I have the gift of vacations. Unlike many people I know, I am very good at doing nothing for long extended periods of time. Ever since I graduated from high school and realized that real life involved working forever, early retirement has become my goal.
And what a fabulous vacation I had! Here are some of the highlights:
I visited my parents in northern Mexico and we took an epic train ride on the Chepe and ate a lot of tacos.
Skiing with the family in Panorama.
Visiting old friends and yes, working a little bit in Ottawa.
Visiting the Caribbean coast, including Sincelejo, Mampujan, and a girl’s trip to Minca. It was wonderful to be reunited with friends who experienced my time as a Seeder with me and thus understand that part of myself in a way no one else does. We laughed and drank a lot of coffee. I miss them already.
In light of all this, I am finding it difficult to go back to work and the routine of normal life. So, here are some things that encourage me that I am not ready to retire quite yet.
Art. I think all of the craftiness of my friends on the coast is wearing off on me and I have decided to try to become more artistic in the coming year. I am already working on a bird mobile. I would also like to explore more of the connections and possibilities of art and advocacy. Part of this involves writing. I would very much like to seriously focus on improving my writing and continuing to seek to do that through my job, especially in Spanish.
Days of Prayer and Action 2014. This is an annual campaign where faith groups (and anyone else who wants to participate) engage in advocacy and prayer for Colombia. More information to come!
Developing my job. I am excited to see how I can continue to use my skills and develop my job into something that is mutually beneficial for myself, the Justapaz office and the people that we work with, even though I am finding it difficult to get up and go to the office everyday.
The French Bakery by the MCC office now sells the most heavenly meringues. This alone makes life in Bogota worthwhile. Chocolate, pistachio and dried cranberry.
Reading. This is the year when I become super-smart, or at least more well-read. Someday in the future I would like to go back to school, but what is stopping me from learning everything I can now? This includes learning even more about the Colombian context and reading a lot of Pablo Neruda.
Cine foro. Some friends and I are starting a movie and discussion club. Send me any suggestions for films we should watch.
Wearing these boots. In general, dressing up to go to work. After two years of tank tops and shorts, I find it incredibly enjoyable to dress up for work.
Doctor’s appointments. It has come to my attention in an unfortunate way that I have worms. Big ones, probably a parting gift from life in Mampujan. While I do enjoy not being alone, I think it is probably better for all of us if I get this taken care of sooner rather than later.
Exploring Bogota. I live in a beautiful, international, urban centre and I am excited about taking advantage of that fact.
More than anything, this year I want to see Jorge Montes released from jail and declared innocent. I want to see corruption free presidential elections. I want a peace deal to be signed and a smooth, violence-free transition into a post-conflict era.I want victim’s rights to be not only something on paper, but the reality. I want to see and participate in peace this year and am willing to forgo early retirement to work with all of the millions of Colombians who share this goal.