Falcao forgives


Colombian footballer Radamel Falcao,

injured in a  league match and in danger of missing the World Cup (see below)

has been in touch with the person responsible for his injury, Soner Ertek,

who has reportedly received death threats from Colombia,

thanking him for his messages and telling him not to worry,

these accidents happen in football.


Falcao has now had surgery and has a 50% chance of going to Brazil.

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How things happen here


One of the rural communities

that is running one of our children’s clubs

has just got electricity.


The local armed group had put pressure (=threatened)

whoever needed to act (local politicians? the energy companies?)

and now everyone has a television.


Our young female leaders want to change the time of the prayer meeting

so that they can watch their soap opera.

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Back a week


I’ve been back about a week now,

and it feels like I have never been away.


As usual, I was blown away by the colours,

by the noise and the movement.

I am enjoying feeling the gentle breeze in my face

and temperatures in the low 20s centigrade (sorry!).


The people I meet on my daily walk to the metro

are still there, and greet me warmly.


What’s new? Posters for upcoming elections,

more security in my part of the city after a spate of robberies,

and new swish busses up my hill.

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Overheard at Panama Airport


A Colombian woman to a Mexican woman:


No, we’re in a mess, I can tell you. Things are very bad.

The violence, the corruption.

Only God can help us now.

Things were bad and then Uribe came

and made us feel safe, but now…

(Other views on Uribe are available, I must add!).

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It’s not just me that thinks Colombia should progress to the second round


That’s in the World Cup finals, if you haven’t caught up.


No lesser personage than Brazilian football great Pelé

included Colombia in his list of favourites for this year’s World Cup,

alongside Spain, Germany and, of course, Brazil.


However, Colombia’s hopes received a knock

when Radamel Falcao, Colombia’s star striker,

was injured while playing for his club, Monaco.


I think a lot of people will be praying for his miraculous recovery.

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Are you a telemarketer?


I read an interesting article in the Economist (January 18th, 2014),

about jobs, and the impact of technology on the future of work.


It reported research that evaluated the probability that computerization

will lead to job losses in the next two decades with 1=certain.


You will be glad to know that it is thought very improbable

that dentists’ work will be affected by computerization (a mere 0.004 probability).

Clergy, too, are pretty safe (0.008 probability).


But the jobs of retail salespersons (0.92),

accountants and auditors (0.94) and telemarketers (0.99) seem pretty shaky.


It didn’t have missionaries on the list but I have to say

I think my job is not one that a computer could be easily programmed to do.

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This time, it was the taxi driver who was eavesdropping


In the taxi on the way home from the cinema,

my flat mate was telling me that she had mislaid a book

and couldn’t think to whom she had lent it.


We had that problem when I was growing up,

piped up the taxi driver. We were always lending things,

things from the kitchen, tools, things like that, and not getting them back,

and eventually we got a notebook and attached a pencil to it

and noted down what we lent

and when we got it back we scored it out.


And then one day someone borrowed the notebook

and didn’t note it down and we lost it.

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I’m here!


The connections worked perfectly,

I got a lovely welcome from my colleagues

and flatmate in Medellín, and it’s good to be back.


In Amsterdam, the disembodied electronic voice seemed to be inviting

commoner class passengers to board,

which I thought was a bit rude,

until I realized it was saying economy class.

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