I have been here for about a month now. I have been constantly impressed by the kindness of everyone I have met in Colombia. Everyone is incredibly social and wants to make you feel comfortable and appreciated.
It seems like some time now but the first 10 days here were filled with an A tournament in Medellin. Before the 3 days of play, there were coaching clinics, visits to schools in the poor neighborhoods of the city that have ultimate programs, welcoming ceremonies and showcase games. Competition began on Thursday and we played against some of the most passionate and hard working teams that exist. The tournament was very well run and it was amazing to play in a stadium with tons of screaming south american ultimate fans.
After the tournament was over and people trickled home on planes I took an overnight bus to Bogota to play in a tournament there. The tournament is played on some beautiful polo fields in near a smaller town outside of Bogota called Cajica. The elevation is considerably higher in Cajica, closer to 8,000 ft and the first couple days were brutal. I managed to play pretty well, but most people could run me all over. I played with a team called Urutaou named after a mythical ghost bird that cannot be hunted. Our evenings were spent playing the national game of Tejo, something like horseshoes with gunpowder, drinking Aguila and eating chicharon. The 7th of Dec. was a day of the virgin mary and that evening the whole town was out in the streets lighting candles and watching a marathon ran on a loop though the middle of town.
After Cajica I returned to Medellin to help coach a camp for Colombian juniors who were trying out for the juniors worlds team 2010. Amazing kids, amazing accomodations. The rest of the world should watch out because these juniors work harder than anyone and are going to be good.
I will spend Christmas with friends in Bogota and then travel to the coast to see Cartagena, a beautiful colonial city, Tayrona, an amazing national park and some other cities and sites along the way.
I miss everyone at home and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.