Going on the Colombia J-term trip was more or less a result of acting on a whim. But like all the other journeys I went due to a whim, this trip turned out to be an amazing one too. And like always, what made this trip great was the people, both the ones I went with and the ones I met there.
The team I went with is a collection of the most considerate and lovely people. I felt that every single day I spent with them throughout the trip, as they interpreted Spanish into English for me, taught me Spanish and encouraged me to use it, took care of me when I wasn’t feeling well, and recognized the limited amount of contribution I could make to the team as I don’t speak Spanish. It was a blessing to have this team.
Minca is a small town filled with super kind, friendly and generous people, and these characteristics came through despite the language barrier.
Luis, Cristian, and Miro were our local guides who direct us around the town when we were out interviewing people. Luis was the guide for my team so I got to know him a little bit better. He barely speaks English and I speak very little Spanish. But we still managed to chat for a bit, with the assistance of body language and a dictionary. He also patiently taught me Spanish, grabbed a chair for me every time we went in somewhere to interview people, broke ice cubes and melt them for me to refill my water bottle. Although I didn’t spend much time with Cristian, but from I saw and heard, he’s a very mature, responsible and intelligent young person. Miro is a very funny old man, but he’s also like a child. Every time he saw me, he would give me a big hug with a big smile, and used the few English words he knows to say hello to me. Thanks to his pharmacy, I got the medicines I needed for my allergic skins.
There were also my awesome host mom, who’s an artist and a great cook; a policeman whose name I don’t even know but went out of his way to get my medicines and kept checking on if I was getting better; an Irish hostel owner who told me “For God’s sake, take care of yourself, alright?” when I was leaving the town. This list can go on forever. I may or may not see these people again. But I shall never forget them.
Thank you all for making this trip wonderful.