It's Lily here. :)
There is no way that I will be able to portray completely how I feel or everything I've learned but here is my attempt on giving you all a glimpse into my adventure here in Colombia:
So far my experience in Colombia has been wonderful, there have been many ups and downs but all in all it has been great. I have loved being immersed in Spanish culture, the people here are so kind, sweet, and altogether amazing. I feel like I've learned so much spanish and I hope to continue learning more.
Today we woke up at 6:00am and it was the first time that the tiredness really hit me, though fortunately I was able to shake it off relatively easily. Right after breakfast we headed to Marinata (an organization that helps kids with their homework and looks after them while their parents are at work). What none of us knew is that when we arrived there we would have to entertain 20 kids for an hour and a half. I must say that I was a little worried at first but our team worked together really well and we were able to stay calm and in my opinion everything went super well.
This afternoon we went to ECA (El Camino Academy) to do our Canada presentations, I won't talk a lot about it because it would take me way too long to write. All in all it went really well but lets just say that I never want to talk about lobsters or maple syrup again for a very long time.
This evening we all separated into groups of two and went to different houses of the families from ECA. Karis and I went to this one families house and they were probably the kindest people I have ever met. I was very surprised to see their house, they lived in a very upscale neighborhood, in a very beautiful house. It was very interesting to see another side of Colombia, it really made this country seem more like Canada. It was also very cool to see that their financial status did not at all affect the way that they treated us, they were amazingly sweet and completely real (it was also super nice that they all spoke english except for the 4 year old). They made us feel so welcomed and said that if we ever come back to Colombia we have to go visit. We talked with them for a very long time and really enjoyed our meal together.
I have already learned a lot on this trip, but one of the main things just hit me today. For the past 4 days that we have been in Colombia I have been constantly thinking about how people expect me to come home changed and possibly a completely new person. I was worried that I wouldn't be at all different when I returned and people would be confused or concerned. But now I have come to the conclusion that I don't need to change completely to learn new things and to have God work in me. I was also thinking about how if we expect God to do incredible things when we go on missions trips, why aren't we expecting Him to do amazing things when we are at home living our normal lives? If God can do spectacular things in Colombia, He can definitely do spectacular things in Canada. The people in Colombia are more similar to us than you would think. When I talked with the kids my age we just talked about things that I would with my friends. We also listen to lots of the same music, do lots of the same things, and even have many of the same apps on our phones. We may come from different cultures and speak different languages but we are all people and as Christians we all serve the same God. Our God is just as alive in Canada as He is in Colombia.