Tuesday, 25 October 2011


I'm currently preparing for my departure one week from now. A big part of the preparations has been to shift my thoughts, perspective and outlook from Morocco, where I have been living for the last six month, to Latin America, specifically Colombia (all the while adjusting to British pub culture once again). It has not been an easy process and with it there have been many doubts and questions, many more than I imagine there would have been if I had spent this time living in the UK and focusing solely on the work in Colombia, or if I had gone straight to Colombia after the training week back in February. But I have slowly been able to adjust and get used to the idea of living in Latin America again. This has been helped by the girls already working in the Community (Gina, Emily and Elisabeth), who have been really supportive. They have prepared the community members for the fact that I will soon be arriving (this involved changing my name to Carla, the Spanish equivalent, since it is pretty much impossible to be called Charlotte in the Spanish-speaking world, so that will be my name for the next year).

The week before I leave, I am inevitably slightly freaking out about how hard this will be and all the changes taking place in my life. While fully aware of the reasons I'm doing this, being fully aligned with the values and the work, and while knowing that this is what I want really, I'm still struck by the craziness of it all. This reminded me of a joke advertisement for the work which one of the trainers presented to us during the training week. So I thought I'd share it with you:

Do you like walking through knee deep mud in the rain? Does risking your life wandering through the Colombian jungle or crossing a chest –deep river get your heart racing? Are you a person that hates sex and willingly goes a year without it? Does your adrenaline course at the thought of cold showers in mossy cement closets covered in cobwebs and crawling with grasshoppers that move as quickly as a humming bird but as erratically as a Colombian holding an empty bottle of Aguardiente?

Well you just listen here! All while earning less than the Colombian minimum wage, you can enjoy all the above-mentioned wonders. Why dontcha just come on down, sign up for FOR, and see just how hard life can really get.