I’ve now been Colombia for three months — although it feels like it’s been longer than that — and have learned a lot about Colombian culture and about myself as well.
One of the biggest things that I’ve had to adjust to is how Colombians view time. There is an apparent abundance of time, especially for having coffee 🙂 and coming from a home culture where the mantra “time is money” is the rule and you get your coffee to go because you don’t have time to sit and enjoy it, this has been a big adjustment.
I really appreciate the opportunity to live abroad and feel that I’m contributing to something important. Yesterday evening, I went to a conversation club at the invitation of one of my Spanish teachers (I’m taking a Spanish immersion course at one of the universities). He teaches a variety of subjects, including English, and is passionate about seeing Colombia become a truly bilingual country. It was encouraging interacting with people ranging from as young as 12 years old to middle-age having a good command of the English language and having the motivation to continue to improve. One young lady has dreams of living and studying abroad and asked me about what Canada’s education system was like. It’s experiences like this that remind of why I wanted to come to Colombia initially and what I hope for during my time here. It’s definitely encouraging.
In any case, Colombia is a beautiful country that is very scenic. Armenia is surrounded by lush greenery and mountains. There is fresh fruit everywhere and many, many cafes within the city. I’m looking forward to what the next three months bring.