Confessions of a Design Fellow - Numero Tres

bogotaWell, three and a half months later, the time has come for me to complete my Design Fellowship with Architecture for Humanity. Part of me feels like I have been here forever and another part feels like I have just arrived here in Bogotá!
I am amazed at how “full” my life has been here. Welcoming friends, kind families and interesting work with AfH have made my stay very enjoyable. Learning some of the language, experiencing Colombian culture and having the opportunity to explore other parts of the country have made my time richer.

The Bogotá chapter currently has many things on the go, top projects include continued efforts with Hogar Niños, PCK (Palos, Cuerdas y kotizas) and a collaboration with Corporación Juntos Construyendo Futuro to build an addition for a local school. It is a very exciting time around the office as we have recently undergone a renovation that has greatly enhanced our working space. We feel very blessed as we are being approached daily by architects and other professionals willing to donate their time and skills to assist with the work at hand.

It is difficult for me to begin to list the highlights of my Design Fellowship, as there are many! The recent PCK Design Brigade was a great experience for me: both in the planning phase and implementation. I learned a lot in the time leading up to the Brigade as well as the day of. I loved collaborating with all the members of the AfH-Bogotá team and architects who so graciously volunteered their time to make the day a success. The participants were fantastic as well, and the youth not only learned about architecture, but helped us to develop a design for them that will meet their needs for the space in the best way possible.

As I prepare to leave, I have mixed feelings. I am looking forward to returning to my home in Canada, to be reunited with friends and family, and pick up my life in my country. I am sad to leave the relationships I have formed here, and the many projects that I have been involved with at Architecture for Humanity. I feel that I have had many valuable experiences with AfH during my time in Bogotá however, and I am excited to return with these new skills and see where they may take me in the future.

I am disappointed to leave Architecture for Humanity at a time when there are so many exciting projects on the go, but I am encouraged by the growth I have seen in the organization even during my short time here.  I will be sure to keep in contact and cannot wait to see how the projects develop and how the group grows. I have full confidence with the many talented individuals connected with AfH-Bogotá and I am sure that the future is very bright!

I must give one last thanks to all the many people – both in Canada and Colombia – who have contributed to making this opportunity possible for me. I finish with encouragement to you all to embark in a similar adventure of your own, should you have the chance. I am sure you will be amazed by the many things you will take out of the experience, both professionally and personally, I know I have been!

Thank you and ch-chao for now,

Lindsay

 

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