Colombia House Building #1: Departure Day

Nikhil ’24 describes the groups departure from Deerfield and looks forward to the first day of activities in Bogota.

It’s hard to say that excitement was filling the air at 6:00 AM when we left Deerfield Academy for JFK Airport, but it’s safe to say we were all looking forward to getting to Colombia. The bus trip to the airport was filled mostly with necessary sleep but we were generally becoming better acquainted with the idea of the 6-hour plane ride ahead, beginning this trip we had been looking forward to for so many months. Even with a few hours delay, the group could not be deterred to keep up a good spirit and discuss all that we would be achieving and seeing by the end of our trip. A highlight of these discussions included an overarching interest in seeing the emotions and responses of families who will get to live in the houses we will help build. This may be because the impact of our work will only truly dawn on us once we see how we have contributed to the lives of fellow humans, and as graduation speaker Rob Hale said, how we have paid forward to other communities.

Our first view of this new country and the new communities was the van ride from the airport to the hotel – while short, it gave us time to enjoy various Colombian music from different parts of the country and take in the nighttime view of the city of Bogotá. Later, a quick group meeting at the hotel has foreshadowed our activities for our first real day in Colombia, and it seems we have lots to be excited for.