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The plains, los Llanos

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I'm sorry I haven't taken the time to travel more through Colombia. I have an amazing view from my container window: on a clear day, I get to see the huge Andes over the endless plains. When I leave the camp, I see the vast palm plantations, or the beautiful Cabuyarito river and the deep forest along its edge. Also, I get to meet the sweet, caring people who whant to make a difference.

I know I've been a bit monotonous on this subject, but I'm just too amazed.

Comments

catalicu's picture

Silence and stories

You make me think about the time when the violence was such, we would not go away from the city. Do you remember? Forget about school getaways, "tierra caliente" weekends or even "mazorca" in the side of the road. We were bound to imagine what the plains looked like, what the forest smelled like, what most of the beach felt like.

I wonder if it was unchanged. We were so young. Was it different when finally, not many years ago, roads were open again? Tierra caliente smelled just the same to me and the trees seemed to grow untouched. Wildness was still in their core as it was inside the people living out there. Out there... How much did they endure? How much has Cabuyarito endured in years of violence, of oil, of drugs perhaps? Out there in the plains, so far away from everything...

I agree with Maria in Colombia being an untold story. That period of violence, silence and absence is just a million of untold stories. I disagree with Juana, no posts are enough to tell a town´s story.

I am lucky enough to have a job where I can visit many of the beautiful places of our country. However, it is sad, even now, I often fail to find the time to go around on my own or just take a brake to breathe the stories in. Blame on me.

Breathe,

Cata

Maria Cuellar's picture

Getting our country back

Juana, I don't think you are monotonous at all. I enjoy reading about your experiences every time. :)

When we weren't "allowed" to leave the big cities in the past (during my childhood) it was as if we were trapped. We were in Colombia, one of the most environmentally diverse, tropical, and beautiful countries in the world, and all we could see was the pollution, the buildings, and the cars. We went outside the city once in a while, but most of our time was spent in the urban jungle, as they say.

Last December I was in Colombia and I traveled all over the country with my American friends, moving around by bus, mostly. It felt safe, there were more tourists than ever, and I got to appreciate the country in all its splendor. I'm glad we're slowly getting our country back!

PS. Ahem...Monica wrote the description of the group. I'll give her credit for that.

Quenby Wilcox's picture

But at What Price?

About 8 years or so I attended a conference at the American Embassy about the US State Departments Plan Colombia policy and at the end of the conference I asked the ever present question.

"It is all well and good to get rid of the drug production in Colombia, but as long as the consumption continues to rise (in the USA and Europe,) so will the production. So getting rid of it here will just make the problem "pop-up' elsewhere. So what comprehensive plan is being developed in the USA (and Europe) to reduce drug consumption?"

The State Department representation (in his infinite wisdom) said. "What do you care as long as we get rid of it (production) here."

I bit my tongue on my retort of "Well that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard! Of course I care! I am sick and tired of seeing screwed up parents bringing up screwed up kids, with every needing their respective drugs (legal, illegal and prescription) drugs to survive!!!!"

Well after all of these years, and a divorce/international custody battle against an abusive Spaniard in Spain, and learning what mess exists in family law/judicial systems (read Alec Baldwins book A Promise to Ourselves. I have gotten my answer, which is:

"Hell!!!! We (USA and European govts.) are doing everything we can to keep the demand rising as fast as we can!!!!! That way you guys (the war torn countries) will keep on buying our guns, and armies to kill each other! This way everyone keeps on getting richer and richer, and if it costs a few innocent lives along the way?!?! Que sera, que sera!!"

Ok this is not a direct quote and you have to "read between the lines." But, this is the bottom line.

The drug production may have been significantly reduced in Colombia, but now we have it in Mexico and Venezuela, with Chavez at the helm!!!!!!

Additionally, while living in Colombia I attended a conference by David Patterson, husband to former US Ambassador in Colombia Anne Patterson, a reputed expert on Shiiate and Sunni's, and asked him at the end of his conference. "But, will these groups ever learn to live in peace?" His response "That is what we will see in the future."

I have some very bad news for these people "I ain't seeing it!!!!!!!"

I loved Colombia and its people, but my years of living there were always bitter-sweet. I found great joy there, but at the same time my eyes were opened to many problems of violence, poverty of developing nations, etc. Perhaps it is my years of moving around this world that taught me how we are all inter-related, as are our problems.

Quenby

Quenby Wilcox
Founder - Global Expats
quenby@global-xpats.com
www.global-xpats.com

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