“Only a peaceful heart can overcome a tired body and a heavy mind.” -Vishal Singh
Ms. Martinez: Today was the longest and most active, yet one of the most blessed days yet! Due to my non-stop yawns, and the incredibly thoughtful reflections from the evening’s featured bloggers below, my piece will be short. School lunch today filled us in ways that no buffet and certainly no United States school lunch will ever be able to (TBH, as the kids say), but more spiritually filling were the experiences we had with the elderly folks at the dispensary, and with the nature and history of Colombia around us. Although all that we’ve gone through in the last few days has weighed upon our bodies and minds, our hearts feel at peace for the service that we have done and will continue to accomplish during the rest of the week. Without further ado: Jenni and Evelyn!
Evelyn: Hold on tight, this might get bumpy. The day started later than usual, which was a blessing from God. Literally. After waking up, the group and I received a major wake up call: walking to PACHAS, to the dispensary. Although the walk through the busy streets almost, and I mean almost, got us killed, we arrived on time (yay!). Once the elderly arrived to the dispensary, happiness completely engulfed my emotions. They were bombarded with many activities, which included manicures, playing board games, and creating leis. Painting nails has never been this much fun. Stories after stories were told, in which I realized that despite the incredible age gap, many patterns continue throughout time. Despite time passing by at such a quick pace, humor and utter happiness is always present. The most heartbreaking moment was saying goodbye to them. Although we had spent a short time together, those memories will always be embedded in my heart.
After our time in the dispensary, we had lunch at PACHAS. The food was absolutely amazing! The most funny and greatest moment was giving our CASFA partners a little taste of our own culture through Tajin. Although many of our CASFA partners gave the most absolutely horrifying faces ever, they still gave the effort to try some of our culture.
Monserrate came next: the greatest experience I have ever lived! Taking the Funicular, the cable car, all the way to the top of the mountain was quite the adrenaline rush. Upon arriving, my breath was taken away. Not because of the high altitude (which affected Mr. Dale), but rather, because of the astonishing view. The entire city of Bogota can be seen at Monserrate. The skyscapers, the barrios scattered throughout the city, and the looming mountains can easily been seen. No matter how hard you try to find a picture of this on Google, nothing will ever beat the authentic view. In the short span of approximately an hour, I truly felt the presence of God. The radiant sunshine and the quick pace of the clouds reminded me of the absolute peace that God has provided me with in these last few days. I felt that I truly belonged on the pinnacle of Monserrate in that precise moment.
Thank God for history. As I walked throughout the well recognized Museo de Oro in Bogota, I felt that God has provided us with immense creativity and curiosity. Multiple upon multiple artistic artifacts illuminated in the light. Despite becoming such a complex and sophisticated society, our history will always be engraved in us. Our history is a part of us.
Jenni: Today was full of indescribable feelings and blessings. After breakfast, my group and I walked to a dispensary, it was a significant moment working with ruca/os- old people, but in a sweet way. We made bracelets and necklaces with them, while they unleashed their adventures and dangerous stories.
Some of the other Cristo Rey students told us that the rucas/os were roasting each other. Jackie Cruz told us that a ruco she was working with roasted other women. What he said was “These flowers that we are putting together for our necklaces look as young and beautiful as you young girls, but then they get wrinkled and ugly like these rucas!” It was so funny! Additionally, my group and CASFA group joined together to preform a dance for the rucos/as. It was such a beautiful moment seeing their puzzled and priceless faces.
Once everything was finished, we said our goodbyes, and gave hugs and kisses which was touching. There was a ruca that gave me a blessing. She started crying while making a cross in front of my face, I do not know how to explain this emotion, never have I felt this before.
I did not expect to be infused with such strong emotions. Seeing Monserrate was amazing and so was the Gold Museum. I took numerous pictures, but none beats the view in person. When seeing the view at Monserrate I had an indescribable feeling that I took a moment to think about what is my purpose in life? Now I know serving others. Everyday my school says this but I never pay attention, but now I know what it means: making others happy, having an unforgettable moment and always, always making them feel love. Today, it was a unforgettable moment, the tears dry, the smiles vanish but the memories last for an eternity.
PS: Wear sunscreen, kids.