Sunday, June 25, 2017

Goodbye Bogota

A student painting a mural at the National University of Colombia.
Tomorrow, I leave the big city for a town called Fusagasugá (known locally as Fusa) to start preparing for IDDS Climate Adaptation with the other organizers. I wish I could say that I'm equally sad to be leaving Bogotá and happy to be going to Fusa, but I'm much more excited than sad. Though I've had a good time in Bogotá, I'll likely never be a fan of big cities or wearing wool socks in June. Fusa is much lower in elevation and therefore a bit warmer than Bogotá, and it's nestled in a valley in the beautiful coffee-producing regions south of here. 
The place I've been going to work for the past 5.5 weeks
In the past few days, we've packed the entire workshop/office into boxes, and tomorrow we'll put it all into a truck to drive down. I'm currently in the process of packing up my things here at home. Fortunately, many of my clothes stayed in my suitcase for the whole time I was here, since my travels this summer will bring me to the warm temperatures of Mexico City, Boise, Seattle, and Boston, as well as cool, rainy Bogotá. Fusa won't be too drastic of a change, but an increase of 5 degrees Celsius is enough to really alter the way a climate feels. While I'm not very excited to reacquaint myself with mosquitoes, moving to weather that feels like summer will be a welcome change. 
The prospect of experiencing the summit itself is also very exciting. I'm expecting to learn a lot about both design in low resource contexts and the actual execution of an event like this. Though I'm not a participant, I'll still get to meet everyone and see the whole process while helping to make it happen. Sixty participants make this is the largest IDDS ever, so there will be no shortage of new perspectives, and I'll be spending my days with people from many different places and walks of life. I'm also looking forward to having three solid meals a day. I know how to cook, but often fail to convince myself that the effort is worth it when I'm only cooking for myself. This is definitely not related to being in Bogotá; I struggled to keep my weight up last summer when I was doing research at Olin as well. I guess eating is so connected to socializing during the school year that I just don't get as hungry when I don't have anyone to eat with. I haven't had many opportunities to exercise, either, since long work hours and 6pm sunsets make running a little unfeasible. As a result, I'm not nearly as fit as I used to be, but there's a track at the place where we'll be living, so I'm hoping to wake up early and try to remember some track workouts from high school. Don't worry, parents, I'm not wasting away, Bogotá has just left me not quite as strong and healthy as I prefer to be.
I'm sure I'll find myself missing things about Bogotá throughout the next few weeks, but right now I'm just excited to go to Fusa. We'll see how it lives up to my expectations! I'm sure I'll have much more interesting things to write about as well once the IDDS is in full swing.

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