Day One: training, needles and sites!

Quick notes tonight, as I have to wake up in a little over 6 hours to run with the group. Fun fact: every yoga session here will be bikram, because the 90 degree, 90% humidity is included in the Caribbean coastal package!

Today about half of us hit the streets for a light scenic jog. The streets are very South American (little cars, millions of motos, palm trees) but all the sidewalks are incredibly high. I couldn’t figure out why we had to jump two feet to get to the sidewalk…then it dawned on me: this is arroyo country. These aren’t arroyos in the “dry riverbed” sense. These are arroyos of the “flash flood, danger zone” variety. The tiny tourist in me almost wants to see one just to see it, but the larger voice of reason in me says, “just you wait.”

The whole day was a series of blood tests, immunizations, interviews, lectures and general wandering around looking lost. I hit the five flights of stairs countless times, up and down for forgotten paperwork, extra signatures, documentations and one glorious nap.

The big talk in the group right now is which site we’re hoping for. These two months of training culminate in site assignments, when we’ll learn our fate for the next two years. During the course of training, we’re going to be observed and interviewed for the best placement based on living situations, site projects, past experiences and our expressed wishes.

In light of this, I’m doing my research (as much as possible) to figure out where I can best serve. I’m really interested in some of the vocational English classes, as well as the potential for community development projects. Thankfully, all of us seem to have diverse interests and skills sets, so not only will we have different ideals in mind, but it also means I might not have to become a full-on middle school teacher…my greatest fear at this stage. Ha ha! Some of these people are clearly talented teachers, and I’m more than happy to let them do their thing! However, I’m here to learn, and teaching is definitely the big lesson for us as professionals! I’m ready to learn how to truly manage a classroom, and how to build a curriculum while we’re at it!

All the potential sites will be in the Atlantic coastal region, either in Cartagena, Barranquilla or Santa Marta. Feel free to weigh in!

On that note, time to get some sueño. Buenas noches to everyone!

Buen viaje,

Shanna

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