Monthly Archives: December 2012

Christmas is finally over

So we were scared we’d be all alone in Santa Marta for Christmas with no plans, no friends or family and basically no fun. So naturally we took on way too many tasks, got sick and drank too much alcohol. But it’s not really Christmas until someone cries is it? I’m still not sure how we managed to make Christmas in the Caribbean stressful..It’s actually quite the acomplishment. We had a Christmas party at our house on the 22nd, brought all the kids over for a Christmas present party on the 23rd, prepared food for 7hour and went to Fundadores for dinner on the 24th. I guess we would have been fine if we had gone home after that, but instead we went back to Brisa to dance on the bar until the wee hours. On Christmas Day we were back at Brisa by 7.30 a.m. and arranged a dinner for about 70 people. I also think we would have been better off if fewer of the volunteers had had tonsillitis and if Rachel haden gotten Dengue fever. Oh well – some things you can’t control and in between the stress we had a very merry christmas here in Colombia!!

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Where else did we go…

Oh yeah; Minca and La Guajira.

I really loved Minca! It’s an adorable little town about 600m up in the Sierra Nevada where the climate is fresher and the coffee is excellent. Minca is also very tranquil; if you haven’t eaten before 9p.m. then you’re fresh out of luck! Julian, Lindi and myself stayed at a hostel where we were six people including staff. It was a bit like being at camp. During the day we’d hike and swim in waterfalls and during the evening we’d drink beer and play Djenga. I lent my camera to Tom and Polly who were filming  a documentary about FMA, so I’ll post the photos once I get them from Julian. Its pretty incredible that a place so close to Santa Marta can be some completely different in climate and scenery!

The last weekend before Christmas, Norah, Lindi and myself went on a somewhat impulsive trip to the region of La Guajira. We’ve all wanted to go to Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas, but usually you have to go with a Tour Guide and that’s ridiculously expensive. So we booked a two hour bus ride from Santa Marta to Rioacha, and pretty much took it from there. It turned out to be quite the ride.. We took a taxi from the bus station in Rioacha, then a shared ride for another couple of hours to Oiriba, a jeep through the desert for what seemed like an eternity before finally arriving in Cabo de la Vela. We left the bus station at 7a.m. and by the time we got settled at a hostel in Cabo the sun was about to set, so about 10 hours in total. We spent the night in hammocks on the beach and woke up well rested and covered in bites. We caught a one hour ride in a jeep to Puerta Bolívar and from there we got in a boat with some indigenous guys. We were told it would take another hour, so after about an hour and a half we were sure we were being taken to Venezuela. It took two hours and caused some serious bruising, but we made it to Punta Gallinas! And it was well worth the trip! Pictures are all up, except from the crazy boat ride and the delicious lobster dinner at the hostel

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The past month

Clearly I was never meant to blog. Here is a list of SOME of the things I wanted to write about, but never did:

  • Our trip to Cartagena
  • Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Weekend in Minca
  • Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas

The list just goes on… But I will at least (clear space and) upload pictures + write a short paragraph on the highlights of each trip or event. Starting with the first two.

Cartagena was lovely. Eleven of us took a mini vacation within what is essentially a vacation and it was completely refreshing! Most of our days were spent walking around in the old city watching crazy parades. It was during the crowning of Miss Colombia so the whole city was buzzing. Its weird to travel from SM to Carta because everything is so much more expensive in Cartagena, but its great to be able to see something different so close by! The nights we spent drinking on the hostel roof with all the great people we met or salsa dancing at Café Havanna. We also all got soaked in shaving cream by random people in the streets – another interesting Colombian tradition.

Thanksgiving Dinner was a huge success!! FMA hosted a dinner for 50 people at La Brisa Loca to raise funds for the construction project. We made the most amazing feast, got a great local band to come play for us and sold all of the tickets. Coordinating an event in Brisa for the first time was a bit hectic and communication is challenging when not everyone has a phone and everyone is on Colombian time, but all the volunteers came through and it couldn’t have gone better. Also raised a lot of money for the kids 😀

Tomorrow I’ll summarise some more and upload some photos from La Guajira!!! So more of this to come

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