I have been in Colombia for two weeks now. The flights were a little complicated with an overnight layover in Bogota, but I was very happy when I arrived. I am doing the faculty led UA in Colombia program to work on my Spanish.

In fact, this is my first time writing in English in quite a while. I try to only speak English with my parents and some of my Colombian friends if they are trying to work on their English like I am trying to work on my Spanish. It is a little strange speaking very little English. It is certainly harder for me to express myself in Spanish, but I feel that my Spanish has already improved quite a bit. I find it much easier to understand my host family than when I first arrived. The first few days I felt that speaking only Spanish made me quite tired, but now I do not get tired from speaking only Spanish.

We just got back from our first weekend trip to Santa Marta. The beaches were beautiful and we also got to see the town of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which inspired many of his books including 100 Years of Solitude. I have been reading 100 Year of Solitude in Spanish and am almost finished. That made it extra interesting to see the town where Gabriel Garcia Marquez was raised.

I have made some great friends so far on the trip. This is the first time in my life sharing a bedroom for an extended period of time, but it is a lot of fun living with my roommate. We have a really great group of 17 students, and all of us love spending time together. I am really looking forward to the next four weeks of this study abroad program and I expect to leave with some lifelong friends.