fine in
the end after having to have stitches.
in the street
the morning on Saturday, Dan Uno and I went shopping for a bit.
As it began to rain, I saw for the first time mini 'arroyos' (rivers)
- flooding in the streets, see photo left. It can get much worse
than this though.
the afternoon we went back to Juli's swimming pool on the coast
for one last time.
Laura and Jen were in town for the night having come back from Tayrona
National Park - I had wanted to go with them but we were going the
following weekend. We all went out for a few drinks for Juli's birthday.
true Colombian style, we were running late so only half the people
got in the club. The others went to another club. Bee was staying
at Juan K's as well. When Laura and Jen went home, on a whim Bee
and I ended up going up to the 26th floor of the building to see
the view of the city at night, we ended up talking into the early
hours of the morning - sharing stories of the last few weeks.
by James Eder
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James, Juliet and Beegy