Brace yourselves for the first joint blog entry:
Soooo, I haven't updated since Roxie got here, I know. My appologies; I swear I'm still alive. Things are just going really well, and I am always so tired at night that I have been lazy with updating. But, heeeeeeeey! I'm baaaaaack!
The experience continues to be humbling and powerful, and I feel much less along, which is an added bonus. The Spanish is improving, although it's hard to imagine it ever just clicking and becoming second nature. I have only been here a few weeks, though. I cannot stress how amazing the sisters we are living with are. Hermana Isabel smiles everytime she sees me smile or doing something goofy, commenting on how much happier and relaxed I seem now that Roxie is here. She hit the nail on the head. It's been an amazing couple of weeks.
On Friday we went to a big march downtown for the displaced. It was led by various organizations that help out with the issue (the Catholic church and archdioses stayed out of it because they like to act as politically neutral and a "mediator" as our impromptu guide, Diego told us. He's a social worker for the archdioses and said he was there as a Christian, in solidarity with struggle. There were no banners or anything with any sort of Catholic organization on them, ours included, in the effort to remain neutral.) The march was such a mixture of emotions - it started out very small, but byt he time everyone had gathered, nearly four or five city blocks were full at a time with particpants (the police shut down the streets). One of the main chants everyone kept shouting was "El pueblo// sin techo// que siga sus derechos" ("the roofless people who are after their rights", more ore less). There was a brochure handed out that outlined exactly what they were after which I'm really looking forward to reading in detail to get a better grasp on the whole thing.
There was also a common chant that essentially said "get out of our country, gringos". When this one started, Diego asked us how it made us feel. I tried to put into words that I felt like an intruder on a struggle and a movement that was not my own. He tried to articulate that more than individuals, they were refering to North American politics in latin American countries, Colombia in particular. It still felt odd like me and my giant camera were... expoliting, might be the word, the demonstration. I hate feeling like I'm coming into an on-going fight and struggle and problem and movement, taking my pictures, and leaving. I know that's not what we're doing here, and I know that these photos are being taken so that we can spread the reality of displacement in Colombian to as many people as we can who still think of Colombia as nothing more than Cocaine. I know all of this, but I still feel uneasy snapping the photos at movements.
On a less heavy note, the bathroom still STINKS! Not sure if Roxie wrote about this, but the water in the shower is brown. But it's decpetively brown because it looks liek regular water as it's coming out of the shower head, but cup your hands and brown water piles up. Or squeeze out your hair in the sink: brown.
We're at Kim's now though and the hot, clean water is amazing.
Going to a small beach 30 miles south of Cartagena on the Caribbean coast in a couple weeks. So looking forward to lying in my hammock, getting some sun, going swimming and sipping yummy drinks for five days.
I have been very happy (and, thankfully, healthy) as of late. Life is good. I'm learning and growing and enjoying myself. I cant wait to see everyone when I get back. I miss and love you all.
A couple pieces of not so good news: my grandmother was recently addmitted into the hospital for pnemonia and while is out of ICU is still in the hospital. Also, a close family friend recently discovered she has an agressive brain tumor. Please use whatever energy or prayers you believe in and keep my family and the island community in your thoughts.
Ok, novel over. Roxie's turn! :D
Ummm... Ditto ....
Miss you all...
<3 Roxie & Katie