Medellín, baby!

Two weeks ago Ranis and I went to the beautiful city of Medellín. It was my first time there, and I had heard so many good things about this city. We spent the the friday walking around and explore some of the city. It is true what they say about beautiful girls over there.. You fall in love in every corner.. But the purpose of this trip was the mini-camp of CISV Medellín.

We went to the meeting point at 9.30 am on saturday. At the meeting point we saw 87 participants and a bunch of leaders! The kids was full of energy while they ran around excited for the minicamp. After the leaders managed to put the kids into the busses and we were all set for departure, we drove to the campsite. They actually managed to leave one of the leaders at the meeting point, so he run after us and caught up with the bus after 15 minutes.

The plan for the first half of this day was some get-to-know-each other activities aka. name games. While the group had fun with names, Ranis and I backed out for a bit for some work with our book. When we came back they had prepared a game where you first are going to eat an apple in a bowl of water and then you are going to find a candy inside a pile of flour decorated with an egg (see pictures). This made some of the kids look like they had put on way too much make up, in a funny way.

In the evening it was time for dinner, and an activity ran by the NJRs, Paula and Valentina. It was a nice evening with lullabies and pajama time. Most of the leaders went straight to bed after the leaders meeting, since it was a long and an active day.

9am – breakfast time! 9 AM!!! So nice to have a bit more relaxed time schedule, then what I’m used to in camps.. This day we just had 1 activity, and it was actually scheduled to be swimming/chilling/tanning time after lunch. After the mandatory cleaning time, we went back to the center of Medellín with smiles on our faces and happiness inside.

I would say, the best part of this camp, was the great food! WOOOOW! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack… everything was delicious. Its my first time with so much good food 🙂 Well done Medellín! On sunday evening, we went to have dinner with some of the leaders. I think it is very important to hang out with new people when you have the chance, and I don’t regret! Thank you for an amazing time Medellín. See you soon 😉


We have now been promoting the project we are a part of to the International Governing Board. Last week, we got asked if we wanted to make a short video about the cooperation we are a part of. The task was to make it as short as possible, interesting and show what this exchange has done. We hope you’ll like it, and spread it all over the world! So this is our result:


Leaders training in Bogotá

We started the day in a horrible way… We had to meet at 7.30am on a saturday (!) to be able to catch the bus to the campsite. Since I’m here in Colombia, I’m trying to adapt as much as possible and that means arriving in Colombian time; 15 minutes late.. The campsite was next to a small town outside Bogotá and it was an amazing place with beautiful nature, great facilities, delicious food and very sunny(that made me sunburned…)!


During the weekend we had a lot of different trainings. What we loved about these trainings was that the staff had made activities and games out of very theoretical topics. To illustrate, put us in situations, to plan and have a lot of fun!


We had a lot of different experiences in this camp. Some were new, but brought experience from other organizations og sports and some had been to several camps. This was a really good training with a lot of new perspectives 🙂


The Colombian life

Colombia is amazing! I’ve spend 2 weeks here already, and seen many different places in Bogotá. The city is very easy to understand with Carreras y Calles (streets and avenues), but the private public transport system is very randomized. If you want to go somewhere as a tourist, taxi is a good solution and it is cheap! I’m starting to get to know some of the busses and the Transmilenio (the «overground» system thats very easy to understand and it is frequent!) helps me getting around.


The first weekend I met the interchange group between CISV Norway and CISV Colombia and we went to a salt mine 50 km outside Bogotá that was turned into Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá in the 1950s. The idea of a cathedral inside the mountain is pretty cool, and the sculptures and the lighting gives you a magical impression. It was really nice to listen to their experiences during their 2 weeks stay here in Colombia. With the excursions, the minicamp and to see how Colombian people lives. Its so nice to see how young people from different cultures can interact with each other and have such a great time while learning about the country.


The frase; Building global friendship, gives me a whole new perspective in this project. I haven’t spent much time at my apartment so far because I’m meeting new awesome people every day! The friendliness in Colombia is amazing. People are so inclusive (when they are not speaking spanish), and takes me all over the city. I’ve been invited to some family dinners and they are all kind of adopting me as a son even after 5 minutes..

Bogota Piru Arnold

While I am used to snow, wear 5 layers of clothing and skiing in Norway at this time of the year, I’m wearing t-shirts, walk in the parks and getting sunburned during my stay in Bogotá. It is supposed to be a rainy area, but so far I’ve only seen rain for just 2 hours. The weather is usually warm during day and cold at night. As a foreign viking, nighttime is sweater time 😉

Bolivar park
Simon Bolivar park

Stereotypes impressions after 2 weeks:

Colombian time = Not true, 50/50 within the population.
Dangerous = Not very, the most dangerous I’ve experienced so far is crossing the streets..
Crazy taxi drivers = TRUE
Amazing food = True
Great coffee = TRUE!
Beautiful women = TRUE!!!!!!
Dancing = They are all good dancers, and I feel embarrassed every time I go out in a party.
Lazy people = Not true, most of the people work from 8-18.

Cow LA Conijera
La Conejera

Saying Goodbye… Norwegian style!

The last weekend we had in Norway was definitely a weekend we will not forget –and I don’t think I’m talking only about the two Colombians but for the other three foreigners that were with us in Eggedal (two from the Gambia and one from Kenya).

In our first post we talked about the LNU (the Norwegian Children and Youth Council) preparation course with members of two other exchange projects. Well, we all loved that first week together so much that we decided to spend a couple of our last days together again before we all left for the second part of the exchange outside Norway.


The cabin trip had quite an unexpected beginning while arriving: Mikkel’s car flipped over the small hill, which was literally ice and then just landing in its head. Although at first I must admit it was a bit scary, it was just funny and kind of ironic in a way. What made this beginning so funny was the fact that we (3 non-Norwegians) were wondering in the middle of nowhere, up in a mountain and walking in an iced-floor behind two prepared and experienced Norwegians with our bags and some food we had bought before. Basically it was, with no doubts, a real “cultural experience” for us.



The next day came and with it the other people of the group. We had decided to make a Christmas celebration so that all the foreigners could experience that before going back to our countries. The result was lovely! Great food (I should mention that the 4 non-Norwegian girls cooked a very Norwegian dish and apparently it was as it should be, which of course made us feel proud of our team work), great people, lots of funny moments, laughter, games and for sure one of my top ten Christmas celebrations ever!



When we got back to Bergen, we had a great “quiz night” at the CISV house with tons of people, ate rice porridge and laughed way too much, it was a great way of saying goodbye to the place that had been our second home during those months and, of course, to the people.

Leaving Norway was difficult for many reasons. First, saying goodbye is never easy and this was not the exception, it was sad to say goodbye to all the great people we met and to Bergen, our amazing city. Second, we were excited to be going back home and see our friends and families, and of course, we missed our beautiful city Bogotá, but then again the fact that we had so many conflicted emotions made it even harder.

That is why, even though it’s been a month, I would like to take advantage of this blog post and thank everyone we met, all the people who made our days sunny even though it was incredibly cold. Thank you all for great memories and great moments.

Last but not least, belated Happy New Year for all!!!