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2/28/15 – Bienvenidos!


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KATE KASCH, arrival Bogota:

The whole group has made it to Bogota, Colombia. Reuniting in a foreign country feels natural for this group, and there is so much excitement in the energy between us that we spent those first few hours all talking at the same time and somehow hearing everything said. There were group hugs and many high fives. Greg and I, the stragglers, were greeted to the hotel with a full on surprise party. Balloons and a “Bienvenidos” banner were mysteriously procured and there was wine and cheese for the celebration. I’ve been here long enough and with enough post flight cognizance to only make a few observations. The people here have many dogs, which I think is a wonderful sign. Having the means to take care of an additional family member, and they are treated like family. The people are so kind. They look at me a bit funny when they realize I have almost no Spanish (I’m learning!) but they don’t walk away from the challenge. While there has been a significant language barrier, each person we meet is so patient and willing to stick with it until we’re both understood. Some of our best experiences so far have been this dance of hand gestures, phrase books and watching Sarah just magically make it work. The mountains surrounding the city are gorgeous. Photos won’t do a city like Bogota justice. The airport is gorgeous, there a clear division of wealth evident on every street corner. Small business line the streets and I am interested to learn if, similar to Vietnam, the people who run them live in back. The first song Greg and I heard on the radio was Taylor Swift, so we’ve learned that no matter how far from home, American Pop Music will haunt you. A long day of travel and an early wake up this morning, we are excited to face the day. A driving tour and a visit to an organization focusing on renewal in distressed communities. After a night in very a affluent neighborhood of our hotel, I am eager to see this. This afternoon we will try our hand at some of the must see tourist destinations, perhaps the Gold Museum, perhaps the Salt Cathedral. And sitting here at breakfast Taylor Swift is once again on the radio. A good omen for the day.

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