Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa Marta Rocks

This is delayed but I went to visit my site in Santa Marta last week and absolutely loved it! I was able to visit a few beaches in the area and have already found one that I'm particularly fond of. Taganga is a fishing village outside of Santa Marta that has some wonderful little beaches you can hike to and no shortage of foreigners. Random aside: When I was in Taganga, a local man giving massages on the beach was wearing a Cycles D'Oro (a cycling store in Greensboro) biking jersey -- what a small world! When I asked where he got it, he told me that an English teacher had given it to him. I thought that was so wild. Greensboro reppin' hard in Colombia.

Taganga from the highway

Hike down to the beach

My English teaching counterparts in the library at Liceo Samario

Anyway, my school, Institucion Educativa Distrital Liceo Samario, is in a great location, only about 15 blocks from the water, and seems to be wonderfully ran by an amazing group of teachers and administrators. The school itself it in a fairly nice neighborhood but the students come from surrounding barrios that are not as well off. The director of my school seems to be a great leader who is very organized and motivated. The same goes for my counterpart who is so enthusiastic. I was welcomed to my school with an assembly of all the teachers -- about 100 of them. I did not except such a warm welcome; they presented me with a basket of fruit, had me give a speech on the spot, and then blessed me with a very long prayer. It was great to feel so welcome, especially since a lot of our training is focused on how to get schools on board with what we plan to do in terms of co-teaching. It seems as though I won't have to do much convincing. All the English teachers expressed how excited they were to have my help and the director kept asking me what projects I had in mind to help the school outside of the English department. We're encouraged to spend at least 6 weeks in observation to survey out site's needs so I tried to explain to her that while I had a lot of ideas of projects I would be interested in developing, I would need some time before I could jump in head first. I hope they understand because I think that if it were up to them I'd jump right into work on day one!

Tomorrow we're being sworn in as volunteers! I'm so excited for the ceremony and finally having the liberty to go to the beach without permission. Just kidding, there are so many other aspects of being a volunteer that I look forward to. Mostly, I'm just happy that I'm officially becoming a member of the Peace Corps and am getting closer to starting the work we've been preparing for. I have to wake up early tomorrow to get really for the ceremony so I'm going to cut this post short. I'll certainly post another update by the end of the week detailing our swearing in!


  1. Yay Santa Marta! I am so excited to serve there with you!

  2. So pretty!!! I cant wait to see more pictures!
    I am so happy you have this blog!!!