Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Dutch bikes and bogota.
26 januari 2014
Dutch bikes and bogota.
8 million inhabitants, a stretch of land in between two mountainranges and a lot of traffic. And apart from that, it's just another big south-american city with it's own little secrets and stories.
And I bike around the city.
I bike around the mayor's house. He tried to make the garbage pick up system public a while ago, while it was private before. A private company who also arranges the fresh drinking water in the whole city. By making it public, the whole city was ramped with garbage within notime and public health becoming a serious problem. Wrong policy or lack of executive power? I guess, but what surpises me more is that he got prosecuted for it. Why can't legal and executive power be held apart in this country?
I bike on.
I bike through the central with it's public and private hospitals, with it's fragmented company's offering medical services and hear people talking about 'ley cien' which means the hundreth law. A law that was put into practise in ninetythree that allowed the medical services to act like companies. Marketforces took over the whole sector. For the better, say some, because more people got access to health care. For the worse say some, because ever since the difference between rich and poor has grown. Some have no insurance at all, some go for scratch and only the rich can pay to stay healthy. Anyway, with the government falling away as a central organ of healthcare supply, corruption seem to have taken a normal place in day to day health policy, because of lack of contral and leadership.
I bike through the streets where I see contemporary people with the newest smartphones, the latest accesoires and best outfits. They walk on to their own vision of the colombia of tomorrow. They go to work early and leave late, sometimes for 7 days a week just to get the newest tools available. Whereas on the other side of the streets, let's say in the south of the city, people are unempleyed, criminalcy rates skyrocket and educational level is low.
I bike through downtown.
I see the foodbank company, a wonderful initiative of christion origin that helps to root out local and regional malnutrition. Set up by former pope Johan Paul in a worldwide foodbanking program, this union strides forward to retain an important market role: it buys the food that gets produced or grown but doesn't get sold to the supermarkets. Besides that, it receives all the near-to-end products that will be thrown away anyway, and together these products get transported and distributed to around 83.000 thousand children and adults who need it the most. I was blasted away (though I could keep still on my bike) by the efficiency and hard work the 123 volunteers managed to accomplish day by day. An example of a simple solution of two major problems worldwide: hunger and waste.
I bike, and by now I'm beginning to feel the dirty smog from the traffic on my face. Next time I'll bring a scarve to protect my lungs. I reckon this country is going to need at least a few more pulmonologists in the next few years.
I bike and I arrive at the university (no, just joking, I go by bus because traffic there get's too sick, but it fits in the story anyway). A beautiful campus with broad yards, trees spread through the whole place and the buildings perfectly held in a late 1800's style that illustrates the most beautiful finca's. It almost seems too good to be true, with it's sportsfield and small beak running through the 20-like pittoresque buildings. There's restaurants and cafe's on every corner. The harsh life of what Bogota shows seems far away here. How can students be taught to be professionals in this society when all they see is this beauty in the first years of their study? How does it prepare them for the real world? The very course I am following turns out to just that: Expose us students to the different communities around town and investigate. What is needed and how can we get to improve the situation? I must admit, the level of education we receive is high, and the professors seem to know their field well.
I bike home.
Home were my little room is, where I can cook and shower to my own like. Home where I feel safe already, thanks to the family who let's me do my own thing but who is always ready to listen or to speak when I need it. Home where I keep awake for the few hours of free time to finish homework, write and read (spanish level is rising again! desperately needed) , work out (compound with a pool and fitnessgym) and think about how all these things I find out will affect me in the next 7 weeks. And how will I affect them?
I bike in my sleep.
Foto's bij verslag (1)
26 januari 2014 05:05 | Door: Jorrit de Vries
And now hoping I don't get kidnapped by the guerilla because of verbal politic interference...
26 januari 2014 10:42 | Door: Anna
16 februari 2014 03:00 | Door: diego
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