Conversation in my church

Very Elderly Lady: And how did you leave your parents?

Me: They’re fine, thanks. They are very young, you know, just 73 years old.

VEL: Oh, yes, they are still very whole. [In Spanish: Muy enteros] Share this post:Facebooktwitterredditlinkedin

It’s the last 10% that’s the hardest


I think Stuart, the vandal who wanted to make his mark on a bird-hide in Galloway was interrupted and didn’t manage to finish his work.

He reminded me how difficult I find the last 10% of any project!

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Team Retreat

This weekend we had our Latin Link Colombia Team Retreat in a lovely retreat centre near Medellín.

We celebrated our unity in diversity with our now traditional international evening in which our team members showcased an aspect of their home culture.

We learned some Swiss German, the names of the 14 Inca Kings and the components of an English roast dinner.

But the highlight was definitely our five Colombians improvising a skit to demonstrate regional rivalries and identities. They presented regional dances; they bragged about regional food; they squabbled about what different words mean in different places. It was hilarious and instructive, and all improvised with about 10 minutes of planning.

Oh, for Scotland, I taught a game which I have only ever played at home, called the name game and is a bit complicated to explain here.

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Back in Medellín

I got back to Medellín on Tuesday evening. Everything went like clockwork on the trip, if you don’t count my dad’s car getting a flat tyre on the way to the airport.

Yesterday evening I got a taxi to meet my flatmate as she finished work so we could go out for a belated birthday meal.

It was rush hour.

The driver was one of the very aggressive, lane-changing, foot-on-the brake jamming, horn-tooting breed.

I lived on my nerves the whole way. People stepped out in front of us. Motor-bikes wove in and out of the lanes of traffic. Buses pulled by, perilously close.

It’s amazing what five months in sedate wee Scotland can do to one’s perceptions.

“I get used to this, every time,” I had to remind myself, as I got out of the taxi, knees trembling.

I didn’t quite kiss the ground.

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