Who knew that the thing that I have been resisting would turn out to be so much fun and such a breath of fresh air? After a year and a half of living here, I finally made it to a social event sponsored by the American Women in Colombia and it was so much fun!
Now I resisted going to their events for various reasons. “I came here to get to know Colombia and be friends with Colombians,” I told myself. I took pride in immersing myself in Colombian culture, living in a small Colombian town and making Colombian friends. I felt blessed and honored to be able to have such an in-depth experience in a foreign culture.
All this is still true. And yet, I wasn’t prepared for how great it felt to go to a nice English bookstore in Bogota and be immersed in a group of about 60 women, all of whom were speaking English and were going through what I have been going through – living in Colombia as a foreigner. Everybody was so friendly and chatty and I was in an environment were I knew with certainty without even thinking about it what the social norms were. I knew exactly how to behave and felt completely relaxed and at ease. Despite the nearly three and a half hour round-trip drive to get to this social gathering, I felt excited and rejuvinated. I wanted more.
On the other hand, I realized being there that many of these women see each other regularly and don’t have any Colombian friends. I definitely would not want that to be my experience and feel really blessed my the friendships that I have made here with Colombian women, really profound friendships where we talk about things that really matter to us and support each other. But for a blessed couple of hours, the extrovert in me had a field day mingling and chatting in English. I think I will make it a point to join more of these social gatherings, maybe once a month, to get my gringa fix.