I had never imagined in my life that I could travel to Latin America. Then, someday by midnight time in August when I was about to rest in the middle of my duty as a tour leader somewhere in Germany, I got a call telling me that I was one of the scholarship recievers to learn Spanish in Colombia. To my surprise, I was supposed to shout, “NO WAY! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” but what really happened that time that I was numb and speechless in seconds. I thought I was dreaming. But it was not. It was a dream which would become real. Then you could not imagine how crazy I was after I hang up the phone. I screamed, I laughed, I even jumped on the hotel’s super expensive bed. And my roommate probably thought that I was possesed by Michael Jackson’s unrestful soul as I screamed and shouted “HIYHIY” just like him. I just did not care! What I cared was that I would go to Colombia. Although I had got no idea how Colombia was. All I knew was the one and the only Escobar. I didn’t even know that Shakira is Colombian. Poor me!
Frankly speaking, I didn’t even have time to do my own predeparture research about Colombia since I was super occupied. Landed in Jakarta after a 15 hours flight (and transit) from Austria on 20th at dawn, then I had to be back to my apartement around 4.30 a.m, slept for an hour or two then had to wake up at 7 and had to be at the Ambassy of The Republic of Colombia at 9 a.m, as I was told so by Ms. Audra from ASITA, to take my airplane ticket for the trip to Colombia since my flight was at 19.05 on the same day.
I thought after picking up the ticket and listening to a short explanation, I could have just gone back home as I was really tired and sleepy and I had even not yet unpacked and not to mention had to repack my luggage from the previous trip. But then, Ms. Reina told me that I would have a briefing with Señor Alfonso Garzon M, The Ambassador. WHAAAT? Well, I had no other choice but had to listen to him. And it was in spanish then translated into English. It was a “double” brief and it was a torture since I was too sleepy but I had to keep my eyes wide open otherwise this guy would kill me and take back my scholarship. *you can imagine of Mr. Bean’s face when he is so sleepy. To tell you the truth, I had no idea what it was all about but to my surprise I could even address a question that time. Hope you don’t get mad to me, Pak Alfonso,for being honest.
But thanks to you Pak Alfonso Garzón, thanks to The Ambassy of The Republic of Colombia for Indonesia, thanks to Cancillería, FEALAC, ICETEX. Thank you for giving me this huge opportunity to become one of the 11 Indonesian tour guides to participate in a such life changing experience whereas the participants were aimed to experience the cultural exchange in order to create a mutual understanding and to strengthen the friendship and cooperation among the nations through living in Colombia and learning the second most spoken language in the world, Spanish.