Viven solas

November 25, 2009 at 11:33 am (Colombia)

Emilse, the gracious woman who offered me a room in her home for the duration of my stay in Cali, left last Wednesday for a three-month trip to Oregon to visit her children and grandson.

Hence, I am living alone. For the first time.

It’s incredible to me how much my lifestyle has changed since leaving Ottawa in August.

I went from renting a townhouse with a couple of great friends, with downtown or a mall only a quick bus ride away, friends down the street and family with only an hour’s drive between us. Now, I am living alone in a little concrete home about a minute walk away from both my workplace and church … and it’s all behind walls and gates. A mall is close by, but under no circumstances can I go there alone – instead I am dependent on the two other families that live in the same compound for transportation anywhere. My friends are the few people that I can communicate with in Spanglish, and my family is on another continent.

It’s only been a week with the newest change in my living accommodations and those days have been some of the busiest since my arrival here, but there are a few up and downsides I’ve discovered so far.


  • My whole room smells like dog, since Dana now follows me everywhere
  • Practicing Spanish is less productive with no one to correct my pronunciation or vocabulary
  • Emilse isn’t here to let Dana outside when she starts doing the I-need-a-bathroom-now dance at 4 a.m.
  • Lunch is not sitting on the table or stove ready for me when I finish school for the day
  • The phone never rings and the house is sometimes way too quiet


  • I can eat anything I want whenever I want
  • No one is around to make me feel lame for going to bed early or irresponsible for staying up late
  • I can blast music through the whole house … and sing and dance along
  • I don’t have to clean my dirty dishes right away
  • Spanish practice becomes less embarrassing with no one to hear me mess up
  • I sleep better with no one else stirring in the house (or maybe it’s just because I’m really tired lately)

And there you have it folks, the fabulous life and times of Cheryl in Colombia.


    1 Comment

    1. Katie said,

      I’m glad Dana is there to keep you company!

      If you have any spare time (hah! I know) I’d love to see some updated photos, even if you can snap off one or two.


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