Hasta Luego Captivating Colombia

Trip Start Dec 10, 2011
Trip End Sep 29, 2012

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Where did the time go, two months and two weeks I have been in one country and four weeks of those in one city, Medellin. I spent the last three weeks volunteering again at Angeles de Medellin and my time there has been very special to me.

On my last day Marcos the director bought two yummy cakes, I took some biscuits along and we did what any Colombian would do, held a party. He had wrote on the board a message for me and for his English class to write down, practice out loud and translate into Spanish. They'd put up balloons around the outside. It was a lovely thing to do.

The message said...

"Today is Friday April 20th 2012. I want you to know that today is the last day Charlotte is here with us in the mountains.  She has devoted her time, her energy and her love to all of the children and families in the Regalo de Dios. We want to thank her for helping Los Angelitos de Medellin. Te Amo and Thank You. So we will celebrate with a cake".

I also gave some thanks and wrote down a message in Spanish and did my best Spanglish speech...

"I have loved every minute of my time here at Angeles of Medellin.  I have met wonderful people, I won´t forget and Colombia.  The hugs, kisses, happiness will be in my heart forever. Thank you for sharing your love with me.  I wish success and happiness for everyone.  I am glad I met Oliver; we started volunteering on the same day. He is a very good English teacher! I also am happy to meet the policeman here Victor and Cristian, they have changed my mind on police in Colombia, and I thank also for my special Spanish lessons. A special thanks goes to Marcos, he is an inspiration for me personally and everybody here, I love his energy he displays every day and how he helps others. I had the chance to meet another volunteer, who brought me to all of you and this heaven in the mountains. "

Between Marcos and I there were a few tears, mostly of happiness of course. The kids and everyone tucked into the cake and I received a lot of thanks and hugs that day, and some very special cards written by the English students and kids. It's a day I won't forget. 

My last day before my flight, even though it was Saturday, I could not think of anything better than to join Marcos, my friend Alana and volunteer for one more day. We went to El Centro and bought a new table and chairs, I chose the colour red!, 300 toothbrushes, 300 toothpastes, colouring books, markers, puzzles, blankets and more from donations received that week. My friends Karen Simpson and Claire Walkley kindly donated money, I matched that amount and we have now been able to buy the toothbrushes and toothpastes for 300 children! 

When I left that day seeing the centre all packed up with the lights off and me sneaking one more look set me off crying and then waiting for the bus at the end of the village street taking one last look at the beautiful view down to Medellin city over the hills I could not hold back the tears at this point any longer. I think it had hit me that I was really leaving this place, Medellin and captivating Colombia.

The lovely friends I made at the volunteer project sent me off with a bit more Medellin magic and we tried a place called El Tienda in Sabaneta and drank, danced and watchd the night go by. I also then had my last taste of 'paisa' before I left the city and ate out with Sara a colombian friend I'd made from the volunteer project, it was bread with chicharron, cheese and a lot of heart threatening ingredients, followed by a 'Michelalda', beer with lime and salt and watching the locals dance Vallenato style.

With the packing done, I was sad to be leaving. I thought that if Colombia was a person, I wanted to tell them 'Gracias' for the laughs, smiles, hugs, sun, rum! , parties, music and love!

In the morning I left my appartment and even said a small bye to my room (sad I know), I took the bus ride down to the metro and a lady patiently waited for me and asked in Spanish if I was ok. We rode the metro together till I had to get off chatting about my travels, volunteering, Colombia. She was a Spanish teacher and from Jerico (a place I must come back to see) and we swapped details there on the metro. I smiled as I took the airport bus and thought again Colombia and it's people are great. As I sat in the airport lounge waiting to board my flight I wrote down my thoughts at that time... and on the last page of my writing book.

"There are no words. I am leaving Colombia today and I'm sad to leave but tears of happiness are in my eyes as I wait for my flight because I loved everything about Colombia and my time here. This is where I became happy again, where I smiled without hesistation, I danced, I traveled without fear, where I had fuel for my soul through volunteering and where I found love, hugs, smiles and kisses. I came on this journey to rest and cliche as it sounds, find myself again. In Colombia that happened, maybe it was because it was a few months into my trip and 'Things Take Time'. The people are good, they accept you and then I loved myself again. I like the new me; happy, smiling, tanned, beautiful and chilled. A kind of realisation I have arrived and Charlotte is a wonderful woman, as so many people here kindly told me. I will never forget my time here. As I write that sentence my eyes well up again with tears of joy. These two months will last forever in my life. Colombia. The only risk is wanting to stay. I did. For two months. I have lots of little 'pieces' of Colombia with me wherever I go, gifts, presents and photos. The dearest to me are the memories and love in my heart."

Gracias Colombia, hasta luego, por ahora!!! :)

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Adam F on

I am so happy for you!! Its so easy to wander through life without finding the kind of self awareness you've found in Columbia!!! Cant wait to read the next installment

David on

let me know when you get here

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