Reasons I love Colombia (2)

One of my Colombian friends, a talented singer/songwriter, applied for a visa to the United States.

He was turned down. His response?

To write a song. A witty, light-hearted, non-bitter, faith-filled song about the experience, complete with audience participation.

If you speak Spanish, you can watch it here.

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Double Vision

Here’s a strange thing.

When I was in Scotland, I kept an eye on the Colombian news, and was quite informed about the violence affecting some parts of Medellín and other places in Colombia.

Now that I am here, the violence seems distant. I watch BBC world news and know more about what is going in Syria and Yemen, than in the tough neighbourhoods across the valley from where I am living.

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Reasons I love Colombia (1)

I am in a taxi, careering down a hill. For a split second, I catch a glimpse of a security guard moving across the courtyard of an educational establishment. Not walking, but shimmying, doing a nifty little dance move.

Just for the fun of it.

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I met a little girl, well, not so little, she’s nine. I introduced myself as Fiona, “You know, Fiona, like Princess Fiona in Shrek.”

(What a help that film has been for me in getting people to recognise my name).

For some reason, she smiled, and stretched out her hand to stroke my head. It was almost as if an angel from heaven had reached down to bless me.

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Women are highly regarded in the metro system

Announcement  on the metro (not my translation – this is announced in English by a sweetly-accented Latina woman)

Women are highly regarded in the metro system. Treat them with courtesy and respect. Never overstep the limits of propriety.

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Village of Ghosts

rsz_costa avenue

This weekend I leave for a month-long trip to the Coast. With a team of about twenty people, I will be working in a village which was devastated by a terrible massacre about ten years ago. Initially, the inhabitants fled the area, but are now slowly returning.

You might expect the words love, peace, forgiveness and reconciliation to ring hollow in a place of such horror, but actually, I expect to learn a lot about their true meaning there.

There should be something new about Medellín to read every week until mid-July, so keep checking back. No new photos until then, though. I’ll have some reflections on my experiences on the Coast later on, all being well.

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Cultura Metro

The Metro in Medellín is clean, safe and orderly, and a mammoth effort goes in to keeping that way. Yesterday I was amused to see a metro official approach a young man and hand him a leaflet containing the seven rules for using the Metro.

His crime?

He had stepped on the yellow line designed to keep passenger back from the trains.

Long live the cultura metro!

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