Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I want to introduce you all to some of my peoples here in Colombia. I would love to introduce you to every single person because they are all absolutely incredible, but i'm going to stick to those that have impacted me the most. :) This is going to be hard though... Ok, the sisters first. :) Liliana is the one on the left. She is absolutely beautiful, inside and out. She has a quiet spirit and has been incredible in helping me through some rough moments. Next to her is Mildred. Love that girl! She's crazy and sooo much fun. She's a drummer and loves music with a passion. She's the best at telling stories and if you're having a down day, she's the one to show up with a joke and a fist pound. :) Adrienne is the other girl working with GO International. She is awesome. I love her to death. She's been a solid rock in the midst of turbulent storms and has been an encouragement in the midst of a culture seriously lacking in appreciation and affirmation. Me, obviously (wearing my newly purchased and proudly worn Colombian soccer jersey hehe). Next is Cata, she's the youngest of the family. A sweetheart. Very quiet but she has quite a fun streak going through her. She is one of the strongest people i've met... nothing holds her back. Paola - the oldest. She's a pastora in the church and works with the youth, while attending the university and studying and keeping up with her friends. She's basically intireable. I really don't know if that's a word, but it works.
Daniel Parra. synonym: CRAZY!
But i abolutely love him and he's been here for me whenever i've needed someone. He enters the room and you can't help but smile, but I've had some incredible one on one conversations with him that I can guarentee you I will never ever forget.
He's like a musical genius. He's studying guitar but plays drums, piano, bass... if he can get it in his hands, he can play it. I admire him so much, not only for what he has been through but his determination to always see the bright side of things. This kid could honestly be on his death bed and his last wish would be to make you laugh. He's a talented musician, an awesome actor, and is determined to make his way in the world. Trust me, nothing is going to stop this guy.
Pastor Alirio... if I could adopt anyone from Colombia to be a part of my family, it would be him. There aren't enough words to say how much I admire him, how much i trust him... he's basically just awesome. I love him so much... not to mention he has two of the most adorable children that you will ever see in your life. Nicolas and Sara, they're sweet and I've basically adopted them as my own. I spoil them... as much as i can. I bought them crackers the other day when we went to the grocery store and they were as thrilled as thrilled could be. :) It was great!
Michael and Oscar. Oh my word. For those of you who know my brother nathan... picture two of him and make them best friends. That's the best description i can give of them. :) They are the life of every party and it is never a dull moment when they are around. My first night in Colombia was spent making videos of Oscar as he "proposed" to Adrienne and pretended to fight the dragon and the whole shebang. It was great. :) Michael is awesome. He tells me he has a split personality and that sometimes his evil twin Misaias takes his place. He really is a great guy and it's all for fun. :) I love having them both around, it reminds me a little bit of the craziness of the Stolitza household.
Superman. aka Fernando. He's my fav. period. I don't know exactly what it is about him that makes me like him so much but he shows up adn my day is a million times better. It all started with him being really excited that he knew an English word and upon seeing me shouted, "HHHIIIIII" really really loud. Well that obviously started a tradition and we still often greet on another by yelling across the church (before the service starts of course). Anyway, when i have a doubt or a question, he's the one I turn to first because I know that I can trust him not to make fun of my mistakes. He's been the force behind my translating experiences too. When I wanted to run, he was the one to give me a hug, then push me onto the stage while saying in his heavily Spanish accented English. "You do it. No... you CAN do it. (big grin cause he succeeded)". You just have to grin back and he never fails to touch my heart when i need a word of encouragement.
So those are the people I surround myself with, there are soooo many more. I could talk to you about Fabricio, the most awesome guy from Ecuador you'll ever meet. He blows me away with his talents and his ability to converse, his love for the Lord and his constant understanding...Carlos who has the most incredible testimony and has helped me in uncountable ways... Daniel, the other Daniel... who has been an inspiration to me from the start. His youngest brother Johan, with whom i've basically fallen in love. If you can fall in love with a 10 year old, that is... :) These are the people who have helped me through the hard times, laughed with me through the good and everything in between.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Whoa life got busy.....

Alright, my first few days were not an accurate forshadowing of my days in Bogota. Up early, stay up late seems to be the norm here. After the first few English classes when i taught like 50 children ranging from ages 3-16, I decided to enlist some major help. A.k.a. MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) She's wonderful. She sent me a whole bunch of stuff to help me out and now that I'm all prepared to teach.... I don't have time. :( I've been so busy lately and I honestly couldn't even tell you where all the time goes, it just goes. So, I know it has been forever since i have written on here, but i'm going to back up a few steps and introduce you to some special people and also tell you about life here and what i've been up to. :) The journey... is about to begin. :D

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bogotá, Colombia

I suppose it's time to continue blogging about my adventures. :) It makes me quite happy....

Alrighty, last wednesday I arrived in Bogota, Columbia to work with GO InterNational partner Guillermo Parra and his family. Incredible family... but more about them later. I met this wonderful old lady on the plane and over the course of a three hour conversation that made me break out my quite rusty Spanish brain, I learned that she was a Christian. She invited me to her church in Bogotá but we'll have to see if i'll be able to see her again. The airport was fun. Talk about being worried, my bag was the last one to come off the plane. :S I found Adrienne outside with Paola and we went to what will lovingly be called 'home' for the next ten weeks.
The South American air is great! The Spanish is wonderful. The people are incredible. I love it here. I arrived in the middle of vacation from school so i haven't settled into a routine yet, but I've been helping Adrienne with English classes and doing any number of odd jobs and translation stuff so i've kept busy.

On Saturday we held an event in el parque de joyas near one of the projects. (Pastor Guillermo and his family work at and administer 4 different projects that offer food and classes to kids) This outreach was my first cherished Colombian experience, a very new experience for me: bodyguards. Fernando, a really great guy who i met the day before, accompanied me when we went out to invite people to the event. When we got back to the park, he had to go off to the side because he was helping with security. I didn't want to miss everything so i chilled in the crowd. :) and everything was good.
Half way through, Carlos came to find me to take pictures. So i followed him across the stage and started snapping pictures (with an almost dead camara :S) it was bad. It's also not a great idea to show off camaras so it was interesting. Anyway, this dude kept following me. In the middle of drug territory and far from Fernando and Carlos who had wandered off too, i was slightly worried. So i decided to test the situation and i walked to the other side of the crowd to "get a different angle for pictures". he followed. Another five steps to the right... (working my way toward Fernando) and he followed, conveniently stopping when i did. I couldn't handle it and me in my "he wouldn't hurt me" attitude, i confronted him. :) Apparently they told him to watch out for me... jaja. I appreciated it, i really did. It would have been nice if I had met him before but hey... having strangers watch out for you turned out to not be too bad. His name was Daniel, plays the drums in the church. Cool guy.... once i got to know him and knew he wasn't a creeper.
Yesterday I went with Paola to her university and got to know downtown Bogota. Fun! And very very different from Lima. I find myself comparing everything to Lima and even though the two countries share a border, it's amazing how distinct they are. I'm off to an English class, but i'll do my best to get some pictures up soon and tell you more about my family here. Blessings....