Photos by Audrey Friedline (The George Washington University), Student Correspondent CET Colombia, Fall 2019 The First 10 Days in Cali Day one: I landed in Cali, Colombia and was immediately welcomed by CET staff, my local roommates and this dreamy view from my new apartment. Day two: Over a shared picnic lunch in the neighborhood park, our whole crew got to know each other. In this cohort we have 7 American students that live with 7 local roommates. CET is the only study abroad program that provides housing with local students. It is a special opportunity to learn about a Colombia from the perspective a peer and build authentic friendships through this channel. Day three: In between orientation sessions, my roommate and I took a walk to the nearby campus of our partnering university, Univalle. Univalle is a large school with beautiful outdoors spaces, two large ponds with iguanas casually roaming, students hanging out and hundreds of murals filling the walls. The murals are works of art freely done by students and often provide political and social commentary. They demonstrate an engaged and talented student body. Day four: We got the opportunity to see the beautiful city of Cali through a guided city tour. Some of the spots Cali likes to flaunt are Cristo Rey, Cerro de Las Tres Cruces, El Parque de los Gatos, the Cali River, and La Ermita Church. The streets of Cali are colorful and lively. Day five: The neighbors of our apartments complex came together to throw our CET cohort a Beinvenidos party. Our party was complete with a Zumba class, food, good conversations with the kids of the apartment complex (many of who wanted to practice their English), and Salsa dancing. Consistently, people have gone out of their way to make us feel at home in the most warm and generous ways. Day six: One of my roommates and I trekked across town to meet my roommate Jenni’s family. They welcomed us into their home with steaming plates of food and fresh fruit juice. We stayed for hours, listening to music as her dad took time to explain the regional differences of Salsa music and her mom pulled out and passed around baby pictures of Jenni. Day seven: Living on our own, we have rotated cooking dinner for each other. This is our dinner of rice, pasta, tuna and ketchup on top, made by my Colombian roommate. It was delish!! Day eight: Attending an event on the Univalle Campus about the experience of Afro-Colombians, some of our cohort members got the opportunity to share and answer questions about the experiences of Black Americans. Many similar injustices and challenges arose between both communities. The discussion was enlightening and well received by the audience. Day nine: we attended the official orientation of Univalle. Here we were joined with other exchange students from all parts of the world including Mexico, Austria, Peru, Japan, and Germany. Our orientation included a tour that showed us the grounds of the University including this amphitheater in the center of campus. Day ten: Some of our cohort members ventured into a different neighborhood to attend an indigenous dance circle. Hundreds of people were gathered in a circle to learn traditional indigenous dances from the area. Day twelve: To celebrate the end of the week, our group gathered for a fun night of Spanish Karaoke, empanadas and dancing. Friendships are forming fast, this city is beautiful, and I look forward to the way that things will progress as we roll into the beginning for classes and dive deeper into exploring our new home.