Cartagena Colombia, who would have thought that this would have become the most life changing and epic experience I have ever had. I went with the intention of changing the world and Colombia changed me.
From the onset things seemed natural and flowed smoothly, Monica and her local are some the most awesome people I have ever met. They worked assiduously to ensure that we made the positive impact, that myself and fellow volunteers intended on leaving in Cartagena. Not only was this a high priority on their agenda, but also was our assimilation into the Emerging Voices and IVHQ family.
My first placement was at a rehab for at risk youth on the outskirts of Cartagena, where I thought football to both boys and girls. These kids went from total strangers to my brothers and sisters very quickly; they treated me with love and respect, all of which was facilitated by my coordinator Beto. Further to this, I also enjoyed a dance class where I learned both Salsa and Reggeaton choreography’s. This class was actually meant for the kids but I was allowed to join in, it was amazing. Thereafter, I thought basic English on the Grannitios project wow!!! this was so much fun. The kids on this project impacted my life in ways that they would never know, their willingness and excitement to learn was outstanding. They did not want me to leave but unknowingly to them neither did I. Looking back on it now I always refer to them as my kids remembering everyone of them by name. They gave me the most amazing thank you letter before I left.
Gardening in Grannitios was also epic, helping out the grandmas with their gardening which was facilitated by my passionate coordinator Jesus. Through doing this project I remember meeting a ten-year-old kid from Venezuela he so wanted to help us in the garden. However, we did not want him to get hurt. This young man even though he was not directly connected to any of the projects he made me reflect on my own life. Then it was the kids at Funvivir who were diagnosed with cancer, honestly, going in I was not sure what to expect but my coordinator Juan assisted me quite amply. These kids were so full life and joy even though they were diagnosed with cancer at no point did their love for life fade. They reminded me that life was meant to be enjoyed no matter what.
In good conscience, I cannot not, mention the salsa nights with my fellow volunteers. This was also quite a blockbuster experience, we thoroughly enjoyed each others company and interacting with the local people who are so amicable. I could continue to ramble on about this trip, from the beautiful streets of the walled city, to watching the sunset at Café Del Mar. However, one thing I would say is this is a must do trip, bucket list worthy type of trip. Hopefully, my review inspires you to do this.
In conclusion, I would end the same way I began, I went with the intention of changing the world and Colombia changed me.