I didn't think I could get in the Christmas spirit in shorts and 80 degree weather. It just isn't Christmas without cold, clouds, and ice mimicking the North Pole. However, despite the palm trees, Cartagena definitely is in the Christmas spirit. Everyone is painting their cement homes and decking them with blinking lights, glowing Santa Clauses, bright candy canes, white snow flakes, and plastic trees. The City has decorated all the parks and tourist areas. The carols have a rhythm unlike anything you've heard in church or on the radio. Last night, fireworks filled the sky above my house. Children woke up at dawn to light candles in honor of the Virgin Mary (Dec. 8th: Dia de la Concepcion "Velitas") to officially start the holiday season. I will be spending Christmas in Boston this year, but I'll be turning up the heat and music so everyone can celebrate Caribbean style.
9/26/2010 – 10/15/2010 C1 On September 26, 2010, I arrived along with 8 others to Barranquilla, Colombia to reinstate the United States Peace Corps . We are called Colombia 1 (C1) even though there were many groups before us from 1961- 1981. Peace Corps had to shut down its programs to protect Peace Corps Volunteers’ (PCVs) safety endangered by guerilla warfare and civil unrest. Now, we are back serve to Colombia`s northern coast, but are still proud to be former PCVs from Liberia, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, and Colombia. Our ages range from 26 to 69 years old. We are all are from different regions of the US and have different ethnicities. One PCV, Carolina, is from Bogota, Colombia, but moved to Florida when she was 17 years old and became a US citizen. Now, she is serving both the US and Colombia. Our oldest PCV, Philip, served in Colombia from 1963- 1965, returned home to be an ESL teacher in the Compton and Watts neighborhoods of Los