Tag: colombia

Over the course of our almost 4-week trip, we listened to the same songs on my iPhone about 300 times each. Poor R, who makes mix tapes in his head of artists that don’t even exist yet.

 We lip synched to Taylor Swift while hiking and being in awe over llamas. We ate our mountain mint Oreo snacks to Counting Crows and giggled at night in our tent while jamming some Balkan Beat Box. I suffocated in the altitude while Nina Simone crooned me to life. Jay-Z kept me company while I stopped for the 234th time to coax my thighs into climbing more steep inclines to see some ancient ruins that they didn’t give a shit about. The only time I beat everyone else to camp, I celebrated with some old school Lauryn Hill, and when no one was looking I may have c-walked a little to some Snoop Dogg. Kanye West forced my feet to brave the final glaciers and then we climbed our last steps to Macchu Picchu to Beirut.

 We stared out train windows to Thao with the Get Down Stay Down. We survived 8 hour long bus rides to rhythmic Rodrigo y Gabriela mixes, and in the morning we watched the sun rise to K’naan.

 I cried out my broken heart to anthems of Arcade Fire. I fell asleep to Regina Spektor and held one-person dance parties to Shakira.

We shot Pisco to Peruvian folk music. We karaoked with Peruvian locals to some old school Mana and danced cumbia to bad Juanes remixes.

The Canadians showed us how to polka dance to a song from Cirque du Soleil and then promptly schooled us Texans in how to two step to Tim McGraw. Who knew that Canadians two-step?

 In the end, the music held me above water, but the mountains and the people saved my life.

Note- to be so passionate about something that you spend hours speaking about it, that you spend your waking hours wishing you were doing something about it, and eventually the need becomes so great that you do.

From NPR:

Juan Carlos Echeverry, who studied in the U.S. and Europe, says that’s all people knew of Colombia — even years after Escobar was killed by police.

“Ten to 15 years ago, I studied in NYU in New York City, and I studied in Germany, I studied in Spain, and every beer with friends from those countries, we spent hours speaking about Pablo Escobar and narco-trafficking,” he recalls.

Echeverry says it was tiresome.

Now, he’s Colombia’s finance minister. At the Summit of the Americas in the coastal city of Cartagena, he’ll give his side of the story to heads of state — including President Obama — and CEOs from some of the biggest companies around. He says many people are already getting the message.

People are talking about this, infrastructure and oil and tourism. And people want to come to Colombia, and this humongous, tectonic change of stereotype, Colombia as a promised land.

“People are talking about this, infrastructure and oil and tourism,” he says. “And people want to come to Colombia, and this humongous, tectonic change of stereotype, Colombia as a promised land.”

Carrie asked me if I was going to write about Colombia. She talked to me about being wary about starting a journal because she was afraid it’d be too direct of a line into her heart, being, and thoughts. I feel a little the same way. That something like this cannot be written.

She asked me what I remembered.

I remember the clouds. They were heavy, yet hovering, like the most tangible air, the most touchable nothing. The shadows on the bellies of each, the sunlight illuminating their torsos. I remember that they meant rain, or sunset, or dawn. They laid billowing against the horizon, never thin enough to hide, always coming in or leaving. They left their footprints on the sunlight, and the sailboats wandered around in their wake.

I remember the smell. It didn’t smell humid, it smelled fresh like the sea and the jungle. and the mountains. I remember the smell of corn cooking. I remember the scent of seafood and of traffic and of laughter. The slowing of time.

I remember the wind, and the motortaxis, and walking barefoot on the sand. I remember the hotness of being burned, of flesh on fire and dancing to the cool safety of the ocean. I remember how the skirts flew, how our hearts fluttered and turned. I remember how the ocean soaks up anger, how the salt dries and hides tears and wandering fingers. How only joy exists in the water, and it is more difficult to keep joy away when you feel the sea chasing you. I remember the waves bringing sand into my swimsuit, I remember the sand pouring out from under us.

I remember the water. I remember the water seeping into the cracks of my skin, the space between us, my eyes and ears and nose. I remember how to float on my back, and how the ocean sounds when my ears are swimming in it. I remember the exhaustion of racing in the waves, swimming with exhilaration alongside an old man who swam with such tranquility.

I remember the old men, the little children, the tents, the hammocks, and the dogs.

I remember the rain in my face.

I remember the burn of walking up mountains. I remember the heat on the buses. I remember the density of patience and friendship. I remember the colors.

I remember how they dance for passion there. I remember how they step together because it’s what they feel, not what they want to show off. I remember the music. I remember being held captive by movement, which is a curious feeling,

,because the only risk of going there is wanting to stay.