Today the kids attending the after-school program in Oasis had an arts and crafts session where they made birds and bats. 25 kids shared 5 pairs of scissors and 6 glue sticks. No one fought. I was so impressed at how well behaved they were in the middle of all that chaos! We were three volunteers and our boss Oscar, so we were clearly outnumbered, but the kids obviously also wanted the session to work. I brought with me a gift for the kids from my two nieces. Some coloured paper, coloured pencils, pink glitter, etc. It was perfect for today’s activity! The excitement over the new supplies was palpable! And I just think it’s incredibly cool that two little Norwegian girls (aged 3 and 7) just made 25 Colombian kids super happy. I love it 🙂
The best part of the day was when they got to show off the finished product. The feeling of accomplishment is so important to these kids and their proud little faces when you compliment them are beyond words!
Here is a photo of the result. For more photos check out
So far I’ve been to the neighbourhood of Oasis twice. Both times I didn’t know until we hopped in a taxi, so I didn’t bring my camera yet.. Yesterday I helped out in an english class and today was sports day 🙂 It gets pretty hectic with all the children, especially because they are from all different ages and ability levels. But when we manage to touch on a subject that interests them they turn into these little learning sponges! It’s amazing to see how they respond to praise and support! They are just so completely lovable!! Sports day was naturally even more chaotic. It was spent playing football, basketball, jumping ropes, shark shark, rugby and more. Some of the equipment is old, but the kids make up for it in enthusiasm!! I had the best time!! It was blazing hot and humid. I don’t think I’ve every sweated as much before in my life, but I didn’t even really notice until I was in the taxi heading back to town 🙂
Tonight is trivia night at La Brisa Loca (one of Santa Marta’s popular hostels). Sure to be a good time, and hopefully we’ll raise a bit of money!
First day in Santa Marta: I am completely knackered, but I love it! Apparently it rained today. I didn’t see or hear anything, but the streets were flooded when I walked home from the city, so I guess it must be true. The 22hour trip here also went really well. There was a minor glitch with immigrations, but it all worked out perfectly! I left some rather important documents in Amsterdam, but the super helpful immigrations officers went above and beyond to help 🙂 I now have a three month tourist visa
I was thrilled to find that all the streets in SM have numbers instead of names, so even I can find my way around! I feel safe and people in the streets don’t hassle me more because I’m a tourist. And it’s definitely not because they can’t tell I’m a tourist! I bring new meaning to ‘standing out in a crowd’. Though taxis keep honking at me thinking I’m lost looking for my hotel.
The hot and humid weather will take some getting used to, but so far I’ve only got three mosquito bites, so I can’t complain! I met a Californian today who hasn’t worn a shirt since he got here several weeks ago. They wont serve him food anywhere, but he still wont wear one. As a Norwegian I feel I’m pretty screwed
The family I live with is very nice! Its pretty exhausting to talk to them since they know about five english words between them, but at least that means I have no other choice but to learn
It’s the night before the day. My bags are packed, my nerves are shot and (despite my best efforts of procrastination and blatant denial) tomorrow is fast approaching. In a few weeks I’ll be living the dream, but I am dreading the weeks leading up to it. The long trip, the strange language and figuring out the ins and outs of yet another city in yet another country. But as they say; without the bitter, the sweet ain’t as sweet”