Giulia’s diary, 14 January 2015

Where to begin? Basically I have just realised how much of a challenge this will be. So today we arrived in Santa Marta and I am currently in what’s going to be mine and Hannah’s room for the next nine weeks. Our beds and the room are big and wide. There’s a third bed, but no one seems to be using it, even though we understood that there was. We haven’t seen the whole house yet, or the whole family for that matter. There doesn’t seem to be a bathroom inside, just the washtub in the garden for washing dishes and face/hands and the ‘shower’, a place to have some privacy for using the water available to freshen up. And, of course, there’s the oh-so-dreaded outside toilet. It wasn’t so bad using it, but I am much more afraid to go now that it’s dark. Only from washing my teeth and face, I got back into the room with about five bugs and one spider on my leg. Also, there’s a massive spider, more like a crab, on the corner of the door that I’m afraid will move during the night, or day, or anytime. Oh, we also have some chuchos (dogs), chickens I think, and the smallest/thinnest kitten I have ever seen. There are lots of animals here: chickens, cows, dogs, cats, goats, horses. One thing I was not expecting is the amount of noise there is at night. It is absolutely unbelievable: dogs barking at/with each other and roosters singing at every hour. I suppose I’m going to get used to this as well.

Everyone in the group seems really excited and we all live pretty close together. We are very close to Leti’s house and the Casa Comunal. Vicenta, my Spanish teacher for three days, told us about the history and politics of the country; it’s very interesting.

It’s going to be a great challenge to resist these nine weeks without a shower and using an outside toilet. I think my parents and friends will be surprised that I lasted and about the things that I have done/will do. I’m sure it will help me to be more sensible about other people’s lives.

Written by ICS volunteer Giulia Nespolo