Hansel and Gretel Colombian Style


One of my Colombian colleagues also works in a Children’s Library

and he recently showed us a DVD of a film he made with the children there

of the story of Hansel and Gretel.


Hansel and Gretel make a trail of strawberries

to find their way back through the forest,

but a child, displaced by the violence, ate them.

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Day of the Bible


Sincelejo is a city on Colombia’s Atlantic Coast,

the capital of the department of Sucre,

and home to our head office and of to one of our clubs.


In a move deemed to be historic,

the mayor of Sincelejo decreed 17th November,

as the local Day of the Bible, recognizing the Bible

as a useful tool for the transformation of society.


Unusually, both Protestant and Catholic churches came together

in a day of celebration of the Bible.

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3 Conversations in Church


Me: So how are you?

Older lady: Much better thank you. What I think is,

if I don’t have the illness that is going to kill me,

I’ll get better.


Me: You’re Sebastian, aren’t you?

Little boy: No, I’m Santiago! I know your name.

Me: What’s my name?

Little boy: Fiona, like the Princess in Shrek.


Me: What have you been up to?

Young man: Picking coffee.

Me: And how is the harvest this year?

Young man: Very poor. They couldn’t pay me very much.

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Phone Call from the Embassy


Last week I got a phone call from the British Embassy,

to tell me that my documents, stolen several weeks ago,

had been found in a bar in the centre of Medellín,

and some kind anonymous person worked out that I was British,

and got them to the Honorary British Consul in Medellín.


I picked them up this morning. Incomplete, but still…


(I knew I was at the right place when I spotted the painting of the Queen).


And so Colombia surprises and delights me again.

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La Voz


Colombia’s version of talent show The Voice,

(basically a singing competition)

is on most evenings these days

and although I am not usually a fan of such programmes,

this one is fascinating,

partly because of the incredibly warm, positive, joyful tone of the proceedings.


No cutting or mean feedback,

just a palpable desire to see everyone shine.


One of the judges, a Christian,

has even been shown praying with his team.

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Brain Blip


After my typhoon/tycoon brain blip,

my grey matter is at it again:


I read this headline on the BBC news website:

From superstar to strangler

and clicked through, expecting

the grisly story of a tragic fall from grace,

but no…the word was stranger not strangler.


I have to say I think the versions my mind produces

are often more interesting than the real thing.

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Christmas Crime Wave


Where you live, does it get more dangerous in December?


Here, it seems taken for granted that there will be more crime

in the run up to Christmas.


The tradition here is to give new outfit of clothes at Christmastime,

particularly to children, and I guess thieves have children too.

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Fecundity 3


A wee update, in case you were wondering:

those apple seeds are thriving,

two of the little germinated seeds

now have leaves!


Photos may follow.

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Happy Birthday to us!


On 17th November, my church

the First Presbyterian Church of Medellín,

the oldest Protestant church in the city,

celebrated its 123rd birthday!


There are several very elderly members

whose grandparents were among the first members of the church.


This may be quite common in your church

but in Colombia it’s extremely rare.


For example, my flatmate’s church is just 25 years old.

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