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Colombians are indifferent, myself included

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When I claim that Colombians are indifferent, myself included, I refer to the indifference towards the suffering of fellow Colombians who struggle with evident disadvantageous situations. Most of us are indifferent to social injustice until it touches us directly or until we leave our country and the distance (as it happened to me while living in France) ironically makes us feel closer to Colombia and feel more Colombian. 

I used to be very active at least by being informed about the Colombian national situation but after moving back for good over here, I have become apathetic. I have to admit that this farming strike has awakened the sense of social and environmental justice that has been asleep for the last three years. But it has not been strong enough as to make me join the pacific protests in downtown Bogotá. Just to get there, it takes me at least an hour from where I live.  And by thinking that, I feel selfish and guilty because our farmers have to commute more than that hour to get less than they spent in their potatoes growing, just to give an example. I feel also guilty because both my parents come from the countryside. They love it and would love to move back there, but it is simply not an option anymore, as they are old and living in the countryside would mean not to have access to medical care if needed.

We, Colombians, are drifting people and the most adaptable. We are proud and happy Colombians with victories such as those of Nairo Quintana and Caterine Ibargüen but we are few to support those same Nairo’s and Caterine’s families who are fed up with the government indifference and abandon of the farming regions.

I am home enjoying my day off work due to security reasons and watching the strikes on tv, because I am too far away and lazy to go downtown and support a request for the change this country needs. But this time I didn’t want to be just a passive spectator. I am contributing in the way I feel very comfortable doing. by writing about it.

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Posted by on August 29, 2013 in reflexiones

 

Lo que no tiene nombre (comentario)/ the nameless thing

This is the first time I’ll write in English about a book written in Spanish. I read a book about a painful tragedy that in Spanish has no name: the death of a child. If you lose your parents, you are an orphan, if you lose your wife, you are a widow, but if you lose a child, there is no name for you.

This book is short but moving. Piedad, her author, describes the loss of her son in a way that makes you read it all at once, while tearing from time to time. It is not her intention, I am sure because her writing is not dramatic. It is her exercise to keep her son alive and to recover, if that is ever possible, from her loss. It is her way to honor him. Her book is also her attempt to talk about death openly. A sad death provoked voluntarily.

Piedad gets to your gut and stays there for a long while. It is the first book I read of her and I’m glad I read it despite the tragedy it tells. I admire Piedad and the mothers who’ve lost their kids.
I strongly recommend the book.

Disclaimer: I came up with the nameless thing as a title for the English version of the book without much thought. I don’t think there is the translated English version of the book yet.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in reflexiones

 

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Random post about things I can’t stand in guys/dates

There are some things that I find annoying when dating. I have had some unsuccessful dates in the past and I’ve learned some things that are deal breakers. In no order of importance I’ve realized there are some things I simply can’t stand:

– Self- absorbed males whose definition of conversation is an intense monologue in which they only need themselves in the conversation.

– Men who’d order for you at the restaurant. Alright, I’ve never been here you picked up the place but I pick up the food for god’s sake. And no, I don’t like sea food so I won’t eat it!

– Stingy men who won’t offer to pay for the first or even second date. Alright, I’m ok after several dates to split the bill but show you can be a gentleman from the beginning. In my experience, this is a good indicator that a guy cares for you and that the potential relationship will last. This perception is from a Colombian perspective. Chivalry is still common down here.

– Guys who complain non-stop. This one applies for people in general. This is one thing I was tired of in France, people complaining very often. So guys, if you are constantly complaining you won’t get second dates. Figure out what’s wrong with your lives and change it or you won’t get chicks who find it hard having a good time with a complainer. I understand if you had a bad day, but women can distinguish this from a constant complainer.

– Conversation interruptus. It’s very nice to have things in common, but wait the right moment to add to what I am saying. Or make it short until I finish what I have to say.

– Extremely quiet guys. I don’t know what’s worse, guys who can’t stop talking or extremely quiet guys. These guys give you the impression they are always upset. You can’t really tell if something bothers them because they are not good at communicating and sometimes not even listening.

I’ve noticed this is not a very positive post but I felt like writing it so I did it. I promise I’ll write a more positive one next time…I have a story coming up…stay tuned!

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2013 in reflexiones

 

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On identity and language

Some years ago I had the chance to study in Granada and had one of the most memorable experiences as an international student. I had been in France for eight months before and I had loved it but this time it was different.

