It didn’t go unnoticed, but my final public speaking engagement of the month fell on 31 January, the day that the land of my birth exited from the European Union, and the subject of my talk for Creative Mornings was “Roots,” or “Raices.” How appopriate.
The location for the presentation was at a new bar/ping pong club in Usaquen called “Pong,” and it was clear that there was going to be precious little opportunity for me to hide behind my words and the powerpoint images on the big screen as the front row for the 40-50 people in attendance was less than a meter from where I stood. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken in such a cool place. Check it out if you are heading to Usaquen.
The conversation began with a recollection of some of the more bizarre events in my 14 years in Colombia, not least having bought three colonial in ruins in Mompos and restored them to hotel standard. I think I maintained the attention of the audience with tales of witchcraft, spirituality, ghosts and the peculiarities of the Colombian caribbean coast. What’s not love about all of this?
And then, the conversation moved on in earnest to roots and how these affect us and our identities. I went into depth as to how I would always be the “gringo” in Colombia, but, with differing levels of acceptance entirely dependent on where I was at that moment.
Anecdotes were shared before I launched into further projects which I had in mind and which were designed not only to permit myself to uncover more of my own past but more of the history in Colombia which has, inevitably, been blocked out by the all-consuming spectre of the armed conflict here. It was successful, I feel…so bring on February and one further public speaking engagement and more Colombia Calling episodes to record and produce.
The first podcast of the month is No.310 and we highlight the potential of the womens’ birding scene in Colombia and joining me on the show are Eliana Ardila of Birding by Bus in Miami and Bryony Angell, a freelance writer covering birding culture and women in the world birding scene based in Seattle. Be sure to tune in to a fascinating episode.
So, thank you again for supporting the Colombia Calling patreon campaign and for sharing the word about the podcast as well, we continue to grow and with this growth, we need to improve, this is only possible with your help.
Un abrazo from Bogotá