Sunday, March 30, 2014

Behind The Scenes

I had the pleasure of meeting a very interesting lady here in Cali through one of those friend of a friend kind of connections. We had an interesting conversation on race and sexism in Colombia and it was enlightening hearing what she had to say on both issues.

On the outside everything may appear harmonious but it is not always the case especially when you get to a certain class. The lady; I will leave her name out for privacy, is a well educated black professional and was telling me about her experiences with racism and how she deals with it in her professional and social life. She is well accomplished and has a lot of experience in her field of work but she has to deal with people (including her current boss) who dismiss her accomplishments and claim that she only got to where she is because of affirmative action.

Her cousin who is also well accomplished goes through the same crap and so do a lot of black professionals she knows. She was explaining how black people have been given these stereotypical roles and if they don't fit into those roles then it becomes a problem. Not only does she have to deal with racism but she also has to deal with sexism from men of all races. Indeed that's a lot to deal with but it's a reality that can't be ignored. She gave me some pretty grim examples.

Not all is doom and gloom though because despite the obstacles she has encountered in her life she has really made it for herself, she actually just got awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the US and will be flying out soon to continue with her studies, I wish her all the best.

Of course every population has it's good and bad apples so you can't judge a whole population by some of the bad apples you encounter but on the other hand you can't also ignore some of the hard issues that a lot of people have to deal with, issues that society would prefer to sweep under the rug.

It was an afternoon well spent and I was glad that I got to meet her and I hope we get to hang out more. On a lighter note, she did take me to check out some amazing sites and I got to take some pretty pictures. Hopefully the images will lighten the mood. Enjoy!

We went to this colorful market that had all kinds of food, trinkets and fruits. It was nice to walk around just enjoying the view. Unfortunately I forgot the name of the market.

We walked around this cool neighborhood called San Antonio. The view of the city was amazing and the hilly terrain made for a good work out. The neighborhood has a bohemian feel to it and we came across some pretty cool handicrafts and artsy stores that had the cutest clothes.

We went to Cali's oldest church "Iglesia de San Antonio." It is avery pretty church that sits atop a hill and the view of the city is amazing from the surrounding area.

We ended up at this small park "Gato de Tejada which was pretty and had different representations of cats. It seems like a nice place to just chill and relax.

That's it folks. Every place has it's issues but that shouldn't take away from the beauty that's to be found.

Random Thoughts of The Day:

I have noticed a certain trend with dudes over here. So once they realize I am not Colombian they will always ask these questions in the order given:
where are you from? how long are you visiting Cali? do you have a boyfriend?

Aiiiii! Noooo! seems to be a very common phrase, I have heard it from both men and women and it always cracks me up.

We have a neighbor that always blasts salsa at all hours of the day. The music is good though but I can see how it could get on someone's nerve. I have learned to sleep and wake up to loud salsa so I am oblivious to the noise.

I have seen all kinds of butts on display here. A lot of the girls wear tight jeans or shorts that leave nothing to the imagination and they are proud to flaunt what they've got. I have to say I am less conscious about my butt here because big butts are celebrated hehehehe

I find it so cute when Gabby, Fernanda's daughter comes to my room and says "permiso" before entering. She will wait for me to respond first before doing anything. Fernanda does the same thing too.

When Fernanda and her cousin talk about dudes it cracks me up. When they see a cute guy they make the funniest expressions. Usually it's "Uiiiiiii! Papasito! Aiiii! then they look at each other say, "Aii! mami" you have to hear them to appreciate how it sounds. Hilarious!

I find it cute when I go to the local store and the cashier refers to me as SeƱora. Spanish words just sound so beautiful.


  1. Keep up the writing. I truly enjoy reading about your experiences. :)