Wrapping up my time in Bogota!

I have a week and a half left Bogota, and while I will miss several people here, I miss NYC! A lot. I miss my favorite burger made at the Dram Shop in Brooklyn, ordering from my favorite Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants, being in my own culture that is unique to NYC, and most importantly, hanging out with my mom. I just plain old miss NYC. I haven’t been back since I left last July and it will be nice to go back before I start my second ETA grant in Pereira.

In April, I finally had my Spelling Bee Championships at my university! We had a lower and an upper division, and it was a true success. The teachers and students at the event enjoyed the suspense of the competition, and in total, 200 folks were in the audience at the lower division session. I plan on doing this at the Universidad Cooperativa in Pereira as well because it was such a success.

Here are pictures of the event taken by my co-Fulbrighter Mary Conlon!

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Me (in green) and my fellow English teaching assistants from the British Council with the 1st and 2nd place Lower Division finalists!
Our wonderful audience at the Lower Division finals!
Me with the microphone saying the words.
Upper Division Finals.
Upper Division 1st and 2nd place finalists!
Upper level finalists and our small, but awesome audience.

Last week, my classes wrapped up the semester and it was bittersweet. Some of my classes held awesome goodbye parties for me with snacks and adorable small gifts. I was really touched. I am so proud of the progress my students have made, especially since they were soooo shy at the beginning of the semester.

For three weeks this summer, I will also lead a Putney Travel Community Service grant in the Dominican Republic (where my family is from), so that will be a really awesome experience as well! I look forward to getting more experience being there (this time in a different part of the country).

Next weekend, I’ll finally show my social project work from this semester: my dance film! I produced and choreographed “What about this: Some Random Geometrical Methods of a Rehearsal Essay Test in a Public Library” with a few other collaborators in Bogota’s dance/film circle. It’s been a really interesting experience working on making a film this time around instead of a live performance. While I had some experience making my own dance on camera work, this was on another level in that it is more of a long dance film clocking at about 25 minutes. I am really proud with how it turned out because it was a collaborative effort with my collaborators and dancers, and I am excited to present one more piece of work before I conclude this year. To be honest, I am used to being in control of my own projects/working alone, but what I learned from this collaboration despite the challenges is that you learn a great deal from others that can help you become a stronger artist. Through collaboration, you gain inspiration and honestly, the work that we created is really quite cool.


Lastly, while I didn’t always enjoy living in Bogota (due to it’s rainy weather!), I am grateful for the opportunity to have gained more experience teaching in another culture because I grew so much as a teacher and as a person. My goals, my values, and beliefs are clearer than they’ve been before. I see myself living in NYC after my second year with Fulbright, but I’m not afraid of seeing where life takes me. I’m not afraid of change and that is due to my time here in Colombia. You have to be flexible and learn patience in another culture, and I feel good knowing that I’ve grown in those aspects.

I plan on continuing my blogging as a Senior ETA, so stay tuned for more posts when I return to Colombia in July. As always, thank you for reading!


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