Hasta Luego, Que le Vaya Bien!

Pasto, Colombia
1.205883700000, -77.285787000000
Journal Entry:

Hola, todos, y feliz día internacional del trabajador! (Hello all, and happy International Worker's Day!) As I sit alone in my office eating an empanada made by the "veci" (short for vecino, or neigbor) at the small shop next to my university, I think about the community I have been so fortunate to develop here in Pasto. The other English instructors are currently eating lunch at home with their families, and while I am quite excited to see my own family in North Carolina in mere weeks, the friends I've made this past year have become a surrogate family for me throughout this experience. 

This weekend encapsulates a perfect example of how my friends have incorporated me into their lives, starting with a trip to the small rural Andean mountain village of Guaitarilla. My friend Yamid's uncle turned 60 this weekend and invited at least 50 people, mostly family members, to his party. I was lucky enough to tag along thanks to invitations from Yamid, his brother Jhon Jairo and his sister Johana. We packed into Jhon's car and headed out of Pasto and up the dirt and gravel roads of the mountainside, winding our way to their family's village.