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. Continue reading
After living in Colombia, or Barranquilla more specifically, for almost a year now, I feel like I’ve mostly assimilated to the Costeño attitude and lifestyle. While I still stand out like a sore thumb due to my low level of Spanish and Gringo appearance, I’ve probably become as laid back and carefree as most of the coast-dwelling folk. With that said, I still get frustrated with some of (a lot of, actually) the ways they do things. Some frustrations I can acredit to cultural differences, but many things appear completely illogical. On my year long adventure, I’ve noticed many idiosyncrasies and I’ve compiled a list of those most infuriating. Now, this does have to come with a disclaimer so that I don’t offend or give anyone the wrong idea. I see things from my sheltered, South African perspective, so many of these examples may seem pretty ordinary to you.
It’s still somewhat surreal.
During orientation, sequestered as we were at an isolated hotel forty-five minutes outside of Bogotá, it was easy to forget that after travelling for twenty-four hours, we had ended up on the other side of the world. We spent two weeks at Hotel Xué Sabana where we brushed up on our teaching skills, got to know some of the other volunteers, and learned a bit about Colombian culture.