Monday, December 03, 2012


No photos yet... but I just got back from a trip to the Atlantic (or Caribbean) coast of Colombia, visiting one of our partner organizations and several MCC volunteers placed there. Miraculously, I feel more rested upon returning than I did before I left! Part of that is due to the fact that I ate something that disagreed with me - rather violently - on my second day, and couldn't keep anything down, not even water. I know that doesn't sound particularly restful - but my hosts became concerned enough that I was actually urged to lie in a hammock and nap at every opportunity. Plus, I had a double bed all to myself for three nights... try co-sleeping with a nursing toddler for a few years, and then you will know exactly how bountifully restful sleeping alone can be! So despite the heat, despite long meetings and despite bumpy road trips to visit projects in the rural communities, I returned to our home in Bogota feeling amazingly rested and restored.

About ten years ago, paramilitaries devastated this area of Colombia, displacing thousands of people, mostly farmers of Afro-Caribbean descent. Slowly now people are returning to the land and trying to re-establish community. Personal trauma, issues over land titles, and basic agricultural livelihoods are all struggles these internally displaced people are working to overcome.

Many aspects of the context on the coast reminded me of my childhood in the Peruvian Amazon - the heat, the parrots flying overhead, the tropical fruits - but in other aspects it's an entirely different context. Different lingo, different music, different foods and ways of being. Our first month in Colombia has been exhausting - dizzying, even. I feel like right now things might be slowing down enough to catch a breath.

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