Hola, Mi nombre es Khalid

Barranquilla has been a great host so far, with sumptuous food and amazingly warm people. The impression with which we came, has transformed into a delightful experience. The rich culture and the amazingly aromatic coffee makes this place THE place to be.

But wait, there is a catch. All is not awesome when it rains in Barranquilla! Arroyos (intermittently dry creeks) can become dangerous. We were advised by our security officer to be alert and careful with arroyos when it rains and we all wondered if the warning held any merit. Everything looked so calm and peaceful.

But, things do change in a heartbeat. We were out last night for dinner and it started drizzling. When we came out after an hour, the streets had formidable water streams (reminds me of Bangalore lol), although it did not really rain at all! I wonder what happens when it really rains. And today I found this sign on the road.

BxtTi1JIQAEoAUMGoing back to what we came here for, on Monday we met our clients, the Agencia Colombiana para la Reintegración (ACR) team, and spent a day at their office in Barranquilla. This government agency office was different and all the employees greeted us with a bright smile. Of course learning ‘mi nombre es Khalid’ really helped. In the coming days I will pick up some more Spanish as Dani has been super kind to teach me some of it already.

The Colombian Agency for Reintegration (ACR) is a subordinate entity of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia. It is in charge of coordinating, advising, and executing, in partnership with other public and private entities, the social and economic reintegration of the demobilized people from the Organized Illegal Armed Groups (OIAG).

It is really painful to hear the stories of how OIAGs have tormented the canvas of the society and comforting to see that agencies like ACR are relentlessly working on a solution despite all odds. We (Dani, Jordan and I) are fortunate and honored to be working with the ACR team and helping not just local society but entire Colombia change for the better.


Our CSC team and ACR team: (L to R) – Khalid Raza, Andres (ACR), Leena (ACR), Dani, Diana (ACR) and Jordan

After two days of unlimited experience-rich moments, I am looking forward to the rest of my assignment. Keep reading and Hasta Mañana!


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11 thoughts on “Hola, Mi nombre es Khalid

  1. vivmca September 17, 2014 at 10:41 am Reply

    Sounds like a really interesting project Khalid … and any place with good coffee is a winner with me. Looking forward to reading more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Khalid Raza September 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm Reply

      Thank you Viv. I am not a big fan of coffee but have been drinking it since I landed. Who knows, this may be the tipping point. I will sure take some of it back to India. Thank you for reading and commenting.


  2. maureenmonte September 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm Reply

    Hi Khalid! Thanks so much for your update! It is very exciting to see that your project has begun in earnest. Be careful of those floods – love that sign. I need that for work, too! 🙂 Your mission is so important – how very rewarding. Are all the people in the photo from IBM, or does that also include your client? Sending lots of positive energy, and know that you’re right where you belong, doing just what you are meant to do, and of course, fueling your progress with your rock star strengths.


    • Khalid Raza September 17, 2014 at 8:20 pm Reply

      And now we have a rock star team with Dani and Jordan. I added the caption for the image for you to identify ACR members. The work is now beginning to become more interesting. I will keep sharing the nuggets as and when I get some time to stop enjoying the awesomeness here 😉 Stay strong my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Trupthi September 18, 2014 at 12:20 am Reply

    Hey, thank you for the post Columbia seems to be an interesting place. If not for your article people like me who are in different countries wouldn’t have been able to know about the information like those weather transitions and specially about OIAG and the people working towards its resolution. Kudos to all those association!! ,and would like to congratulate you for being able to work with them.. 🙂 looking forward for more updates.. Very proud and happy to know you!!! 🙂


    • Khalid Raza September 18, 2014 at 8:21 pm Reply

      Oh yes Trupthi – it is a really a lovely place. I am enjoying every bit of it here. I am glad you took out time to read and acknowledge the situation here in Colombia. ACR is really working hard to make a positive difference in the lives of those who wandered off and also the society at large.

      Yesterday, I met a man who was a guerrilla soldier but now has given up arms. He was selling ice creams and I did buy one from him. I was touched to see how he has transformed from where he was to being a hard working man.

      The ice cream was tasty too!


  4. Wayne Tarken September 18, 2014 at 12:43 am Reply

    Namaste’ Khalid – Not sure there is a translation in Hindi for that word. Hope your assignment is going well. Say hello to my friend Remi who I believe is with you. Glad that you are continuing to use your skills to make an impact on others


    • Khalid Raza September 18, 2014 at 8:29 pm Reply

      Yes Wayne – that’s how we greet people with respect, but I use this form of greetings with only elders. With friends, a usual ‘hello or hi’ works fine. yeah Remi is with us and she is a lovely person, like the rest of the gang. I have passed on your message to her and may be she will reply here.

      Yeah, if we could help ACR become better and more productive, it would be a great joy of our lives as we will in turn impact so many other lives!


  5. maureenmonte September 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm Reply

    Thanks for adding the captions – you know me, my Individualization needs to see each person separately. :0 Love your energy and focus – look forward to more sharing! Onward!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Trupthi September 19, 2014 at 6:20 pm Reply

    Haha! I envy you khalid! 😉 Am sure it was delicious…:-) and those people are such an inspiration to keep our head up high in life no matter what the circumstances are.. Thanks a ton for all the updates, very refreshing!!
    Thanks again for replying! 🙂


  7. kelly September 29, 2014 at 4:22 am Reply

    Very interesting work you are doing


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