Friday, September 16, 2011

Settling In

I swear I'll post all the stories I have backlogged from Colombia, I just haven't had time yet. I got back to Colorado, turned around and drove to Austin two days later, then started the semester two days after that. As always, life is a bit chaotic with the start of a new school year, but now I'm finding my rhythm and getting to things that have been put on the back burner.

Today I went to day one of the Austin City Limits festival. This three day party where 70,000 people are invited is a bit overwhelming but it's one of my favorite events in Austin.

Today I thought about the people in Colombia. I had this overwhelming urge to go there, fill up a Chiva full of my new friends, and drive them on the Pan-American highway all the way to this festival. I wanted them to fall in love with the lyrics of Ray Lamontagne. I wanted them to experience the joy of seeing dozens of gigantic balloons being tossed around as Coldplay did their thing. And I wanted them to shout the chorus of "Pumped up Kicks."

But then I realized how silly that would be. I can't make these two worlds collide the way I want them to.

As time passes, it's getting easier to forget about Colombia. Forget about the people I met there. I hope in the coming weeks as I share more stories, I'll be able to keep my Colombian friends closer to my heart.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mind Blown, Heart Broken

I'm back in the States trying to get my bearings. I feel a bit disoriented, sitting in that liminal space between life in Colombia and life in the U.S. No doubt, this blurry state of being will linger for a while, at least until I can process what I just went through.

Or maybe this confusion is all because I have a "plantain earache." My ears haven't popped from my 3 flights yesterday, so my head feels foggy.

Yesterday at the Miami airport, a guy wearing skinny jeans and a fedora sat next to me and asked if I was heading out or heading home. I said I was heading home. He then asked me to describe my trip in just four words, without asking a single question about where I had been. He pulled out a notebook and a fountain pen to jot down my response. After thinking for a few minutes, I said it was "mind blowing, heart breaking." He wrote it down and walked away.

I have a lot of posts to get up on this blog, but it's going to take some time to sort through my notes. We didn't have much time in the last week of our trip to sit down and write, so I'll be working through stuff over the next few weeks. Come back and visit once in a while, as I'm sure there will be some good stuff on here.