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
“To see life as a poem and yourself participating in a poem is what myth does for you.” Joseph Campbell One of the first things I noticed when eating out in Colombia was the small plastic packet that always accompanied fried chicken. At first, I assumed it was a wet wipe, to clean up afterwards.
My first year in Colombia, living in Mampujan, I facetiously gave up almost everything for Lent: running water, carpets, spicy food, chocolate chips, winter coats, long sleeves, bathtubs, washing machines with spin cycles. Every time I bathed with a single cup full of water and ate a plate of plain rice, I felt holier than
I used to love motorcycles. When I first got to Sincelejo, every trip to the store felt like an adventure. I would stand on the street, wave down the first moto that came around the corner, and hop on board. As we raced down the street, I relished the feel of wind in my hair,
I went back to Mampujan in the beginning of January. After rushing to get leave Sincelejo early, I waited for an hour for the bus to fill, my stomach already full of butterflies. During the trip, a suitcase fell on my head from the overhead compartment.