Thursday, December 29, 2011

December in Colombia

Hey Everyone

Here is a video describing some of the traditions that people have here in Colombia during December.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011


A couple of thoughts on my level of independence while here in Colombia.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One Month In

I've been in Colombia for one month now and here is my first video entry. As the weeks go by I will continue to post more videos describing my experiences.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Torn Between Two Worlds

Monday, September 12…as I drove away from my house and out of DC I felt an incredible pain. I was crying, I had an empty feeling in my stomach and my heart physically hurt. This feeling was familiar…last time I felt this pain was March 6, the day I left Colombia.

I couldn’t believe it, I had no idea that leaving DC was going to hit me that hard. I was supposed to leave Saturday September 10th but I postponed my drive as much as I could. Monday morning everyone was at work so it was easier to leave then. That day I realized that I would always be torn between two worlds – my life here in the states, specifically Washington, DC, and my life with my family in Colombia.

I can’t say that I love one more than the other and I can’t say that one is better than the other. They are unique and special to me in their own way. It would be ideal if I could merge the two to become one, but then I don’t think they would be as special. I don’t think I would treasure my life and my experiences as much. But boy does it suck to leave one.

Sitting in my grandmother’s house, cousins coming in and out, aunts arguing, uncles telling jokes, all while eating some of the most delicious food I’ve had in my life to me is pure bliss. I am so happy when surrounded by my family. Beyond happy.
Then picture me sitting in my house in DC, eating brunch that I cooked with my friends, drinking mimosas and laughing, non-stop laughing…again pure bliss.

How do I choose between the two? I can’t. I just can’t say that one is better than the other. I can’t pick one over the other. I have to live in both. Back and forth between two worlds.

I can only think to thank God for giving me two amazing worlds filled with people that I love and show me love and support in return. I can’t be upset; I can’t continue to ask “why do I have to be apart from the people that I love so much?”

Instead I have to be grateful for these two worlds that I am torn between.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Horseback Riding in Pucón, Chile

I've always wanted to go horseback riding. It looked like fun. In Colombia my family goes horseback riding a lot, especially during Medellin's annual Feria de las Flores in August. It's a 10 day celebration of Medellin's culture and, more importantly, the beauty of it's flowers. But anyway, in the Fall of 2007, while studying abroad in Santiago, Chile a group of friends and I traveled south to Pucón, a beautiful mountainous area with a nice river, very secluded...nothing like the busy city of Santiago.

Some of us thought it would be nice to go horseback riding so we signed up for a three hour ride. Lesson to those going horse back riding for the first time: don't go for three hours! Go for less time so that you don't end up soar for the next two days. Once it was over my legs were hurting and I could barely walk.

The first 45 minutes of the ride I was praying for my life. Now I am a short girl, and being high on top of a horse made the fall to the ground look extremely long. I of course was given the horse that didn't like to stay behind our tour guide, no, my horse felt the need to get ahead of the whole group and go his own way. I was told to control him and to stay with the group, ya like I was going to be able to do that. Luckily after a lot of pulling and tugging and "No" and "quedese" (stay) my horse managed to stay put. Then I had trouble dealing with my horses' constant need to bend down and eat grass or drink water. I leaned forward with the horse screaming and praying that I wouldn't fall. I get that he needed to eat but I would have loved some type of signal or warning beforehand.

Towards the end of our tour we came across a small river and one of the horses got scared and leaned up and back, tossing my friend my to the floor. After that I was definitely holding on for dear life. My friend was alright and we were able to get past the small river but then our guide thought he would take us through an even longer and deeper river. Immediately we said no and he was forced to find another way to take us.

Overall the trip was fun. I am thankful for the experience and glad that I can cross it off of my bucket list. But I don't plan on doing it a second time.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat Playoff Game 3 - May 7, 2011

I was going home for Mother's Day weekend and it just so happened that Game 3 in Boston was on that Saturday. As soon as I realized this I started looking for tickets. I thought, I am going to be in Massachusetts for one of the most awaited NBA playoff games, of course I have to go. I bought the tickets a week before the game. I thought, who does that??? A real fan, that's who. Some may say this was more of a present for myself but on the contrary, my mom has loved basketball for years and is just as much a fan as I am. Every time my mom and I go to the TD Garden for a game we make sure to buy something of the Celtics. This time we bought an umbrella and a Ray Allen jersey for my mom.

