A good news story


You may have seen in the news

that the FARC have released 10 soldiers and policemen

they had been holding hostage for over 10 years.


Between them, these hostages spent about 130 years in captivity.

One hundred and thirty years lost in the jungle.


You can see pictures of their arrival to their new lives here.

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Here’s a thing…


I did a course about medicinal plants at the Botanic Gardens,

and I learned that the indigenous peoples of Colombia

made deductions about the use of plants based on their appearance.


So, in their view, a tree with red flowers, or a plants with red leaves,

is good for stopping bleeding.


A plant that has a stem that curves like a snake,

is good for treating snake bites.


And a plant with a womb-shaped fruit

is good for the menopause.


And it seems to be so…

Was God leaving clues?

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More graffiti


I think there is probably a blog someone could write,

just about graffiti around the city.


I try not to take too personally the graffiti that says

Gringos Out.

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Something funny


Many buses in Medellín have religious pictures

or verses from the Bible painted on them.


One bus I get has a painting of Jesus

on a panel facing the passengers.


Above it, there is a sign

that says Don’t shout, use the bell.


It means don’t annoy the driver by shouting at him when you want to get off,

just ring the bell.


But it makes me smile because it doesn’t seem like something Jesus would say.

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A poisonous spider from Colombia

made its made to Edinburgh, Scotland,

on a bunch of bananas.


It was taken to Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World

where it died, but not before it had a great adventure.

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Perceptions of home (2)


The teacher of a course I am doing at Medellín’s Botanic Gardens,

is talking about ways of propogating plants and says,

You need to soak the plant,

you know,

the way British people dip their biscuits

into their tea when they are having their elevenses.

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Perceptions of home (1)


Colombian man: You’re from Scotland?

Me: Yes.

Colombian man: Oh, I have always thought Scotland was amazing.

Me: Yes, it is.

Colombian man: Scotland is famous for witches, isn’t it?


If you are Scottish, how would you have answered?

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I ask a group of older church members,

perhaps 40 to 50 people,

how many were born in Medellín

and three raise their hands.


Colombia’s 30 years of social dislocation

in microcosm.

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Urban ghosts


Barefoot and homeless,

they sleep like dead men

on the streets of the city.

Their past reduced to bundles

they use as pillows.

Discarded like the rubbish

they rifle through every day.


Everyone should have a home.

Everyone should have shoes.


No one is rubbish.

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