“Eres una mujer muy guapa,” she said.
I was confused.
I’ve often been called guapa, but in the context of this conversation with my friend Aracely it seemed strange. As your high school Spanish memories might lead you to believe, I was first hearing this as “You’re a very handsome woman.” Turns out, in certain parts of the Spanish-speaking world, guapo/guapa also means something more like brave, bold, strong. I hadn’t realized Antioquia, Colombia, was one of those places, but I remembered this alternate meaning just in time to understand what she wanted to say.
Aracely thought I was brave to come and live in Colombia, far from my family and friends, the community that raised me. She’s right, certainly, it has it’s challenging aspects and costs. But the benefits have also been great! I can’t imagine my life without the many communities that have nurtured and shaped me in South America.
That’s the topic of my last newsletter. If you haven’t seen it, please take a look. There are challenges, to be sure, but I continue to give thanks to God for the privilege of serving here. If you’d like to help make it possible for me to continue, I invite you to take a look at my donations page for details on a special matching gift opportunity and how to make a contribution.
Stay tuned for more on the Medellín retreat and the Dialogue of the Americas on Faith, Economy, and Migration!