“There are no llamas in Colombia,” he affirmed. This small detail caught my attention and resulted in an hour-long storytelling session in which I realised how few I know about South America.
My friend Hazar worked 3 months in Colombia. In the suburbs of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, he helped in schools and taught English to young kids. He worked together with a dozen of students from all around the world. Some of the kids had never seen people from somewhere else than South America. Most of the team could not speak Spanish, which resulted in communication problems. Hazar and his team had to adapt to the situation to create an unforgettable experience for the kids and themselves.
“After living in Vienna for a while, it was hard to imagine how things can get unnecessarily complicated.” he told me when I asked him about his biggest culture shock.
While they worked during the week, they explored Colombia during weekends. Soon, Hazar realized that there are no llamas in Colombia. His friends can assure you that he loves those furry, spiting beasts. Knowing this they organized a short trip to a petting zoo. So he could take a photo with one of the few llamas in Bogotá.
During his time abroad he lived with a host mum and her son. The advantage of living in a host family was that the mom cooks great and that he could enjoy the Colombian cuisine. Her son and some other locals taught him, on the other hand, how to get around fast in Bogotá. Because apparently the traffic in the city was terrible.
“I don’t like to travel just for sightseeing, so Global Citizen was a good opportunity for me to travel and to be of use. I had a great time there. I met some people, who will always be very precious to me and I saw great places.”
At the end of the three months Hazar had enough time to travel to the Caribbean. By swimming there he fulfilled one of his long hold life goals.
We all have great destinations and goals on our list. What is keeping us from reaching ours?
Author: Lukas Bensch