I land at last in the magical country of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I always knew the moment would come, but it is my commitment to human rights which finally brought me here.
I arrive with my backpack full of energy and emotion. Bogota grabs me for the first few days, I discover the city and my colleagues at the PBI project.
There is a long way to go, a lot of things to learn and a whole experience to live. Now we have to prepare ourselves well, get trained, read and read, and learn from the team who already know the ropes. The human rights defenders await, they inspire us and motivate us, and they will give us the energy we need in this journey.
PBI has been in Colombia for over 20 years, my contribution will be very small, but I know that when it is added up to those of all the people who went before me, who are here now and those who will come, it will help the PBI Colombia project in its context to help bring change in this wonderful country. It reminds me of something Cervantes said: “Change the world, Sancho my friend, because it is not madness nor utopia, it is justice!”.
Despite how long the selection process lasted, I still haven’t realised that, at last, I am here in Colombia!
Being part of PBI will be an incredible experience, both professionally and personally, and I’m impatient to join the Uraba team. I think I am very lucky to be here at such an important and historic moment for Colombia.
I’m happy to be here to support and take part in developing a space where local people and human rights defenders work towards real and lasting peace.
I consider myself to be a very fortunate person to have the opportunity to join such a compelling project as PBI Colombia at this historic moment.
The orientation we are immersed in during the first few days in Bogota just makes me want to go and join my future team, Uraba, even more.
As well as accompanying extremely important processes that the Apartado team is working on, the possibility of getting to know and take part in initiatives that will build peace with social justice makes us look forward to starting more than ever.
In October 2015 I left Colombia for Europe, after living here for two and a half years, but I left with a list of things I still had to do. I wanted to learn much more about this country and its people who are so diverse. I also wanted to recoup energy to continue working in accompaniment. On the list of “things I still had to do” was visiting the National Museum, a paramo and Paloquemao market in Bogota.
Well, here I am, with lots of desire to learn, accompany and observe here in Colombia. We are doing the orientation and will soon join the field teams. At the same time, I am working on the “to dos”. I saw some impressive fruits and vegetables in Paloquemao, the National Museum was enormous and I still have two floors yet to go.