Friday, October 16, 2015

Day 12. Thursday. Oct 15

PSF office
PSF office is located in the heart of downtown Bogota, in a busy pedestrian-only street. 50 meters away is Emerald Trading center of Colombia. Here you can find hundreds of people flocking the trading center to buy and sell emeralds. In walking distance is La Candelaria or the "old city" of Bogota. This place is known for houses, churches and buildings built in Spanish Colonial and Baroque architecture. Also nearby is Plaza de Bolivar (Bolivar Square) which is the first ever public monument is the city. It's beautiful!

Plaza De Bolivar:

PSF office is located on the 10th floor of the building. Everyday, when entering the building we find an elderly security guard wearing glasses sitting on a desk and reading something. The moment he sees us, he takes off his glasses and gives us a look of disbelief and confusion - even though he sees us every single day. We are starting to think he either has amnesia or he feels we are here to steal the El Dorado treasure stored somewhere in the PSF building. The PSF building elevator only goes up to the 9th floor and we take the stairs to the 10th floor .... and hope the office is open :)

Day 12. Unfortunately, that was not the case today :) . The office was locked. BUT, that was not a problem. As we are extremely motivated, highly professional individuals, we sat on the floor and started our first meeting with Francios.

30 minutes later, our knight in shining armor, Mathieu brought the keys to the office and we resumed our work inside the office meeting room.

 Mathieu with the keys:

In the afternoon, we planned to drive to Centro COMParte office in San Cristobal (Santa Rosa neighborhood) where we would shoot the interview for the local Bogota TV channel, City TV. After couple of hours of work, we grabbed a subway sandwich for lunch and met our SAP communications colleague, Laura Gordillo in the PSF office. We reached Centro COMParte by 2:00 PM and waited for the cameraman and reporter of City TV..... and waited.....

We met a young boy named Kevin - extremely smart and intelligent. He is a son of a single mom in the neighborhood. His mom has 5 more kids and she is the only bread winner of the family. But that did not seem to affect Kevin in any way. He loves computers and understands English. He was even designing an animation on the computer software, which he learned in school. I learned from Tracey that he was always hanging around Centro COMParte as he loves to work on computers. I truly wish Kevin a great future and hope he is able to make a difference in his community.

Kevin on the left. Due to privacy laws, I am not allowed to post a picture of his face .

meanwhile... we were still waiting ................ for the news reporters..

Cafe COMParte
Tracey is the coordinator or the program director (as I like to call it) of Cafe COMParte. Essentially, it is a coffee shop that she manages in Centro COMParte. The organic coffee is sourced from local farmers and tastes great! Tracey even bakes cookies herself and sells them in her coffee shop. Theo and I helped move the coffee machine (quite heavy) from the computer lab to the coffee shop. Tracey then introduced us to the new employee who will be running the coffee shop on a day to day basis. We met the Father of the church in Centro COMParte and sat down with him for a cup of coffee.

Cafe COMParte crew.

....meanwhile it was 3:30 PM and there was still no sign of the reporters.
Finally, after almost 2 hours of waiting, the reporter and the cameraman showed up. We did a few shoots in the Greenhouse, computer lab and the textile room. In the greenhouse, we were asked to wander around while the cameraman shot the video. Then each of us were asked to answer: "what was our role with PSF". Right. No introduction, no background, nothing. Just answer the question -  the reporter told us. We were given 10 seconds each. Tracey did an amazing voice over in Spanish for each of our speeches.
Anyway, the final video looked very different from what we expected.

Father, with local community members.

We reached the hotel by 7:00 PM and headed straight to Rene's room for a potluck dinner! Here we cooked salad, rice, chapati (bread), corn, etc. We had a great dinner! We then watched our interview on the local TV! Yes, I'm officially a celebrity now :).

Final Outcome:

At 10:00 PM, 6 of us took a cab to a local pub called Latino Power, where Tracey, Sindy and rest of the PSF youngsters ;) joined us. The music was great and we had a good time dancing for about 3 hours!

Another long day tomorrow (Friday), so Buenas Noches and Hasta Manyana!

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