Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Empieza la Aventura

Since January 1, my days have been spent in rigorous preparation for the next year. In addition to having regular Spanish classes, volunteers are trained in teaching grammar, creating lesson plans, accepting cultural norms, and more. We also spent a days in Bogotá opening a bank account, applying for a Colombian ID, and meeting with the American embassy. These long, incredibly worthwhile days are part of an intricate plan. 

Colombia has great visions for the progression of English-fluency within its schools. By 2025, Colombia wants to be the most bilingual country of South America, aspiring for each high-school graduate to be speaking English at a pre-intermediate level. Colombia is now investing more money in education than its military. To play a role in this plan is invigorating, yet also intimidating. 

My worst fear is that I should someday become accustom to the beauty of this opportunity. I want never to lack in appreciation for my days in Colombia. My time here is precious and my purpose will remain strong. 

While I familiarize myself with these new surroundings, I am inspired by the overall kindness of those around me. After stopping at Starbucks to ask for directions, an employee escorted my group a block to our destination. To be greeted by a stranger on the street with "Buenas" is not uncommon. 

During a four-day English camp in which teachers are evaluated before beginning their placement, my students showered me with notes, drawings, and  affection. I am encouraged by their warm acceptance of my efforts. I look forward to teaching third, fourth, and fifth grade at all-girls school called Hogar Mariano. 

On January 18, I fly into Barranquilla to officially begin my teaching journey. Let the adventures commence! 

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