Category: colombia

Disarmament and the Avocado

The mood in the Bogota plaza was more sombre than excited during the ceremony marking the FARC’s final disarmament. There were a few balloons, flags, and the vegetable mandala folks, but everything felt muted in the face of uncertainty. Recent judicial decisions have challenged the government’s ability to rapidly implement the accords. Social leaders continue

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Waiting for Everything

Going to jail is harrowingly boring. The evening before my friend Larisa goes to visit Jorge, I accompany her as she checks off the visiting requirements. Everything must be perfectly contained to get inside. We buy toilet paper, laundry soap, and fried chicken to pack into a transparent plastic container no bigger than four litres.

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Variations on a Vocabulary

There are still moments, as I pass families and small groups of friends in the park, that I catch my breath over snatches of conversation. It is all normal chatter: dinner plans, boy problems, family news. The miracle is in my effortless understanding of everyday Spanish: la cena, el tipo, la tía. A new language

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Convergence

The eye doctor told me I have a convergence problem at my last checkup. I couldn’t help myself: I burst into laughter. He looked at me sideways and spoke slowly, “Are you sure you understand me?” How do you explain to a doctor that convergence is a lifelong struggle that goes far beyond bringing eye

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