I wake up every morning to the sounds of motor bikes and the people greeting each other in Spanish, this has become my every day routine and it seems am getting accustomed to it.
A normal day for me is seeing a smile of hospitality on faces of people passing nearby my house every morning, posing for a second just to find out how I am doing. This is what I hear every morning “Adios Que Dios te bendiga, ¿Cómo amaneciste? ¿Cómo estas? …God bless you. How did you sleep? How are you? The feeling of responding to these greetings means a lot to me even if I don’t always understand what they say to me. The feeling of responding to them with my little knowledge of Spanish is great and helps make my day always start on a good note.
Another thing that is becoming normal to me is having a bunch of kids (3 to 5) years walk into my house unexpectedly just to say hello to the new African person in town. This is so amazing such that I can never give any credit to it.
Attending meetings and workshops for women in Mapumpujan is also becoming something that I would do on a normal day.
Women in Mapujan love making tapestries, this is one of the things that made them to win the national peace prize, something that was so spectacular such that people still talk about them till this day. The interesting part is that these women in Mampujan have started teaching other women (including me) from different communities on how to make tapestries. I accompany these women when they have workshops on how to make the tapestries. There is more to it because we do not just learn how to make these things, we also get to know each other by interacting and asking questions. Some women also share their experiences of displacement and the violence they have suffered in the past. I call it a platform of “Relief” because people share the pain they have been holding on to for a long time. I am glad that I am included in this now.
Not only have I gotten myself involved in accompanying the women in terms of making tapestries and attending workshops, I also participate in children’s daily activities and help to teach English in my spare time. This is also one way of getting involved with the community and it helps me improve my language skills.
The hospitality, kindness and love the people of Mampujan have shown to me so far keeps me strong and I grow in one way or another each day. I thank God for giving me such an opportunity to learn and serve in a culture that’s different than mine. I am proud to be part of the Colombian Seeders.