“The Colombian Fun Cartel” aka Dan and his 9 lovely ladies

Written collectively by our new best friends while waiting for our 10 hour overnight ride, sitting on the bus station floor and warding off marraige proposals left right and centre:

¨No Dar (la) Papaya¨

“We are the few, the fun, the fabulous. We are pilgrims on a journey, to find the best of what is in ourselves, and the people and places and around us. Our bodies will travel to the places where we will unite our hearts and our minds through love and happiness! And maracuYA! (Passionfruit! SO yummy!)

We write this as we begin our 10 (pepito) hour bus ride to Palmira. We are excited out of our minds! Colombia es chevere! (Awesome!) We are in Colombia, we have no need to exaggerate! It took 36 hours for everyone to arrive, with Dan and Melissa going back and forth to the airport from 8pm one night until 11pm the next night!”

“I met so many new friends this morning. Having rolled in to town last night (less than 24 hours ago…) I wasn´t able to meet my fellow trippers until the morning. Many of these wonderful new friends greeted me in the early morning light with a wave from bed. We spent the day playing in our ponchos, eating our papaya and practicing out español. Boy, I have a lot to learn. Holy Guacamole what will this trip hold? I can hardly wait!!”

“We were happily –spanish gag- united at Alegria Hostel (means JOY HOSTEL!) in Bogota. We played a few get-to-know-you games before embarking on our exploration of Bogota. A few snazzy ¨handshakes¨ helped anxieties disappear. Before we knew it there were people pretending to be dying bugs on each other´s backs and yanking hair as a ¨bonding experience¨. (All good fun of course!) Unconventional- but somehow it worked! Other highlights of the day included a marriage proposal to one of our girls in the hostel- LOVE FO SHO!! Melissa and Dan (our Leaders) sent the rest of us on a scavenger hunt in pairs, which resulted in many unique and hilarious experiences. A torrential downpour causing the streets to flood did not stop us from our tasks!”

“It´s hard to believe that we are only on our first day. Already our group is a supercool awesome family, and it seems that we will never leave Colombia (SO down for that!). The Colombian people are beyond helpful and if you can believe it, even nicer than Canadians (SAYYY WHAAAA??!!). Also today, I had some help from a Colombian woman who was worried about me taking pictures on a bus street. I promptly put away my camera, pulled out my phrase card (provided by the ever so lovely Dan and Melissa) and crashed and banged my way through the phrase ¨No dar (la) papaya!¨ (In English this would mean ¨Yo, watch yo´self!¨) She laughed out loud and sent me on my way! SO Grand!”

“The scavenger hunt today was a great exercise because it forced us to get out of the comfort of our group and use our limited (for most of us) Spanish. Many of us also got to try some Colombian snacks, like tamarindo, a whole fried fish (tasted like tilapia), obeals, churros with arequipe, and rosa de Jamaica tea. (Though, we didn´t know that you are supposed to make tea with the flowers, so we just ate them… Whoops!) Now after a wonderful dinner thanks to Tatiana, we are excited to get our bus ride over with and be at the Nashira Eco-Village!”

“The trip is jut starting and I´m already feeling anxious about the experience. Here I´m able to follow my dreams and passions. Confront my fears and discover the limits of my own life experience. The people I´ve met in our group are amazing, easy going, and fun. These are the people that enjoy and make the most out of the little details that we encounter on in our path. As Dan says, we are a family, and I already feel that I care for everyone. We are going to make an amazing team because even though we come from different backgrounds we all complete each other as a group. There’s still a lot of time ahead and I´m all ready to live THE TIME OF MY LIFE!!”

PEACE OUT. Colombia-Town