Hola Marcela,

Well, due to Covid I never made it to Pasto (you may recall our chat here at Medium). I still plan to go, but now not until next year when things in connection with Covid settle down and I tie up a few loose ends here in Texas.

When I am feeling strong I continue reading There Are No Dead Here: A Story of Murder and Denial in Colombia by Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno which you recommended. It is a very challenging read. In order to read that book without losing hope one needs the humanistic values of a mentor like Daisaku Ikeda: “The key to solving all our problems — whether it be building a secure and lasting peace, protecting our environment, or overcoming economic difficulties — is to cast off apathy and preconceived notions that lead us to view a situation as unsolvable or unavoidable. Problems caused by human beings can be solved by human beings.”

South Africa and Colombia are both balanced upon the knife-edge of conflict and promise. You are destined to live an interesting life.

It is easy to understand how professional language competence can make a young person like yourself yearn for what has become a more fluid path for you: English. I believe that life definitely goes through phases, often influenced by age. Who knows, maybe in your retirement you will once again look back to the land of your birth.

For me (age 65), Colombia represents one last “adventure” in life: A different culture, and the challenge of becoming more and more functional in Spanish (a good hobby to keep me from getting “old-timers” disease). I will also provide free tutoring in Math, Science, and English to motivated students with little financial means. Also, I fear being stuck in a hot climate or an overpriced economy. Lastly, exploring the Andes is an attraction and Pasto, Colombia a good based from which to also know Ecuador and Perú.

You know these songs…enjoy…

The last one the “Covid Quarantive” version from a famous Pasto based all-female orchestra.

SGI Buddhist, Loves Irish and Latin American Literature, History buff, knows a great deal about Medicare

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