Welcome to the 2015 student trip to Bogota, Colombia. We are so excited to be traveling with these wonderful students.
Sunday, Nov 22, 2015
WE ARE HERE! WE HAVE ARRIVED SAFELY! After a few hours of delays in both Minneapolis and Houston, we arrived into Bogota around midnight. It will be an early day tomorrow, so we are all off to bed!
Monday, Nov 23, 2015
It has been a great experience so far! After so many hours in a plane and running with little sleep, I had a day full of surprises and laughter. I was able to meet my CASFA partner who was really outgoing and showed great hospitality. I was able to feel the sense of community that they had and was able to experience it head on today. Everyone at CASFA was very adamant on learning about U.S.A. and how to speak English. Some of us struggled to understand what the children were trying to say to us, but our CASFA partners would always help us understand what they were trying to say. We hope to bring more smiles along our mission in Bogota.
– Juan & David
Today we met our partners, worked with all the CASFA students and played some soccer!
With the 4th and 5th graders and their Turkey projects!
Post soccer game, all in our CASFA shirts!
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
So far, we’ve been able to meet with our partners and form something of a personal connection with them. Not being a Spanish speaker, I’ve had to rely heavily on my partner for translations and in doing so, we’ve been teaching each other our languages. It was really nice to finally be able to meet my partner as I’ve been speaking to her for the better part of three months. I feel really humbled to be let into the life of people that I’ve known for only two days and despite the language barrier, we all get along quite well.
As the days keep going I feel excited to experience more new things. I am more connected with my partner right now and I am eager to try new things.
Today, we toured the city, exploring the culture and got in some time to shop too!
-Jonathan & Jason
Tania with her new friend!
In front of the murals on the streets of Bogota!
Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015
Today we went to the dispensary and helped out the children of PACHAS. It was very touching to see how hard they tried to talk to us and show us so much affection even though we knew so little. After helping the children, we went to help out with the elders. Working with them made us realize that we were capable of positively impacting someone’s lives with doing the little things. We then split into groups and went to classes such as art, theatre, and dance. We experienced what a day would be like for the kids. Not only did we only help with the school, but we also went into the city again and explored a little bit more. We went to the Monserate and saw the beautiful view of the city. It was a long journey up the mountain, but in the end it was all worth it. Going back down into the city we got to go to the Museum of Gold and see the history of Colombia in a different way. Shopping to end the day topped it off and ended our day in the city.
-Trelawny & Paloma
Sharidiana doing a great job singing a solo!
Enjoying all the delicious tamales!
A little exercise!
The group on the top of Monserate’s church
The group on the top of Monserate!
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Happy Thanksgiving! We got to go to Lomitas, which is a neighborhood. That didn’t have as much access to resources. We worked on their current playground. We made it more safe and colorful. We added a fence around the playground. We added seats to the swings. We painted all the equipment. At the end it was really rewarding to see how happy the kids were. When we were leaving the neighborhood, we saw a bunch of little kids playing on the playground. Afterwards, we went to PACHAS where we celebrated Thanksgiving. Before we ate dinner we did some activities with our partners and played tag. Eating Thanksgiving dinner with our partners, made it easier to be away from our families.
-Griselda, Tania & Brigid
We made a Christmas tree…out of tires!
Friday, November 25, 2015
As we get close to the end of the trip, many of us are starting to get sad since we are leaving our good friendships behind. Today, we divided into groups and went to different daycares. We spent our morning with little kids. Then, we went back to CASFA and while waiting, some of us played soccer and volleyball and then, the students at CASFA taught us how to dance salsa and that escalated into our own little dance party. We had a good pizza lunch and spent time with our partners and we ended the day with a game of volleyball.
-Daniela & Kimberly
Saturday, November 27, 2015
Today we woke up bright and early to go to Suacha. Which took us two hours to get there. Luckily, we were with our partners to pass time. Once we got there we went inside a building and was greeted by the community. It was filled with love and welcoming. We all sat in the basement and had a brief history of the community’s background. After that we split into group and had a tour of the small community. Some groups climbed up a mountain with three crosses on the top. It was horrible to climb up with rocks and loose dirt, but it was worth it. After we came back down from the mountain, we returned to the basement for lunch. It was delicious and after that we started painting. It was fun because we got into a paint fight with our partners. After we cleaned up we said our goodbyes, and it was a little emotional. We got on the bus and came back to the retreat after two hours of traffic.
Denise, Arlaina & Jesus
Entertainment from two of the Suacha residents! They were AWESOME!
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Today was a pretty emotional day – especially the ending. It was hard for us to leave because we made strong bonds with our partners. The entire trip they have shown us an immense amount of hospitality, which has inspired us to change for the better. They positively encouraged us to come out of our shells, which was seen today through the 6+ hour dance party that we had. Our CASFA partners treated us to a beautiful meal, which topped off the trip for us. We ended the day by taking over half an hour to say goodbye to our partners. We will cherish this fabulous experience forever.
-Yadari, Sharidiana & Shane
The CASFA students wouldn’t let us leave! Tears all around!