I’m glad June is over. It was a hard month in many ways, including days of travel and too many days of meetings in Bogota. However, all of those days of meetings did provide the opportunity to eat a lot of delicious food. And while I don’t enjoy the freedom everyone in my community feels they have to comment on any change in my physical appearance, I do like that they also tell me that I look even more beautiful the more gordita I become.
June 1: Kids come to visit and I ask one of them to tell me his dreams for the future, and then they just keep on coming all day for me to listen to their plans.
June 2: Make pancakes for the community leaders while we attempt to deal with a crisis in the sentence process and at the same time enter hundreds of strange-to-me names into the computer of every person in the community, read false news alert about Mampuján and the reparations, and hold a community meeting amidst a giant thunder storm where Ricardo simply and clearly explains the options available to the community.
June 3: Teach my Sunday school kids how to play “What time is it Mr Wolf?”
June 4: Got a pedicure at 8:00 am after having people knocking on my door to sign papers at 7:45 am.
June 5: Two for one ice cream in Sincelejo and an awkward encounter with Ryan from Tennesse.
June 6: A lot of juice- lemonade, watermelon, passionfruit and strawberry.
June 7: PANTSUITS!!! Larisa and I go to the most ridiciolous clothing store to get outfits for my 30th birthday. We didn’t end up with pantsuits, but some amazing dresses!
June 8: First day of MCC retreat at a beautiful farm in the mountains. I had three naps.
June 9: Second day of retreat- got new clothes from a group clothing exchange and spent the day relaxing.
June 10: A goodbye celebration for those members of the team who are leaving. It was sad, but also good to see the depth of emotion and attachment people feel for each other, for Colombia, and the work of MCC.
June 11: Went back to the MCC office in Bogota for a girl’s night, which involved watching movies on the big screen with delivery pizza.
June 12: LOOOONG day of emotionally challenging meetings, but good group time in the evening
June 13: A lot of bread and pastries from the French Bakery next to the office.
June 14: Watching Thornbirds with Larisa in the airplane on our way to a workshop in Cali. Larisa and I have developed an affinity for miniseries. We started with Downton Abby and have regressed, I would say, to the Thornbirds. If anyone has any suggestions on other miniseries, let me know!
June 15: Visiting Paz y Bien, a really cool organization working in a marginalized neighbourhood in Cali. Got to celebrate my birthday a day early as the micro-finance department was celebrating all of the birthdays in that month.
June 16: Woke up to balloons and llamas outside my bedroom door! Got to show off my crazy birthday dress!
June 17: Passionfruit juice in the plaza in Sincelejo, best salad ever in the airport.
June 18: Fruit salad and veggie stirfry!
June 19: Dinner with Jes
June 20: Travelled home. I arrived at 8:00 in the morning, went right to bed and literally slept all day.
June 21: Hung out with Delfa and Juana, two community leaders all afternoon, catching up on community gossip.
June 22: Cheese! Larisa and her brother spend the night and bring cheddar cheese!
June 23: Work with Juana to make a powerpoint about the sentence process- it’s always really interesting to hear about the changes that have taken place in the community throughout the process and to hear community members share their perspectives on different events.
June 24: I took a couple of mental health days and headed out to the beach.
June 25: BEACH DAY!
June 26: Great last morning at the beach! Arrive back in time to attend a community meeting filled with good news.
June 27: Make a GIANT loaf of fresh bread and then watch Thornbirds with Larisa in the evening. Gabriel miraculously finds lost documents.
June 28: Coffee and toast with Larisa in the morning and then an intense meeting about regional security
June 29: Another intense meeting, this time with local businesses, including the owners of many of the large oil-palm plantations to talk about social responsibility. It was very surreal to sit in that room with all of them.
June 30: My next door neighbour shows up at my door with a breakfast of masamora. It’s kind of like really runny rice pudding, but with corn. Then l locked myself out of my house for about 4 hours, which forced me to go and visit people, which I had been neglecting to do and turned out to be really nice. Both of these things were a reminder that I really do like living here.
What good things happened in your June?