I’m a lover, I know.

In most of my relationships, I love too hard. I’m an only child! I can’t help that one of the things I am good at is striking up friendships. The problem is that sometimes things don’t want to love me back. Whether it’s a mental challenge in school or a love interest, there is no guarantee that “it” will love me back equally. Medellin quickly reminded me of that fact.

Backing up a bit, I wake up Monday morning still a little tired from the long day in the country, but excited to learn the public transportation system and start work. Getting a tutorial on the bus system seems more complicated than it should be, but I’m trying to soak in all of the details. We patiently wait on the hill for the correct bus to come scoop us, it takes about 20 minutes-there is no schedule, but at $1 a ride, I can’t ask for much. It still beats the green line in Boston.

Traffic is bustling and getting to the metro is pretty quick. Again, buying tickets for the metro seems really complicated, but I’m trying to strategize how I will pay for my train ride back so I am listening carefully. The metro is above ground and floats above the city at some points, allowing my friend to guide me through different areas of the city. Eventually we get close enough to my work stop where we can see the large, new building of Ruta N.

We walk in and I am in awe of the high tech, formal design of the building. Security asks me to leave my ID at the desk in order to get a visitor badge, in which I’m told it’s not their fault if something happens to my ID…OK. After a little searching, we eventually find my office. It feels good to finally meet the people I have been speaking with for so many months prior about my anticipated arrival in Medellin for fundraising!

Everyone is very welcoming, but of course I remember the unique quirks of each of my co-workers. I am a very colorful person myself, so I naturally observe the colorful qualities of others. The whole team seems not only collegial, but also chummy. I’m not sure I buy the whole ‘we work well together’ and ‘we hang out all the time’ scenario, but I’ll believe it for now. Quality of life seems like an organizational priority, which is refreshing but unfamiliar.

I immediately feel part of the team. The office units are separate, but all of the workspaces are amazing. I know that I will thrive here. I can feel it. They want me to succeed and that’s all I need to know. To top it all off…I manage to get home in one piece, with a lot of help from some friendly gals who are much more competent in Spanish. However, I can’t stop thinking about this bug bite on my ankle…It’s so itchy and painful…

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