Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hello again, again from Bogota

It’s been a while since my last post, hasn’t it? My excuse for that is the recent rash of big changes in my life: a return to the U.S. after my four month stint back as an accompanier with Fellowship of Reconciliation, a fabulous new job with Peace Brigades International’s Colombia project, and my move across the country from San Francisco to D.C.

As I write this, I've just arrived in Colombia, again. As the new Communications and Outreach Officer (I know, a kinda long title) for PBI Colombia, I’ll be participating in the project’s yearly assembly in Bogota during the next couple weeks, then conducting site visits to several of the field teams. PBI is a human rights accompaniment organization like FOR but on a much larger scale, with field teams in Bogota, the petroleum region of Barrancabermeja, the Uraba region where I spent my first year with FOR, the city of Medellin, and an in-process expansion to the southern city of Cali. 

The move to D.C. has gone smoothly, all things considered. D.C. has never been a place I’d had a hankering to live in; in fact, until really recently I more or less refused to look at D.C.-based job postings and bemoaned what I thought of as the "Beltway bubble". But then this job came along, allowing me to continue doing the work I love of supporting communities and organizations in Colombia doing incredible and inspiring human rights work, and I couldn’t pass it up. Besides, PBI is unique among most organizations with D.C. offices in that our staff is overwhelmingly based in-country, which helps keep me out of, or at least on the very edge of, the Beltway bubble.

Given my new job, I’ll be continuing to write about human rights in Colombia, but from a style a bit different than you’re likely used to from my previous posts and articles: it will be more about the communities and organizations PBI accompanies and the problems they face and less direct political analysis. As always, I’d love your feedback, and suggest you also check out PBI Colombia’s blog, where I will be editing and, at times, writing, as well as our Facebook page.

Thanks for your support!