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Showing posts from October, 2017

Machismo Curtails Drug Sales

Before I arrived to Colombia in 2010, I watched a lot of “Locked Up Abroad” on Nat Geo. Ninety percent of the episodes were about foreign drug mules getting caught by Colombian authorities. I had to stop watching the shows because the idea of going to a Latin American jail scared the mierda out of me. Drugs. Cocaine. Trafficking. Narcos. Mules. Was I going to be the next sap? I would have liked to have thought that I knew how to handle myself in Latin America. After all, I had already lived in Ecuador, Chile, and Paraguay. However, at least on television, even the brightest of foreigners seemed to be lured in by the drug industry.

Seven years later, the good news is I have never been offered any kind of drug in Cartagena and I have only seen the outside of the women’s jail. It is hard to miss being that it is right next to Plaza San Diego, a great place to eat and buy local handicrafts. My male friends indicate that machismo is the reason for my drug naivety. They all have been offere…

Coming Out of Hiding

I am finally coming out of hiding. I have not written in more than 4 years on this blog despite the fact that I still live in Cartagena. Working at a bilingual private school and getting married muffled my voice so only I could hear it. Thoughts have been bouncing around in my head for years, but I usually saved the water downed versions as examples for my students' writing assignments. I always wanted them to be able to express themselves as well as possible, so they would be heard. I learned a great amount from those students who truly tried to communicate and reach another human being.

Despite all the entertaining garbage I wade through on my phone,  I  still believe that a well-written, heartfelt article can float to the top, be remembered, and provide a lesson.  An article can refocus someone and provide an impetus of change. Right now on the Colombian news feeds, Trump is throwing paper towels to people in need. Yes, it is vulgar, but instead of screaming at the screen and …