This week we bring you another edition of our monthly interviews. We would like to thank Brighid for taking the time to answer our questions and share her photographs of Colombia with us and our readers. You can read more great posts from Brighid in her personal blog: gypsy-ish.com.
By the way, our website is now live (check it out here). We would love to hear your comments on the design, content, etc. We will be talking more about it and about our new tours next week. stay tuned!
The Uncover Colombia team
Tell us something about yourself (Where are you from? who you are and/or what you do?)
My name is Brighid Carey and I’m originally from Connecticut, USA. I currently work as a Field Director with WorldTeach, Colombia coordinating volunteer English teachers. I just started my second year here!
Why did you decide to visit Colombia?
I knew I wanted to teach English in Latin America with WorldTeach, and the Colombia program immediately appealed to me. It was mostly a matter of novelty – I didn’t know anyone who had visited Colombia and really didn’t know much about the place so I thought…why not?
What sort of things did you like?
I love so many things about this country! I love the people I’ve met in so many different walks of life, my high school students, and how there are so many different places to explore – a few hours in any direction brings you to a new landscape and climate.
What didn’t you like?
Sometimes the laid back, we’ll-worry-about-that-tomorrow-instead-of-today attitude gets to me. I can’t seem to shed my timeliness or stringently organized U.S. working habits and it can be frustrating here.
What was your favourite experience?
Teaching English had so many ups and downs but I will never forget my students and the smiles. I also have great memories of Bogotá‘s Festival de Verano, finca weekends, trips to Salento, Villa de Leyva and Guatape, and tournaments with my Colombian rugby team! In addition, a few weeks ago I got to meet President Santos through my job – that was unforgettable!
Did you have any problems, finding accommodation, transport, food, etc?
WorldTeach arranged my housing but while traveling it was really easy to get around and find places to stay or eat.
Which other countries did you visit besides Colombia and How does Colombia compare with these countries?
I’ve spent time in Guatemala and Ecuador as well. Colombia is certainly more developed in the cities though the rural areas are reminiscent. A lot of slang and food is similar in Ecuador. Colombia also feels safer to me than those countries right now – particularly comparing Bogotá to Quito or Guatemala City.
Which image did you have about Colombia before going there?
I knew there was much more to the country than the negative, drug-state hype but it was essentially a blank space on the map of South America – I didn’t know what to expect!
Did this image change after your trip?
Now I know how vibrant and special this country is, how proud and welcoming the people are.
Would you like to come back?
I’m still here! After a year of teaching I knew I wanted to stay. My new job brought me from Bogotá to Barranquilla so I’m exploring a new life here!
What would you recommend to someone considering Colombia as a destination?
Come here! Explore before it gets over-explored.
Any final thoughts?
I wouldn’t say the ONLY risk is wanting to stay, but it’s certainly the biggest threat 🙂
- Uncover Colombia Interview: Clare and Glen (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Uncover Colombia Interview: Paige, life as an Expat in Colombia: (www.uncovercolombia.com)