One year ago my knowledge of Colombia was limited to these facts:
- Bogota is a big city
- They speak Spanish
- Sofia Vergara and Shakira are very attractive.
- Medellin is where Pablo Escobar shot many people and was shot himself.
- They make coffee.
- Valderrama was a great soccer player with big hair like Side Show Bob from the Simpsons.
August of last year I took a trip to Panama. It was a fantastic place as I loved everything about it other then there was no Lacrosse. I embraced all the people and the people embraced me with open arms. What stuck out to me was that many of the people I was embracing were not from Panama, they were Colombian.
I found these people to not only be shockingly good looking on the outside but also genuinely good people on the inside. Every time I met somebody from Colombia they approached me as if I had known them for years. The second time I saw any of them it was a big “HOLA Joe! come estas?” I learned very quickly that meeting a colombian once is enough to be considered a friend.
When I got back home I could not forget about these people. It left me wanted to explore more.
At the time of my return I saw a video featuring John Christmas on Inside Lacrosse about lacrosse in Colombia. It just so happens that John lives close to me and we cross paths fairly frequently. Therefore next time I saw him at a tournament I pressed about his trip to Colombia. He responded by giving me the contact info of Miles Makdisi.
A few e-mails went back and forth then I purchased a ticket. There I was in Colombia shaking hands with Miles. In the first evening I kept saying to myself “Am I really here?”
To my amazement my journey had just begun with Miles as my guide. I quickly learned that Miles is a very special guy with passion that is second to none.
Miles truly exemplifies passion to grow the game and for one week I had the honor to follow him. Before I knew it I was taking a bus in the middle of the night through Colombia on my way to teach a class in spanish in a town that 4 months before I never knew existed.
All of the sudden all the stats, documentaries and travel warnings had faces, personalities and smiles.
I had the best week of my life and now consider Colombia a magical place with amazing people. Every day I think about how I can get back and more importantly help the people get to Denver that I now consider friends. At this point I am not only determined to help the Men's team succeed in Denver but I also plan on continuing my support by helping the u19 girls team get to Scotland in the summer of 2015.
Help me get the team there by supporting Colombia Lacrosse here