A strong woman is a woman who is straining. A strong woman is a woman standing on tiptoe and lifting a barbell while trying to sing Boris Godunov. A strong woman is a woman at work cleaning out the cesspool of the ages, and while she shovels, she talks about how she doesn’t mind crying,
During my first real brush with culture shock in Colombia, I ended up sitting on a bag of cabbages in the back of a truck and sobbing. It was the last day of the Mampujan march and the whole process had challenged my idea of organization and logistics. We had survived the planning beforehand, the
Before coming to Colombia, I spent a summer working with an Aboriginal women’s group in the Yukon. I thought I knew things, but one of the greatest lessons I learnt was how little I actually did. As I researched and read, I learnt more deeply about the realities of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, colonialism,
Vilma is in charge of the kitchen and the coffee and gives me my daily inspection when I arrive to fill up my mug. Within five minutes, I know if I have made the right clothing choices or not. When I cut my own bangs, Wilma was clear that it had not been a good
I celebrated my 30th birthday on Thursday night. Confession: it was not really my birthday, nor am I turning thirty. Rather, for a variety of reasons and crises, my real thirtieth birthday was not the celebration I had hoped it would be. So, we decided to redo it, and in the process, restart the decade.
One mark of being a foreigner here is comparing stories. Bring up the visa processes and expect a collective groan before someone launches into a complicated tale filled with woe, blood tests and paperwork. We love to outdo each other with tales of time spent standing in lines and being sent from one office to another.
“The barrenness of the poetic task: as if every day we look out at a courtyard of rubble and from this are required to make something beautiful.” – Theodore Roethke, quote found on the ever lovely Calm Things blog. For lunch sometimes, I go to a vegetarian restaurant near my office. The food is okay,
Mongui, Boyaca, is truly beautiful. This admission comes as no surprise to its residents. After all, they proudly proclaim, the town has been declared, year after year, as the most beautiful pueblo in the department. The streets and the cobblestone plaza are lined with colonial buildings painted in green and white and adorned with geraniums
“That moment, when I saw his arm sticking out from under the sheet covered in goosebumps as he slept, I felt something. And that was just the beginning.” Manuela says, as she regales me with the story of her 35 year long relationship with her husband Narciso. The lighthearted love story became serious quickly, however,
A pair of cat burglars are living in the neighbourhood of my office. When the sun goes down, the lights go out, and everyone has gone home for the day, they emerge to clamber over the roofs and into backyards, making their surefooted way across shingles, over coils of barbed wire and shards of broken