Time to go (español abajo)

A couple of years ago I began to have a sense that my time in Colombia was coming to an end.

And now it is.

All being well, I’ll be returning to Scotland in just under three weeks.

So now I am living in a strange twilight zone of the end (for now) of a 10-year adventure, torn between wanting to savour every moment and wanting it all just to be over!

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Hace dos años empecé a sentir que mi tiempo en Colombia se estaba acercando su fin.

Y ahora mi tiempo en Colombia casi se terminó.

Si todo va bien, regresaré a Escocia en un poquito menos de tres semanas.

Ahora estoy viviendo un tiempo extraño del fin (por ahora) de una aventura de 10 años, con sentimientos encontrados: el deseo de saborear cada instante y el deseo que todo se acabe ya!

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Guatemala

I have just come back after 12 action-packed days in Guatemala. As usual it is the miniature that charms me:

1. Boy in the street: Where are you from?

My friend: From Colombia.

Boy: Cali, Bogotá, Medellín, James Rodríguez.

2. Me, to young woman vendor of handcrafts: So how has your day gone?

Woman: Really well, thanks be to God.

Me: Lots of sales?

Woman: Oh no, I meant my health.

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My Father’s Care

Today I need to pack for a 12-day trip and attend to some stressful things, so I was glad this fallen bird reminded me of Jesus’ words:

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. (Matthew 10:29).

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Amazing growth

A couple of years ago I visited a friend who lives near Medellín, in a slightly cooler place. I stole a cutting from her garden. It quickly produced roots in water and flourished when I potted it up.

My flatmate says it has a lot of personality because when it needs a drink, it flops melodramatically, and then perks up as soon as it is watered. For the horticulturalists among you, I think it is a variety of the Iresine plant, or bloodleaf. In Colombia, I think its popular name is  corazón de Jesús, or heart of Jesus.

I started giving cuttings to my colleagues and eventually my boss had the idea of filling an empty space in the grounds of the seminary where we have our offices with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of that original cutting.

We have now planted out almost 20 plants and more are on the way.

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Red-letter-day

The internal phone that connects us to the guards at the front gate rang yesterday.

“We’ve got a package for you. I was just checking you were in. I’ll get my colleague to come round with it,” the guard said.

“It’ll be for my flatmate,” I thought. It always is. I never get mail.

A few minutes later, there was a knock at the door. It was a new guard, and he checked the house number before handing the parcel over.

And it was FOR ME!

“This is my first mail for 5 years,” I gushed.

The guard was a bit taken aback but manage to rally and ask why that should be, and why hadn’t I complained…but to whom, I said?

I used to get mail quite reguarly but then it just dried up and I know that several people had tried to send parcels in that time. I started telling people not to bother.

And then yesterday, a Christmas card and pack of pretty notecards, sent in Scotland on 25th November arrived and made my day.

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