Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A quick update while I have the time...

Wow, so I have so much to update but so little time to do it in. Remember when I said I was feeling better? Haha, well, I started feeling much worse right after I said that. In fact, the weekend I thought I'd have a ton of free time to relax I basically spent in bed. It seems that there is a bad case of the flu going around all of Bogota and I was a victim of it. Alas, the rest did me well though and I am finally (fingers crossed) starting to feel better.

In the meantime, the rest of the group have all now left so I am now starting to finalize my official responsibilities over the next month and half. Before I go on, I do want to say how much I miss Chris and Nadia! They were my roommates in Funtibon who stayed when the rest of the group went on to Barranquilla for a week. They're friends of Alison's from New Hampshire who from day one I just somehow resonated with. They're 24 and 20 years old, respectively, and are simply amazing people. Both had a very similar experience to my first time in Bogota and we found ourselves emotionally debriefing for an hour or two each night before going to bed. They both have such good hearts and are already hoping to come back and volunteer after Nadia graduates college. I wish I had more words to adequately express it, but suffice it to say that I think they'll be lifelong friends of mine, or at least I hope they will be. Ironically, Nadia goes to college at Suffolk in Boston and they only live an hour outside of the city, so if I end up going to Boston University for law school, remaining close will be very easy :-)

Okay, so with that said, I spent the day today at Fundacion Formemos teaching English (which I've spoken about before but still need to eventually give more details about). I taught 3rd, 4th, and 11th grade English respectively and made arrangements to go every Wednesday while I'm here to do the same. I've taught elementary kids in Sunday School and middle and high school kids as a youth minister, but I had never taught English and found the experience quite overwhelming. Don't get me wrong, it was a blast, haha, it was just difficult at times because of my limited Spanish. I've always felt like I can communicate well and express myself adequately. Given any circumstance, I've always been able to earn respect. But when you don't speak their language, often you just appear like a dumb-ass, lol. Suffice it to say that it was one of the most humbling, yet rewarding, experiences of my entire life. And I can't wait to do it next Wednesday :-)

I also met with Maria Rodriquez with RGOS, a private social institution, whose main purpose is to provide computer and entrepreneurial training programs at public and private telecenters to those in poverty. The idea is that, through providing affordable educational programs, those in poverty can learn the necessary skills that empower them to break the cycle of poverty in their lives. I will be working with Maria and RGOS one to two days a week until April and could not be more excited about it!

Also, tomorrow, I am meeting with Marcela Forello who works for Mercadeo Social, Sense International and Save The Children. She is a friend of mine I met last trip and an avid volunteer for Voces Del Silencio. I am meeting with her to discuss how I can assist in any of the foundations she works for and hope to volunteer 2 to 3 days a week directly with her.

Okay, well that's just a quick update on how things are going. I haven't been able to update frequently because I've been sick and, quite conveniently, the internet stopped working at my apartment. I've been forced to find wireless hotpots at local cafes and restaurants with what little free-time I have to even check my email and keep my ebay business running so I simply haven't had the time to post updates. I'm sorry for that, but am grateful I found the time now! I'll write more after I finalize my schedule!

I hope everyone is doing well and thank you all again for the emails. Please keep writing as it's so great to hear from you! Hasta luego!!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Kevin,

Cool post -- thanks for your kinds words. We miss you a lot too. We talk about you much more than we should. I'm STILL sick. Isn't that weird? ... I'm coughing up a lot of stuff, but it's cool. Haha I have so much to tell you. I'm going to hand the computer over to Chris so he can read your post. It's so cool that you're giving English lessons at Fundacion Formemos! And that you're going to be helping out Maria. I'm so proud of you, although I know none of it's my doing. Tell the kids at Fundacion Formemos that we say hi. We miss you big time, Kev.

Much love,

Nadia (p.s. I guess I'm "currently posting as 'Chris.'" I hope this doesn't confuse you, it IS Nadia ... I'm sure Chris will reply later. I'm so sick of computadoras ahora.)