We watched the game at this local tavern, Terraza Latina, with what originally seemed like a low-key bunch of Colombians. Everyone was drinking beer or rum, and there were balloons in the ceiling, but part from that there seemed to be an average amount of enthusiasm between them. That ended at half time though!! When the first Colombian goal was scored the whole tavern jumped out of their seats and started dancing, popping balloons and soaking each other (and us) in beer. They won the game and thereby placed second in the first round of qualifying games. You could have easily thought they just won the cup! There were people dancing in the streets and motorcycle parades with Colombian flags for an hour after the match finished. Any excuse for a party I guess:) More pictures
They are everywhere!!! Haven’t found a bug repellent that works yet, but I keep trying..The Colombians claim vitamin B is the solution, but the jury’s still out!
Now I’m going to distract myself with some apartment hunting. Only problem is, I’m not too keen to live here:
Today FMA and CSF joined forces and arranged sports day together for about 70 kids! It may sound like the perfect recipe for total madness, but with two directors and 15 volunteers it was all pretty much smooth sailing J Busses brought the kids from the barrios to a fenced off park right outside the city. The CSF bus had some trouble, but the FMA kids waited patiently and played soccer in the parking lot for half an hour. But for them it was pretty exciting just to be out of the barrio. The minute we got into the park the kids ran off and changed from jeans to their soccer uniforms (previously given to them by the foundations) and the day could kick off, one hour behind schedule. We are definitely in the Caribbean 😉
We started off with some simple warm-up exercises and split the kids into groups. We played football, basketball and volleyball with the older kids and played tag and duck, duck, goose with the little onesJ All goals and … were celebrated with high fives and hugs. The kids don’t get a lot of physical affection at home, so whenever the volunteers are around it’s like they try to “fill up” on it! It got pretty intense being under the Colombian sun all day, but we had breaks with water, bananas and sandwiches
The rest of the photos are here
I also got to meet my new house mate, an English girl volunteering with Sin Fronteras. Since she speaks both English and Spanish, I’m hoping she’ll help bridge the gap between me and the homestay family. I think the girls are beginning to suspect I have some sort of serious mental illness
So when I get back to Europe I need to go on a veggie diet. Check out a typical Colombian meal and pretty much what I eat 5 days a week..Luckily I can usually get fish the other two days, but veggies are kind of hard to come by and boy do they love to fry their food over here!!
Tonight was InterCambio at Punta Betin and Trivia Night at La Brisa Loca. Its hard to feel guilty about going out on a “school night” when you’re raising money for two great foundations!! We drank beer and rum while we learned nifty little fun-facts like
- In the state of Georgia it’s against the law to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or street lamp
- In Singapore it’s considered pornographic to walk around naked in your living room
- In Japan they have a soft drink made from cheese (apparently it also makes a great salad dressing)
- and finally: Turtles can breath through their bums…
This morning I went to the FMA school in Fundadores, but I guess I was a little tired when I got up at 6:30 this morning – and left my camera at home..Kind of defeated the original purpose of going, but I had a good day with the youngest kids! Ivana learned all about the letter E and Juliana learned to write her name:) Afterwards we all made animal masks! I also met a couple of the guys who attend english classes for adults in the afternoons. The volunteer currently in charge is about to leave and I’m hoping to take over soon. I just need a little more progress with my spanish first 😉
Today two of our volunteers are leaving, so last night FMA got together to play a game of Tejo, Colombias national sport.
Lonely Planet describes Tejo as: “lawn bowls on steroids, or badminton with hand grenades – a refreshing mix of adrenaline, testosterone and gunpowder. And the proper way of playing, it’s said, involves consuming ludicrous amounts of beer as you go. What could possibly go wrong?”
It is based on a game played by indigenous warriors over 450 years ago, often with the aim of earning the right to marry some spicy maiden from a rival tribe. Today it’s played by throwing dense steel discs into a 1m2 box at the end of the 20m Tejo lane. The box is filled with clay and in the centre are two small triangle paper packets filled with gunpowder. Points are given to the team with the disc closest to the centre of the box and extra points are given if the gunpowder explodes. It is kind of difficult to concentrate on your aim with all the explosions in the other lanes. Personally I’d say it’s like playing bowling, only you can’t roll the ball and you’re in a shooting range without noise cancelling headphones
On the Lonely Planet website they also mention: “But mind your digits when you fish your tejo disc from the clay. Sometimes the gunpowder goes off without warning”
Let’s just say no one told us that last night..! But all fourteen of us kept our fingers intact, so I guess thats what they call a successful game of Tejo!
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”