Monday, August 22, 2011

Tejo, Elvis and so much more....

We learned how to play the Colombian national sport called Tejo. It is similar to horseshoes or cornhole but with a bang! You toss a heavy Tejo (disc) onto a clay board with a target in the middle that contains four "mechas" around it (folded paper triangles filled with gunpowder). Object is to get the Tejo inside the middle ring along with hitting one of the mechas so it explodes. Different amount of points are assigned based on where your Tejo hits the board and you usually play three people to a team. First this guy, who works there, smashes the clay to create a smooth surface. He does this after each game and for his tip, you give him a beer.
Mechas, with gunpowder inside.
Tejo weighs about 4 - 5 lbs.
What the board looks like once the Tejo's have been tossed. It is a pretty messy game since you have to dig out the Tejo's with your hands.
Getting ready to play Tejo!
Lucy, Rachelle, Miguel, Mike, Jesus and Scott
Tejo chicas.
We bonded with group of Colombians who loved that fact that a bunch of Americans were playing Tejo.
Dancing with Juan...

And with Scott

As you can see, we had a lot of fun!
ELVIS ISN'T DEAD....He is in Bogota!!
An Elvis Tribute band performing at one of the pubs and surprisingly not too bad. He went all out with the white beaded jumpsuit, hair and sideburns.

Out with Scott, Gena and Aimee. Scott was being funny by putting on the traditional Colombian style hat that was given to us at a party we attended.
Hanging out at the Beer Lounge, we have become regulars.
Joe with Joanna, our favorite server at Beer Lounge and sweetest girl.
We also frequent the Irish Pub and have become friends with Melissa. Lately every time we go there she calls a friend and has them bring us a local Colombian dessert from down the street.
Monday, August 15th was a big public holiday for Colombia, La Asuncion (Assumption of Mary). Scott still had to work so I attended the local parade that took place in our neighborhood.
I love the two kids to the left who smiled for me.
Really vibrant colored floats.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Simon Bolivar Hospital

With the help of family and friends, I was able to collect more coloring books, crayons, stuffed animals and clothes to bring back to Bogota. I was really overwhelmed by the generous donations and the numerous amount of boxes.
A note from Simone, my friend Brigette's daughter.
She has such a big heart!
Each week I take a bag of the donated clothes to the hospital. Here are some of the children who received the clothing.
Daniel is abandoned.
Some of the coloring books included temporary tattoos. Rachelle and I quickly found out that putting tattoos on the kids was extremely popular and entertaining. Carlos was the first kid who got the temporary tattoo and we did it while his parents were downstairs signing his release papers! Hope they didn't mind :-)

Jion, my new friend, loved the tattoos and the coloring books. He followed me around most of the morning begging me for more.
Notice the Iron Man poster laying in his bed.
Quietly coloring.

Luis was absolutely adorable and one of the happiest kids.
I took a picture of this little girl, Dana, when I first started volunteering 3 months ago. She was abandoned and up for adoption. Unfortunately she is back in the hospital and her health is declining. Very sad!
Geraldine and I enjoyed coloring while her Mom took a break.

Showing off her red tongue from her lollipop.

One week we had some extra entertainment, clown doctors, which the kids LOVED!!
A group photo on my last day of volunteering. Many experiences in my life have impacted the way I look at the world and the different people around me. You realize that the world is much bigger than me, my family and friends. Volunteering at the Simon Bolivar hospital and spending time with the mothers and their sick children was definitely an amazing experiences and one that I will forever cherish. We all know that one of the simplest things in life is helping others and the joy you receive from seeing someone happy but how many of us really take time to do this? We are so busy in our own lives we forget to take time for others. This experience made me realize that I need to make time and volunteer more during our travels. Our next destination is unknown but I am hopeful I'll connect with an organization to volunteer in some capacity.
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