I had a great, safe trip here and love my host parents, Oscar and Miriam! They are awesome! We only speak spanish and watch spanish soap operas together at night. I've been learning a lot with them and really appreciate their hospitality.
I left Baltimore (picture is at BWI with all of my luggage and my Dad) last Monday and flew to Newark. I had about a 2 hour layover before my direct flight to Bogota took off. That's when it all kind of hit me. I was calling and texting everyone for the last time on my US cell phone and saying goodbye to the states for a year. Almost everyone on the flight spoke spanish fluently and was from Colombia. I was a little nervous, but even more excited to start this new adventure...and it really started when I landed.
Getting off the plane around 9pm on Monday night was a little crazy. There were people in uniforms everywhere and they were checking passports and bags very carefully. When I left the baggage claim area, it was like walking the red carpet. There were tons of Colombiansyelling for their family members and crowding the exit area. It was alittle overwhelming and then I heard "KATE!!"...Audra, her boyfriend Oscar (lots of Oscars here), and Laura-Catherine were there to get me!
I am so excited to be here and the weather has been pretty nice this week. Like I expected, it's about 60 degrees everyday with occasional rain. It is about a 10-15 minute walk from my homestay to the office and my host mom showed me the way the first two mornings. I walked alone today and didn't have any problems getting to the office. The first day, I met the bishop and he is really nice! He knows that I am interested in medicine and said he will work with me to find a good placement. I am working on getting my Colombian ID and then I will start working in the missions next week. Audra and Laura Catherine have been so helpful and I am starting to understand the bus system and how to get around. Also, Audra took me rock climbing yesterday..it was awesome and I think I'm going start going as much as I can!
The food here has been really good so far. The first morning we had hot chocolate, lulo (a colombian fruit) juice, bread, and cheese. It was a nice breakfast and Oscar said a great grace before we ate. Later that day, I went out to lunch with Audra and Pilar, the bishop's secretary. I had ajiaco, a Colombian potato soup and it was really good!! I've had lots of different fruits (passion fruit, lulo, guanabana) and even ate tofu yesterday for lunch. Also, I had my first cup of coffee EVER at Juan Valdez Cafe in downtown Bogota. It was actually really good.
Lastly, I have good news: my boyfriend Sam is coming to visit me on October 9 for his fall break!!! I can't wait! I can't wait for people to visit me so I can share this experience with them. I have been skyping with friends and family at the office and can sometimes pick up a little bit of a signal at my homestay. So if you have skype, find me! See pictures below! Love, Kate
ps. If you want to send letters or packages (UPS--(or fedex/dhl i guess)-my dad's a UPS pilot haha) please send them to:
Carrera 6 #49-85
Bogota, Colombia THANKS!!
my bed at the homestay w the Boston lobster
Sam gave me and their blue octopus haha
the view from my room in the homestay