The energy at the TD Garden during a regular season game is intense and at a playoff game it is ten times more intense. It was so exciting to be around so many fans. Everyone cheering at the same time, booing at the same time, ooo's and aah's in unison, it was amazing. People I didn't even know where giving me high five's. It was so great.

Those of you who watch basketball know that Game 3 was the game where PG Rajon Rondo fell and dislocated his elbow. I, of course, was freaking out, being that Rajon Rondo is my favorite player on the team and I can honestly say that I have been a huge fan of him from the beginning. Rondo went to the locker room, got his elbow popped back into place and minutes later he was right back on the floor. I am telling, you when the crowd saw him out there everyone went nuts. From that moment on the crowd never went silent. There was just constant cheering. Rondo was out to win and he showed everyone in that stadium how much he wanted it. Unfortunately the rest of the series did not go as we would have liked but I am just beyond grateful that I was able to be there for that game.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fall in Love.....More than Once

'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson

I agree.

No matter how painful the loss may be, being in love, loving someone, being loved by someone, it all teaches you so much. At the end of the day, the pain is worth it. The pain is worth having known love, the pain is worth all of those wonderful memories.

If I have to experience the pain of losing love in order to fully understand and experience love then so be it.

At one point I thought I can't keep doing this. I can't keep falling and giving so much of myself for fear that I wouldn't have anything else left to give. But a close friend told me that once I met someone worthy I would find it in me. I would be able to love unconditionally. And she is right. There is nothing wrong with falling in love more than once. In fact, I think it's better.

Through every relationship that I have been in I have learned something. I have learned something about men, something about relationships, and always, something more about myself. I've grown with every relationship and I appreciate all of them.
I've been in love and I have fallen out of love. I've been in lust and fallen out of lust. Through it all I have come out a stronger woman and I can only be patient for the next moment that I will fall, fall uncontrollably in love.

And I will embrace that moment, taking with me every lesson I have learned, I will appreciate it. I will reciprocate the love given to me.

If not then what else is there to do? What else is there to do but love yourself and love someone else?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Second Tattoo - March 4, 2011 - Orgullo Colombiano

My first tattoo didn't really hurt. It stung a little at first and then it just tickled. It also only took a total of about ten minutes to do.

After the first one I thought, okay, that wasn't bad, I wouldn't be opposed to another one. Plus I had one more open space for a tattoo, my left thigh. I figured that if I ever did get another one it would have something to do with my Colombian roots. But time went on and I didn't give it much thought.

Two weeks before my trip to Colombia in March I started giving the tattoo more thought. And I figured if I am going to get a tattoo of either the colors of the Colombian flag or words representing my Colombian pride I just HAVE to get it done in Colombia, how appropriate would that be?!?!?

Thinking about this tattoo was a lot harder then my first one. I changed my mind multiple times, I talked it over with my family in Colombia. As we drove through Medellin we thought of various phrases "Hecha en Colombia, Sangre Colombiana, 100% Colombiana, Alma Colombiana" etc. And the list went on...But of course some of these caused quite a stir because I wasn't actually made in Colombia, technically I am not 100% Colombian. I was born and raised in Massachusetts. But that's a whole other story, in my heart and in my soul I feel Colombian, I don't care what anybody else says. Again, the tattoo is for ME, not for anyone else.

But my cousins' wife suggested that I just go with an image and forgo the idea of words. A picture is worth a 1000 words, right? I knew I wanted the colors of the flag but not the flag itself. I googled a number of images and came across a ribbon with the colors and our crest and some words on it but instantly I thought, the ribbon is perfect. It just worked. I didn't want it to be too big or too complex. Simple, I wanted it simple, with just the colors of the Colombian flag: amarillo, azul, y rojo.

So I did it. I was freaking out at the tattoo salon, Tijuana Tattoo, odd name I thought. I was freaking out acting like I had not already gone through this process before. But I hadn't. This was a more complex tattoo, it was still small but it required filling in with colors. That hurt. Not the whole time but there were some parts of my thigh that, once hit, I felt it! It look longer then my first one. But once it was done I was in love. I still look at it every day and I am so happy with it.

I thought to myself who does that?!?! A second tattoo, colors of a flag of a country that I have never even lived in....but I do. I do that. I have an intense feeling of attachment to Colombia that I cannot even describe. That is who I am, if I were not Colombian I would not be the same person.

