May 18th | Bogota Colombia– Service Learning Update

Today was a lot more relaxed. We didn’t have to leave the apartment until about 11am. We took a taxi out to a private school “Beth Shalom” where I met with the board of directors of the school and then later with the faculty. Colombians ask a lot of really great questions. I love the dialogue that I am having with them. They a hungry for information on leadership and entrepreneurship. Because I was speaking to a group of educators, their questions were mostly about how they could best prepare their children for the future. I was impressed by the amount of notes that they take at each of the sessions I have spoken at. I was blessed to speak to the large number of faculty at the school. I was able to share my passion and understanding and offered them an insight into worldviews and cultural context. I spoke for about 45 minutes and at the end, the staff laid hands on me and prayed over me. Being here has been the most amazing, yet humbling experience of my life. I am so honored to be able to pour myself and all I have learned into these whom are hungry for knowledge.

We headed back to Bogota and straight to University Bosque. Before our next session I received feedback from the Dean of Education. He had attended some of my session the night before. He was impressed with my presentation and complimented me on my ability to take complex subjects and reduce them to a simplistic manageable message that didn’t overwhelm but informed the audience in practical and useful ways. I was most honored to know this feedback. I had actually said early this morning that he is the type of person I believe I could spend hours speaking with and learn so much from him.

Tonight’s conference went much better. We were all in one room and at capacity. Many notes were taken – some even took pictures of my presentation to remember the information. I was most impressed with the questions and interaction. Tonight we spent a great deal of time talking about values, ethics, worldviews, conflict resolution and communication. At the end of the conference two young men (students from Beth Shalom) came up to me and asked a very insightful question “how do you do business with someone who is unethical?” then he asked how “can you do business with someone who refuses to recognize other worldviews?”

I have to say that I couldn’t do this conference without the amazing assistance of those who are translating for me. This afternoon with the school and tonight with the conference I had the pleasure of working with a fantastic interpreter “Tato”. I called Tato my shadow because every motion I made – he copied. When I was speaking with passion – he mirrored that passion. The funny thing is that he was wearing a black sweater tonight just like I was. I’ve attached a picture of Tato. I truly believe I’ve made a friend for life… He makes me want to learn Spanish! I discovered that Tato loves to hike so I told him he must come to Tennessee and I take him to the Great Smokie Mountains.

Tomorrow is the final day of the conference and then I spend all of Sunday here before leaving. More updates are to come.


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