Tag Archives: Colombia

dark magic

ImageCoffee is one of my favorite things in the world. When I was in college, and young and stupid, I used coffee for its caffeine, which gave me the fortitude to pull all-nighters and write ridiculous papers in Spanish. As I got older, I fell in love with the sweet and creamy beverages at Starbucks, adulterating my coffee with sugar, cream, syrup, “flavor”, and whatever else they had on offer. To be fair, if you’ve ever had an actual cup of Starbucks coffee, you’ll understand the need to hide in amongst all the fluff. But Starbucks, not unlike the tobacco industry, has managed to create a brew that nearly doubles the traditional dosage of caffeine in a cup of coffee and in the process created a new generation of supposed “coffee-lovers”. Continue reading

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biodiversidad

SONY DSCWhile in Cali, Colombia, I had the opportunity to spend the day at the zoo. Normally, that’s not my idea of how to spend the day while vacationing in another country, but much has been said about the zoo in Cali. While it’s not on par with San Diego and the like, I found it very interesting. One of the main draws is the focus on Colombian wildlife – sort of a catalog of the local flora and fauna. Colombia has an incredible biodiversity, and its recent history of violence and conflict has, for better or worse, provided an opportunity to preserve some of that. And more recently a number of foundations have cropped up to address social and environmental issues (though, one must be wonder where some of those foundations have come from…). Continue reading

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realismo magico

Santiago de Cali

Santiago de Cali

Despite an incredible backlog of posts here for my life in Ireland, I’m interrupting the daily grind to bring news from Colombia, la tierra de realismo magico. I’ve been in Colombia almost a week, initially for a meeting and now just for fun. I’ve been in Cali, where I’ve had some incredible experiences and met great people, and in another day I’ll head to Bogota and then places beyond.

Colombia gets a bad rep. Everyone thinks it’s funny (or maybe they are being serious) to say “don’t get kidnapped” upon hearing I was traveling here. Years ago, that might have been some good advice (we’ve all seen “Romancing the Stone”). These days, though, unless you head into some really remote areas (generally to the south), you’ll be fairly safe, at least from terrorism. Regular crime (muggings, mostly) are a completely different matter. Continue reading

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