As chaotic and foreign a Finnjamboree can feel, at least we will be able to share our experiences with the people or group we came here with. But imagine that you not only were alone in your group but also the only one from your country? That is exactly what 27 year old Camilo Ayala is experiencing, being the only one representing not only Colombia but South America as well.
For 21 years Camilo has been a scout, and in 2018 a World Scout Moot took place in Peru. A Scout Moot is a scout camp for rovers and young adults and that’s where Camilo met some new Finnish friends. They stayed in touch and his Finnish friend even visited him in Colombia.
“Before the corona pandemic she told me about finnjamboree Kajo 2022. I was interested but it was like 3 years until then. But in the end I decided to go” says Camilo.
He tried to convince friends and family to go with him but with no luck, since Kajo would take place when a lot of schools start. He even reached out to the Colombian scout association but there still weren’t anyone else planning to go. Eventually the organization gave him permission to go represent Colombia by himself.
With some financial support from his Finnish friend he could pay for the flights and participation fee.
“My friend worked in the international service team, and told me I would also be the only participant from South America. I thought ‘oh well, that’s nice’”.
Camilo says that the main difference is the language because there is no Spanish anywhere. It also takes some effort from him to every day switch to English. “But in general I feel welcomed here” he adds. “Sometimes I do feel alone and it’s weird, but I have made some friends. I like being social”.
But as everyone else he also got a task at Kajo.
“I’m part of the videography team, we are in charge of creating the audiovisual content for the youtube team.” Camilo is also teaching some salsa classes at the camp.
What about cultural differences?
“The parties are different, and the food” Camilo says and laughs.
Camilo arrived to Finland the 29th of June and has been travelling around before Kajo.
Will you visit Finland again?
“I hope so. I like the country because it’s a calm place. The culture is also interesting, including that there are swedish speakers here. Finns are also very polite”.
“Thank you so much, kiitos and tack” Camilo wishes everyone at Kajo.
Text: Jessica Nyberg
Article photo: Didrik Lundsten