I’m coming back! Three years after my first fantastic Colombian adventure, I am finally flying back! The occasion: A few months ago, I received an e-mail on my university account, titled “Exchange with indigenous communities in Colombia”. You can guess how excited I was to read that! First sentence: “Are you keen on learning and contributing to the welfare of indigenous communities? This opportunity is for you then!”

Turns out a Colombian student from my study program has organized a three-week exchange project with indigenous communities in the state of Tolima. He organized support from several Colombian organizations such as ACIT and Grupo Pijao, as well as the International Center of our German university, which financed most of the flights. The project title: “Re-aprendiendo sobre sostenibilidad”, that’s “re-learning about sustainability” in English. That little “re-“ appealed to me immensely, because I have a huge respect for the ancient knowledge about environmental and general sustainability of the indigenous people, and would be ashamed to try teaching them something “new”…

Long story short: I started my application that very afternoon. And now, about three months later, I’m finally on my way! It has been a very long journey already: The first flight (to London) was short and unadventurous. The second flight (to Miami) was long and a little late due to some problems with the air conditioning. The third flight (to Bogotá) was cancelled completely.

Cancelled View from Hotel

I’ve never been stranded at an airport before, it was actually pretty cool. The airline service was awesome, our booking was changed to the next day immediately, and we received vouchers for three free meals and a hotel room! Then a shuttle bus picked us up right at the terminal and drove us up to the hotel’s front door. It was way past midnight already, but the reception staff seemed to be used to that, they just handed out the keys with a smile. A hot shower, a king-sized bed and a good night’s rest - what more can you ask for after such a day?

After the unexpected break, we are now refreshed, relaxed and ready to continue our journey! Next stop: Bogotá!