Every year, in between those lazy limbo days after Christmas and before New Years, my hometown of Cali throws a week-long extraordinary salsa festival unlike any other. So famous is the Feria de Cali, that many around the world travel to see the almost supernatural dancers twist and turn incredibly fast, sprinkling flavor across the stage with an intricate agility. The salsa culture in Cali has become its most representative feature, schools ranging from ages 3 and up are easily found, always polishing and perfecting the next best dancers. The delicious dance entices travelers from all over, who visit Cali just to even get a whiff of the appetizing movements and have a stab at it. The Feria not only demonstrates the rich culture of Cali but also of Colombia in general, through one of the most joyous human forms of expression, dancing.
My trip to Colombia was not planned at all. But one thing and another piled up and it just happened to be that I spent Christmas, New Years, and a wedding in my beloved country. I could talk about Colombia forever, there’s a plethora of experiences and memories I could share. But I feel as though the time I dedicated to visiting this time around wasn’t for traveling but rather seeing loved ones. For this reason, I have little to share with the public, for now.
One day, I will pack my bag and devote my indivisible attention to one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Before viewing the pictures it is of the utmost importance that you accompany them with this song. And don’t tell you I didn’t warn you, the music will make you shimmy. You may proceed.
You are: generous, jubilant, quirky, avid and a tenaciously amazing tennis player (even though I’ve never seen you play, sorry), naive, cheery, family oriented, oblivious, and the happiest person I know.
Of the many times I’ve seen you, the most momentous memories have been listening to you speak about your ancestors and the history of your country. Your storytelling time is sparse, and when you speak with much passion on the many folklore, foods, historical happenings and truths about your country your eyes glaze over, as if you yourself had seen it all unfold. And even with my insistent questioning, you always absolve my curiosity with patient answers and knowledge.
You give you give and give.
Your nature of being a genuinely valuable and good person is unique. You forgive freely and would rather let others step on you than for you to ever cause harm. Your resilience is one to envy, always snapping back quicker than a rubber-band to your usual state of peppiness, without sulking for long. I fear anyone is to take advantage of your rarity and damage you, I pray you only find and surround yourself with people who only want the best for you, people that elevate your esteem and encourage your goals.
You need support, you need positivism, and I apologize if at times I am harsh with my words, but know that it is always because I love you.