Monday, May 31, 2010

san gil

Tommy, Brittany, Christian and I took a quick trip to San Gil and it was awesome! San Gil is the adventure sport capital of Colombia and it really lives up to its reputation. We left at 230 on Sunday in a bus and arrived around 10pm. It was a long bus trip but totally worth it. Monday morning we were up early for white water rafting. We went down a level 4 river and had a great guide. We even jumped in the water and let the current take us for a little while.

Later that day we went paragliding. It was incredible! The company picked us up in a bus and we went up a mountain. We strapped into our backpacks with our guide and before we knew it we were up in the air. It was such a cool experience and a we had a great view of san gil, santander, colombia.

Tuesday morning we went rappelling down Juan Curi waterfall. Out of the three adventure sports, this one was by far the most intimidating. First we had to hike up the mountain to reach the waterfall. Tommy went over the edge first and I was second. It was great because we were able to rappel down right next to each other. The water was beating down on our helmets and our feet were slipping all over the place as we descended. It was exhilarating and so much fun.
Our trip to San Gil was such a great adventure. It was nice to get out of the city for a couple of days and have some fun with Christian. I am so glad we made the trip and still can't believe we all made it down that waterfall!
Love, Kate

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

tommy visits the missions

My brother Tommy arrived to Bogotá on Friday! After 9 months apart, it was so great to see him walk through the airport doors and start our adventure in Colombia! I couldn't wait to show him my city, the kids I work with and colombian food and culture.
On Saturday, we left for Soacha at 8:30 and arrived to the church around 10. The kids were really excited to meet and play soccer with Tommy. We took them out to a nearby court and split into 2 teams. It started to rain after about 10 minutes of playing. The kids didn't seem to notice because they were loving the game. When it started to pour I had to drag them back to the church.
There, we played head-catch (a game where if I say "head" you catch the ball and vice-versa). It was a lot of fun and. It was a great morning and they loved getting to know Tommy just as much as he enjoyed getting to know them.
After spending the morning in usme, we went to Miguel-Angel's (Padre Carlos' son) 8th birthday party. We helped decorate, coordinated some games and ate lots of ice cream, marshmellows and arepas. Feliz Cumpleaños Miguel Angel!
On Sunday we went back to Soacha for church where the Bishop did confirmations and first communions to many members of the community. It was another great morning in Soacha and we were off to San Gil with Christian and Brittany for a couple of days of adventure sporting in Colombia (more on that in the next blog).
We arrived back in Bogota from San Gil late last night. Today, I took Tommy to
Usme to meet our kids! They were so happy to meet my brother and were impressed
with his soccer skills and how tall he is. Right away they made a line for him to
pick them up over his head. Tommy showed them some soccer moves and then we taught them about the copa mundial (world cup). We asked them what countries they thought were in the
tournament and they said "libertadores" and "millionarios" (their neighborhood and
a local club team in bogota). After a little bit of teaching, we played soccer and head-catch with them. We'll be going back to the mission next week after a trip to Peru with my grandparents, Toots and Grandpa!

Love, Kate

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Brittany and I flew to Quibdó, Chocó, Colombia last week. If you google 'quibdó', you will see this:
This is a very good picture of where Brittany and I spent 5 days working with an episcopal church mission. Our plane flew over an entire jungle of trees until we landed on a runway in the middle of nowhere. We arrived at the brand new airport and met Padre Edinson. We walked through the city for about an hour to his house. Along the way we stopped and met almost every person we saw. Padre Edinson seems to know just about everyone in Quibdó and they all love and respect him. Throughout our time there, we were introduced to so many people.

We went to Santa Ana our first afternoon. Santa Ana is a foundation for boys. Every day after school there is a program that is run by the government. During our time there they made jewelry and Padre Edinson taught them about the different surfaces of the foot that can kick a soccer ball.

The highlight of my trip was working with Padre Edison's mission for three days. It is centered around soccer and he teaches teamwork, concentration and determination. It was so much fun to play soccer and help him with his work. On the first day the sun was really strong but I couldn't bring myself to stop was too much fun. Thanks to that stubbornness, I am back in Bogotá with a pretty bad sunburn on my shoulders...but it was so worth it!

One kid hurt his leg and the others decided to 'pull' on it to help him. This is obviously something that they have seen on tv and I love it!
Brittany carrying home one of the tired kids after a long morning of soccer. Too cute!
On our last day, we taught english to a few classes at a local school. We taught them heads, shoulders, knees, and toes and the english alphabet. The kids were great and there were so many of them. Try to find me in this picture of their recess (hint: I'm the only gringa!).

After morning at the mission, we had a lot of down time. With the heat, people like to just hang out in front of their houses and talk. We spent our free time reading and playing uno with Edison's children, Edverg and Kizzy. Brittany even got her hair braided! It was nice to spend some time with Padre Edison's kids and see a completely different culture. Everyone in Quibdó was very welcoming and interested in who we were. To see more pictures of our trip check out our website: click HERE.
It was a great trip and I'm looking forward to visiting some other missions in Colombia. We were back at Usme this week and are back to some colder weather. My brother Tommy arrives tomorrow and I'm so excited to see him! I'm putting him to work in Soacha and Usme, visiting another city, and then we're meeting my grandparents in Peru for a few days!
Love, Kate

Monday, May 10, 2010


After spending a lot of Saturdays with our kids in Soacha, we're really starting to click. The time we spend with them is meant to bring a few hours of 'kid time' in their otherwise pretty stressful lives. Their energy and excitement makes them so much fun to be with. Last Saturday was great. Brittany came up with the fun idea of having a 'paper airplane contest'. We gave the kids the materials, and told them to go for it. Their airplanes were awesome. After gluing and cutting for an hour, we tested them out.
We gave out awards to every child, from best design:
to most colorful:
to the plane that looks most like a sheep (...i meant to say bird....oops):
All of the planes were really creative and the kids had a blast making them.
We're looking forward to our VBS with the Soacha community in June. Thanks again to everyone who is helping to make this all possible. Our group in Usme put together a special thank you. It only took about 15 tries to get the picture:

Jefferson (bottom A) cut in front of Daniela (bottom C):
Jessica wasn't looking and dropped the G:
Dilan had his A backwards:
Perfect! Thank you everyone!
Brittany and I will be flying to Quibdo, Colombia on Friday. We will be working with Padre Edinson and his missions there for a few days. We are really excited to visit another city and experience a different part of Colombian culture.
Love, Kate