Monday, April 4, 2011

First Tattoo - January 8, 2008 - ENERGIA

While I was studying abroad a number of my friends decided to get a tattoo. I thought about it briefly but I was still unsure. I was unsure about what I would tattoo on my body and if it was something that I wanted to do in Santiago, Chile.

One of my friends had tattooed the word energia on her foot. I told Laisa about this and in talking to her she helped me realize that was the word for me.

Of course, how had I not realized? Energia: this was the best word to describe me.

I waited until I was back in the states and I went with my mom, Lilliana, Jonathan, and Esteban to get my tattoo. It was important for me to be there with my family. I thought about the font for hours until I found the one that I liked the most. Location? That was easy. I didn't want it to be anywhere that would be visible in a dress or that would stretch upon pregnancy, haha.

People ask me, why energia? I tell them I have a lot of energy. Okay, so? A lot of people have energy, doesn't mean they tattoo the word on their body.

But for me the word has a much deeper meaning. My Hermanas know this, my line sisters especially know this. Anyone who knows me knows how much energia I have. I love life, I love being, doing, going, etc. I always have energia, no matter what time it is, no matter what the situation is. That's just me. Now don't get me wrong, I do get tired and my body does need its rest, but that doesn't stop me.

The word means so much to me and every time I look at my tattoo I am reminded of my energia and of some very special memories. That's all that matters, the tattoo isn't for anyone else, it's for me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Ultimate Move

I can't stop thinking about one of the biggest things that is now on my bucket list. I've always wanted to do it but when I first started thinking about my bucket list I didn't think it would be something that I would add. Honestly it didn't even come to mind.

I am thinking about moving to Colombia for some time, probably a year, I am seriously thinking about it....

When I was younger I always told my parents that I wanted to move to Colombia, when I was an undergraduate I said that I would do it once I graduated. And now here I am, almost three years out of AU and I haven't moved. To be honest I had forgotten. I had forgotten how much I loved being there, I had forgotten how much I enjoy being around my family, and I had forgotten about how much I had wanted to make the move.

I was just in Colombia and in talking to my cousin I randomly brought up the idea again. I said, "Yo siempre habia dicho que me gustaria vivir en Colombia por un año" (I had always said that I wanted to live in Colombia for a year). Then she told me something that left an impression on me, something that has caused me to dwell on this idea nonstop. She told me, you send me your resume and I will find you a job. Simple enough, just like that. Since then I haven't be able to stop thinking about it. I haven't been able to stop imagining what my life would be like if I did. What it would be like to live where my family lives, to be present for every holiday, every birthday, every long weekend, every day. I can't stop thinking about it.

It's something that I have to continue to give a lot of thought but I figure, why not? I am at a stage in my life that if I wanted to pick up and move, I could. I don't have a spouse or children to think about, aqui no tengo ningun compromiso, nothing to tie me down.

Could I? Could I get up and move to Colombia to work for a while and be around my family?
Who does that?!?!?!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


This is one of the first adventurous experiences that I have had in life and also the one that stands out the most in my memory.

Summer 2005
It was the summer after my freshmen year at college. As my summer job I was working in a factory inspecting various pieces of materials for dust and dirt. These pieces were going to be used at hospitals. I know this sounds very random but it was a job that had to be done and I was lucky to have it. It was actually really difficult. At times we had to cut the fabric into hundreds of little pieces into different shapes and then inspect them. Anyway, I was working long hours and making about $300 a week doing that.

At the time, skydiving cost $200 and it cost $100 for someone else to jump at the same time as me and record a video and take pictures. But I was going to be jumping out of plane, I HAD to have documentation of that.

I got onto a very small plane with 8 other people who were jumping that afternoon, all of us with our instructor of course. I was going to be the first one to jump so I was right by the open door of the plane and could see us getting higher and higher. Right before it was my turn to take the leap everyone in the plane started yelling "Don't do it, don't do it" haha.

Boom! My instructor counted 1, 2, and then we were out the door. What happened to 3??? For the first 10 seconds that I was in the air I could not breathe. It felt like an eternity, I thought minutes were going by and that I wasn't going to make it out alive. I honestly thought that I wasn't going to be able to breathe for the entire fall and that the instructor would land and that I would just be lying there. Luckily, this was not the case.

