30 August 2006


Unfortunately, this is the most exciting Picture of the Day I can come up with today. I've been feeling sick since last night and had to skip today's activities. I took this photo during the brief moment when I escaped from bed to sit in the sun. We can all thank Mike and JD for giving me mirror toes on my last day in Indiana. I might be feeling well enough tonight to go to a birthday party, though, which will be an interesting opportunity for getting to know the folks around here.

29 August 2006

Photo of the Day!

There's so much to say about life in Barranquilla, even though I'm not doing much yet. So, I've decided to post a daily photo as a way to share my experiences here and jumpstart some stories.

I took this photo from the balcony of the building where I'm living. It's kinda a multi-purpose building, housing offices of the Universidad Reformada (Reformed University), classrooms, meeting space, and the accompaniment bedrooms. We each have a bedroom, private bathroom, and access to a tiny shared kitchen. In the middle, there's a courtyard with benches and palm trees. I've adopted one of the benches as my hang-out spot for reading and resting (and finding a strong wireless connection).

Even though it's the rainy season, we haven't seen much rain, although I was greeted by a torrential downpour when driving to campus from the airport. The sky is always blue and although Barranquilla is a big, crowded city, there are palm trees, iguanas, sqwaking birds, and other glimpses into the natural beauty of coastal Colombia.

I've added a few Colombia photos to my flickr account (link to the right) and I plan on adding more every few days or so.

28 August 2006

Bienvenido a Colombia!

Well, I arrived safely in Barranquilla on Saturday afternoon after a super long day of travel. The week has started slowly, which gives me time to explore local restaurants with my fellow accompaniers and to hang out with the group of young folks who attend the university. I've inherited an awesome group of friends, thanks to the social efforts made by the accompaniers who came before me.

Speaking spanish is completely humbling. At times I can carry on full conversations, at other times I'm completely stumped. Luckily, I have plently of time to study and plenty of opportunities for practicing.

This morning I was told that accompaniment is primarily about learning from each other, listening and witnessing, and creating community through solidarity and presence. I feel myself on the brink of some transformation, although I can't possibly predict what will happen here.

Thanks to everyone who sent me supportive messages and shared hugs as I was preparing to leave the States. I feel completely safe and tended to and, if anything, I suspect that I'm going to benefit from being part of this amazing community of hope in ways far greater than I what I contribute through my presence.

08 August 2006

Hotel Cartagena, Cartagena

In order to advance my agenda of learning as much as I can about Colombia before August 26th, Dad, Mike, and I watched the movie Romancing the Stone (1984) at the suggestion of Aunt Mary and Uncle John. Here's what the movie taught me:

1. Colombians speak Spanish, but mostly just to say "vĂ¡monos!" (and in a Mexican accent)
2. Cartagena is overrun with crocodiles.
3. In any sticky situation, I'll find someone who speaks English, even in the most remote campo.
4. On any bus or other form of public transportation, someone will be carrying a pig.