Te extraño, Colombia.

Cayley Mitchell - Barranquilla

Our home for 2015, Barranquilla

We are home. After a year in Colombia, a month in Peru and a few days in New York City, I am back in Johannesburg, wondering what to do next. Instead of concentrating on the future, however, I find myself reflecting more on the year that has passed. And I have to admit: Colombia, I miss you.

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La plaza de San Nicolás, Barranquilla

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Puerto Colombia with Lisbey

The comforts of home are exceedingly welcome, don’t get me wrong. Family, friends, pets. Driving my car again, alongside South Africans who seem positively law-abiding compared to the crazies who rule Colombia’s roads. Wine (oh, wine!), cheese, summer braais. Oh, and humidity-free weather! Amazing.

Still, mi vida le falta algo. Is that correct? I wish I’d learned more Spanish.

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Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona

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La Piedra Del Peñol

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Valle de Cocora

I miss the language, and I miss the lifestyle. I miss the salsa music, the colour, the iguanas.

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I miss the adventure of daily bus rides, which would occasionally deliver me to the less-savoury side of town, and I miss the people, who would laugh at the lost gringa but help me on my way. I miss the tiendas on every corner, stocked with beer and rum and aguardiente, and I miss lounging in the plazas on sultry evenings.

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On the way home

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Halloween in Santa Marta


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I miss my students, and my co-workers at SENA. I miss the other volunteers, now spread out across the globe, and my roommates, especially the furry one.

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Most of the food, dripping in oil and saturated with sugar as it is,  I can do without, but I do miss ajiaco, chicharrón, and endless fruit, limes and avocados. I even miss the arroyos and hearing the same Enrique Iglesias song every day.

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Santa Marta

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Arroyos, dogs and horses in hats

Mostly, I miss the adventure of being somewhere new, surrounded by the unfamiliar in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

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Valle de Cocora

Te extraño, Colombia. Espero poder volver un día.


Photo by our awesome regional co-ordinator Carina.


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