Tag: advocacy

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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A Whole Other Colombia

My post-accord Bogota feels pretty much the same as pre-peace accord Bogota. My neighbours all go about their daily routines- grocery store, walk the dog, go to work- and so do I. When I have a conversation with a friend in public, even in English, we still instinctively lean in closer, lower our voices, and

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My Favourite Forest

“This is what the ecosystem achieves: the fullness of life with tens of thousands of species interwoven and interdependent.”- The Hidden Lives of Trees I like trees. I like how tall they are, their branches a constant moving juxtaposition against the sky.  I like the way we lean against their trunks, soaking up shade on

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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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The Year of Mercy

There is a family story sketched inside my head. Details have blurred and faded over the years, yet when I close my eyes, I see a young man walking on railroad tracks, bright blue prairie sky shining overheard. His name, in my mind, is Jacob, and he is stepping forward tie by tie, looking for

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