Free Time

So far – three days in – Colombia has felt almost disturbingly…natural. It’s very similar to Ecuador, with the same Latin American flavor characteristic to Guatemala as well. Street dogs, corrugated metal, food vendors, traffic, buses, pollution – it feels like home. I’m trying to have “no expectations” as our WorldTeach directors are urging, to accept everything as a surprise and a novelty, but instead of stepping out of my comfort zone, I jumped headfirst into  it – until we step into the classrooms at least. I mean, there are GRANADILLAS, only the best fruit in the world. How could I not be content here?

Orientation just started on Thursday and it will be an exhausting 2.5 weeks. We have intense TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training, lessons in culture and safety, Spanish classes and miscellaneous errands like setting up bank accounts and ID cards. We’re staying at a retreat center called Santa Cruz in a little town called Cota outside of Bogota. It’s sort of a big country home with a large open area for dining surrounded by small bedrooms (in which we’re packed summer-camp style) and other rooms where we have meetings and class.

The other people in my WorldTeach group, about 36 in total, are amazing. Everyone has traveled to incredible places and accomplished spectacular things. It’s a stretch for me to be socializing and surrounded by people almost 24/7 but I know there are some really great friends in this group. Half of us will stay in Bogotá and other interior cities while the rest will take off for the coast at the end of orientation My school is actually located in a suburb to the north of the city called Tabio – other than that, I don’t have much information. I’m getting very excited and intimidated about teaching. Right now we’re in this orientation bubble where we can barely unpack, happy to get to know everyone but anxious to get to our living and teaching sites.

There are no pictures because Andre came out of hiding for the first time this morning.

Quito crew, did I mention the granadillas? And BonIce. That’s all I really need in life.