10 seconds after we were out of the plane, I was breathing again. I was enjoying the view, enjoying the intense wind against my face and arms, enjoying the thrill of falling at an unmeasurable speed. I was waving at the camera, blowing kisses, smiling, all was great.

Then my instructor pulled open the parachute, once again without even warning, and I got swooped up into the sky. My facial reaction in the video recording is priceless. After that we slowly glided down to earth. My instructor told me that because I was so light it would take us a little longer to land. So he spun me along as we drifted in the air and he pointed out various locations in the distance. Unfortunately all of those spins were making me dizzy. We landed and I went straight to the bathroom for I feared I would throw up. Luckily I did not, but the instructors still made fun of me for getting queasy.

It was an amazing experience I will never forget. It was exhilarating and out of this world. Again I thought to myself, who does that?!?!?! Apparently I do.


October 2004
I had only been living in the dorm at AU for about 2 months when a girl on my floor asked if I wanted to go to Paris for Spring Break. The airline tickets were on sale and they were about $300 round trip. As I do with any big decision (and little decision, hehe), I called my mom and talked to her about it and decided, why not? Let's go to Paris!

March 2005
I went with 3 friends, Maria Elena, Laisa, and Andrea. We didn't have that much money so it was not a luxurious trip to the finest shops and restaurants in Paris but we had an amazing time. We made all the usual stops, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre, Champs-Élysées, Moulin Rouge, etc. I was the only one who went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I figured I had to, I have no idea what life has in store for me and I didn't know if I would ever be back in Paris.

Our typical meal consisted of a gyro with fries and a drink. Considering the fact that we did not have that much money we started the week off by sharing a sandwich between two of us. Towards the end of the week we had some money left and were hungry so we each started eating our own sandwich. For breakfast we shared a baguette and we ate crepes almost every day.

We partied one night at a club that didn't close until 5am and then we went to a cafe and shared a chocolate croissant, yum! Once the metro opened at 6am we headed back to the apartment we had rented for the week. The apartment was far but it was convenient because we had our own bathroom and kitchen and we could feel comfort in knowing that our stuff was in a safe place.

Every morning I said to Laisa, can you believe we are in Paris? It seemed so unreal to me. Here I was, 19 years old, I had only been away from home about 8 months and I was in Paris. Who does that?!?!?! Apparently I do.

Who Am I???

Born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts but in my heart and soul I am Colombian.

My parents came to the United States to provide me with this amazing life, they sacrificed everything and left behind their entire family. My mother is 1 of 17 and my father is 1 of 10. That's a big family to leave behind and I admire my parents for having been able to do so. To this day every time I leave Colombia I cry until I can't cry anymore and I have never stayed there for more than 1 month at a time.

My parents worked multiple jobs to give me a great private education and on top of that I chose one of the most expensive sports to practice, roller skating. I roller skated for 8 years and I had the time of my life doing it. I learned so much from it and from the people that surrounded me during that time. I still miss those days.

Only child and I moved away from home when I was 18 years old to attend American University in Washington, DC. Since then I have grown to call the DMV my home.

Words that describe me: energetic, passionate, optimistic...

And most importantly, I am a HUGE Boston Celtics fan!

The Bucket List

For those of you who have not seen the movie, here is the trailer:

Here I Go.....

I've been wanting to do this for a long time now. This is long overdue. As I think about everything I want to write I start to get emotional, there is so much to share, so many thoughts. I've been so blessed by God.

Unfortunately my fingers cannot type nearly as fast as the words come to mind and if I started writing without any order it would be confusing. As I do everything in my life, I want to organize my thoughts and organize what I write.

Aaaahhh this is so exciting. Anyway, the idea behind this blog is to document the adventures in my life, more specifically, to document my very own bucket list. I am sure many of you have seen the movie and know the concept. I finally saw the movie about 2-3 months ago and I loved it. Since then I have been thinking about my very own bucket list and I figured it would be the perfect way to start blogging.

Me being me, before I start adding things to my list I want to think about everything that I have done already. Things that were never on a list, yet I still did. Horse back riding, skydiving, getting a tattoo, etc.... As I said before I have been very blessed by God. I am 25 and I have already traveled to beautiful places, I've seen one of the new seven wonders of the world, and I have had some crazy experiences.

And this is only the beginning, so here I go.....