Tomorrow in Colombia is Love and Friendship Day, a homegrown version of Valentine's Day that includes platonic friends just as much as romantic. It's strange that I've been thinking a lot about Colombia lately, just as this holiday approaches. During the four years I lived there, I had the opportunity to meet and interact with some amazing people, both for short periods of time, as well as for what I hope is a lifetime: co-workers and students, fellow gym rats, neighbors and workers at restaurants I frequented, exes, currents, friends with benefits and without. And even if I'm not in touch with them anymore, there's still no doubt they've made a permanent impact on my life, always for the better, even if it didn't initially appear so.
I won't name names, lest I forget someone in my haste to write this post. I'll just say that the photographs below reflect only a fraction of the memorable folk that have crossed my path (like Angela, Pepe CCS, Tom, Sasha, Ely, Marcie, Giancarlo, Pacho, Carol, Marcela, Chris and Rox, Sandy, Paul...okay, I named names) and that in the course of our interaction, I never got around to taking pictures with some of those very important people (some I deleted along with their numbers out of my cellphone, but that's another story).
The song below is called "Si Tu No Vuelves": If You Don't Return. It's a bit of romance and heartbreak and a tune some may think a little heavy-handed for a post about friendship, but if I had to take away one song from my four years in Colombia, it would be this one. I first heard it on the radio at Indira and Noé's house in Bogotá on a typically chilly Sunday afternoon, underneath that hated/loved whitish-gray blanket of cloudcover that settles the city in a melancholy mood. And whenever I hear it, I'm reminded of all the chilly Sunday afternoons I spent in BOG, searching for physical and emotional warmth. I'm reminded of endless conversations and rumbas. Of what I loved about Colombia and what I hated. Of my amores and my amistades. And always of that cloudy sky.