In Colombia September is dedicated to the feast of Amor y Amistad (Love & Friendship), with the actual day falling on the third Saturday of the month. This is the country’s equivalent of St Valentine’s Day- people go out to bars and clubs, couples spend the day together doing something special and workplaces, schools and groups of friends organise amigo secreto games- a sort of secret Santa for Love and Friendship.
In our school lots of the staff joined in with the amigos secretos so I figured this would be a nice way to integrate with the school community and get to know more about Colombian culture. The day before our secret friend lunch I headed out and bought my gifts for Sulamy (The English teacher, who I had been assigned to get a present for). I got a selection of sweets, marshmallows and of course chocolate.
During the lunch everyone was in good spirits. I was too until I saw what the food was- lasagne. (Friends, family and blog-stalkers will know that I really despise cheese) I tried to quietly and subtly say “Cheers, but I’ll be fine with a bit of coke” (Coca-cola! I don’t know what you were thinking.) but once one person had heard a whisper of “no me gusta queso” the whole room was hustle and bustle with an interrogation: “Are you sure you don’t like cheese?” “Have you tried lasagne its really nice?” and “Just try it, you might like this cheese”. Needless to say, a chuckle and smile (of course in my head I’m going “PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I DO NOT LIKE CHEESE, I NEVER HAVE DONE AND NEVER WILL”) kind of got me out of trouble with this one- but apparently some staff members are conspiring to buy me cheese because they’re sure if I just eat some I will like it. I admire their efforts, I really do. They should work for the secret service or something.
We exchanged gifts, had a laugh… Ate lasagne. All was good. My gift was lovely- a selection of different traditional Colombian sweets. They were delicious! Pictures below.