In France, I was clearly a foreigner who stood out. I spoke good French but I had a slight accent that people noticed and I obviously looked different to French people. In Spain, I felt closer to people and especially in the south with andalusians who are so in love with life and enjoy life as much as most Latin Americans.

I had started to feel more curious about my roots and the history of Latin America hanging out with second generation Chileans who moved to France escaping from the dictatorship and other foreigners who had made France home. I felt very Colombian while being away because that is what distinguished me from the others, that was who I was, a Colombian, a salsa dancer, a Spanish speaker (of a non peninsular Spanish) and a gourmand.
When I went to Europe for the second time and to Spain in particular, everything changed. I was only a Colombian student who spoke a very different Spanish. I had to order “zumo” instead of “jugo” or call a “carro”, un “coche”. I felt I had to resist. I had to keep my Spanish, my words, my identity. I struggled. I felt like Spaniards needed to know my words. I eventually gave up and it felt weird to speak that foreign Spanish.
Today I got an email from a Spanish guy son of Spanish friend in Granada. He is coming to Bogota from Lima and he asked for my cell phone number instead of my mobile number in Spanish terms of course.
It got me. He was using “my” Spanish to talk to me (and to get my number…) while I had refused to use his for months while I was there.
I noticed his use of cell phone instead of mobile when I read the email for the second time. I didn’t notice it at first. I’ll ask him what it is like for him to use another Spanish and integrate these new expressions in his vocabulary. For me, it was like giving away a part of me, maybe I was too dramatic but I felt like I was losing myself little by little.
Living abroad is a great experience. I won’t lose myself anymore because nowadays I see all that as enrichment instead of a loss, but while you figure it all out, you find yourself and what defines you. And I know now that it is not only the language you speak but what you cherish, who you share it with and what you have in common with the rest of human beings, locals or foreigners.
 
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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in reflexiones

 

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Y en la noche del 8 de mayo…

Y en la noche del 8 de mayo...

Fui a 100 montaditos y la pasé de lo lindo ! Sólo me faltó bailar, pero eso lo hice el fin de semana 😉

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in reflexiones

 
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Mis 32 / My 32

Mis 32 / My 32

Nunca he sido una gran fanática de celebrar mis cumpleaños. Y este año no fue la excepción. Pero resultó que Dani, quien me acompaña en la foto cumplía 5 años y tuvo una súper fiesta el mismo día que yo. Pues Dani, sus amigos y yo celebramos juntos. La pasé súper bien y en la noche la pasé aún mejor.

Tengo muchos planes para este nuevo año de vida y estoy muy feliz con la forma en que he vivido hasta ahora. Soy muy feliz!

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in reflexiones

 

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Ya casi cumplo 32 y no tengo hijos / almost 32 and no children

Ya casi llegó a mis 32 y a veces me pregunto si alguna vez tendré hijos. A mi me gustaría si conozco a alguien con quien desearía tenerlos. No tengo el instinto materno femenino como para querer tener hijos o al menos uno a como dé lugar. A veces tengo mis dudas sobre tenerlos, pero rápidamente se disipan.

Leyendo por la web me encontré un texto que resume bien el sentimiento que debe traer el ser padre o madre. Aquí lo dejo a falta de más inspiración para escribir.

Algunos de mis mejores amigos no tienen hijos; quiero decir que han resuelto no tener hijos. Si el tema de los hijos surge y me lo preguntan, si todavía están en edad de procrear, yo casi siempre me atrevo a aconsejarles: ¡tengan hijos, es la experiencia más rara, más íntima, más intensa, más definitiva, más alegre y dolorosa de todas las que se puedan tener! Al que no tiene hijos, dijo una vez el novelista antioqueño Juan José Hoyos, “se le queda un pedazo del corazón sin usar.” Sí, ya sé que la frase les puede sonar cursi… a los que no han tenido hijos, pero quienes los tenemos sabemos que esa frase es verdad. Mis amigos que no han tenido hijos, en todo caso, aunque se han privado de la más grande dicha, al menos no han corrido el riesgo de sufrir el más hondo dolor. ¡Cobardes! Les digo; cobardes y sensatos al mismo tiempo. La cobardía, al fin y al cabo, no es otra cosa que un exceso de prudencia.

Tomado de www.hectorabad.com

For the English version, use google translator, I am too lazy to translate at the moment…

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in reflexiones

 
 
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