Feb. 20th Adios Panama – Hola Colombia

This morning we bid a fond farewell to Kenny and Salvadore, our tour guide and bus driver from Panama and headed on the next leg of our journey to Cali, Colombia.

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When we landed in Cali, we met our new tour guide, Brian.

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We hit the ground running.  As we traveled to Central Cali, Brian pointed out the new transportation center being built in the city and other interesting sites.

We soon arrived at Forming Futures Foundation (www.fffcali.org).  FFF is an organization that helps at risk young adults in Colombia learn life skills.  There we met Heidi and Marta, both who have a passion for helping vulnerable children and young adults.  Their enthusiasm and energy were contagious.

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We were served a delicious lunch by the volunteers and residents of FFF while we learned more about the organization.  A couple of the young adults told us their stories of how FFF has helped them find purpose. Daniella shared that she recently had saved enough money from her job to purchase a bed.  She had never owned a bed before.  As the stories were shared, the realization hit hard of how truly blessed we are in America and how much we take for granted.

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After lunch, we were divided into groups to work on projects that will help FFF raise money for the organization by growing and selling plants.  Each project group had a task to complete and we worked along side our new friends from Cali.   Group Megan, Maria and Laura had the privilege of cleaning and organizing Marta’s office.  Marta was so proud of her office and brought her husband, son and others back to check out our progress.  Even though we had a language barrier, once we realized we were both grandmothers, the language difficulties evaporated.

Some of the other projects completed were:

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Displaying the plants in an attractive manner in the entranceway to market to the public

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Cleaning out a storage room to facilitate roof repairs

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Designing a water system

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Setting up the computer lab

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Building tables to pot the plants

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Once we finished up our projects for the day, we came back together and reflected on the experiences we had and what we learned from working together.  We laughed and cried together.

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The evening wrapped up with a backyard BBQ, fellowship and even a little salsa dancing.

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