Looking over my blogs thus far, I notice that they all seem pretty gloomy. In reality, I have had a wonderful time in Colombia these past 3 weeks. I feel more motivated to write about my work here, which is difficult and somewhat depressing…I seem to write when I am particularly moved by an experience. But why are we moved by extremes? I guess this is why I admire Hemmingway’s writing, because he writes so simply and clearly about potentially mundane events, while saying so much...(I am referring to A Moveable Feast , but this could be said about others too).
Besides wandering around prostitution zones and hanging out with street people, I have participated in lots of other activities. I went to this extreme sport place in sugarcane-covered mountains where I went rappelling in a cascade with two Canadians and my lovely Brit colleague Rosie ($20 for a whole day of rappelling and horse riding without a single safety training course to deal with!), went hiking in cloud forest at Chicaque National Park, saw Macbeth in the park during the Festival Iberoamericano de teatro, took this drunken party bus to the kitschest-hip club in Bogotá, and shared a massive plate of fritanga (intestines, blood sausage, ribs, fried yucca the works) with a group of gringas frustrated with teaching English to wild children, to name a few. I hate writing in lists, but this is sort of how I remember these events…like a shopping list of delicacies that I can linger on and taste, but don’t need to flesh out.
I mainly wanted to write this to express how much my perception of Colombia has changed since I have been here. Although the media reports many true events that occur in Colombia, it only focuses on the drugs, the hostages, the misery. Why did so many people think that I was CRAZY for coming here? I have experienced so much more than that and have been floored by the affection and warmth with which I have been welcomed by Colombians. This might sound obvious to some, but I thought it was worth sharing.