The inocentes’ last days in Colombia

1 Jun

The weather is warm, the rain has stopped and we find ourselves right back at the beginning: Medellín in June. Every day we’re reminded that our time here is coming to a close and it is bittersweet.

Our friends ask us when we’ll return and we always counter with a “muy pronto, ojala“, which doesn’t really answer the question but is the best that we can come up with. “When you come back,” they return, “you always have a home with me.” So the running count is that we have about fifteen different places where we can stay here in Medellín. Always, we tell our friends that they have a home in the US, too, but sadly–with visa complications and the dollar vs. the Colombian peso–we know that them visiting us is unlikely. And that is probably the saddest part about leaving: knowing that we can always visit our friends in Medellín, but that they will likely never be able to visit us.

But even with that knowledge, it’s impossible not to enjoy these hot and breezy June days. We’ve spent nights in Carlos E. with our friends, knocking back Pilsens and micheladas, talking and laughing and enjoying life. Our next few days will be filled with partying and packing (though hopefully the former doesn’t interfere with the latter), and before we know it we’ll be state-side, able to fully comprehend verbal exchanges and understand all of the idioms and jokes that are thrown around.

And it will be AMAZING! But it will also be sad. And there will also be a lot of other confusing emotions that we’ll have to deal with. But there will also be delicious food. And family. But no arepas. See?! Difficult.

But even though we are very sad to be leaving, the paisa positivity continues to be infectious. I am given an “Ayyyy no!” for my sadness and reminded that “Hermana, life is full of changes. This experience has been amazing, and you have your Colombian family that you can always visit. Isn’t life great? Salud!” I am almost resentful that the people I know have this unimpeachable aura of optimism, but more than anything I’m thankful.


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