I arrived to Colombia on Tuesday, spent one night in Bogota, then had to travel to Melgar on Wednesday. I stayed with the grandparents and aunts, uncles, and cousins of the children I am staying with full time. There were ten of us staying in the finca (vacation home).
My first day in Melgar was terrible. It had nothing to do with the family. I was just overly exhausted. I spent most of the day in bed and only got out to have meals. I felt bad for the family because they probably thought I did not want to be there. That night I went on a walk with the women and children, and things started looking up. They also began calling me Sarita and did so the rest of the week. This term of endearment definitely helped to ease my mind and heart.
The rest of the week was enjoyable, except that I experienced my first wave of traveler’s sickness. I haven’t started English lessons yet, so this vacation week allowed me to rest and get acclimated to the culture. I learned that there are foods I like and do not like at all. I discovered that the center of Melgar is not pleasant. We got out a couple of times to get ice cream, but it is not a place the family likes going to often. Too many people. Too many crazies. The family was so wonderful to me. I was spoiled for sure. They gave me royal treatment, and my comfort was something they prioritized. We had tons of fun together as we swam in the pool and played many games of Uno. Communicating became easier throughout the week. The grandmother was like any grandmother and wanted to see me eat more than I could bear, but that told me she really did care about me. I left Melgar today. I was kind of sad because I had gotten comfortable there and grew to love the family, and I knew when I got back to Bogota I would have to do some readjusting again.
I got to Bogota a few hours ago, and I was ready for a nap. I did not sleep well last night because of the neighbors playing loud music until 6:30 this morning. I still haven’t napped. Needless to say, I am a little bit grumpy. I have a lot to do before tomorrow’s first English lesson, though. I am very excited to put something into practice that I have been working toward and something I am very passionate about. These children have a desire to learn because they know they will have more opportunities in the workforce and in academics if they know English. They also desire to travel to the US and possibly live there because life is much easier, or so they are told growing up. So I hope to be a big part of their English improvement that will set them up to be successful and active members of the global community.
I am not even a week into my journey here, but I have already learned so much about the One who brought me here, and the One I have devoted myself to. He called me to this a few years ago-to travel and do works that will be for His glory and the betterment of others. I have to remind myself whose daughter I am, so with His strength, I can muster up enough courage to step out of my comfort zone and allow Him to use me for something so much bigger than I.
Currently clinging on to the prayer in Psalm 62 and meditating on God’s goodness and the mercy He has given me and will continue to give me throughout this experience.
Also to you, O Lord, belongs mercy; for You render to each one according to his work. -Psalm 62:12