Mas Vainas of the Unexamined Life

I see last Saturday also was a warm day. Downtown today I saw blue skies, great white clouds, the air was clear and the trees on the mountains all stood out. Up in the humanities floor of the library it was almost drowsy warm.

I had an ample lunch, with very fine soup. My favorite Colombian custom is the having of the soup at lunch. It is for me almost an article of religion, though not, unfortunately, for my wife. I know a place where one can still get lunch for 4000 COPs ($2), and it is right beside the library.

Speaking of religion, two things happened today. I got paid and I was asked to teach the book of Job in the evenings at our church. Both meet purposes for which I came.

I remember in the first months walking through a park with trees all full of yellow flowers every day at 5AM, at 9AM, at 4:30PM and at 8:30PM. Then things were not so good, we had the worries of the visa, of dealing with Colombian ways, of wondering if we would really stay, and we had not yet tried an empanada—which, in retrospect, I realize was foolish. I remember thinking, If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small, and trudging on. I’m glad I did.

Trudge on, that is, and eventually indulge in empanadas. Today my student told me she knows the lady that made the empanada I ate: she comes with her in the bus to work. My student speaks French and has lived in Paris. Empanadas. Paris. Oui, and with aji.

Now we have speakers that can make the solo cello suites sound through the apartment like civilization. Thanks be to God.

The only thing we haven’t experienced yet is visitors. Perhaps you’d like to come?


4 thoughts on “Mas Vainas of the Unexamined Life

  1. I find the use of “vainas” in this title post very amusing. It reminds me of Don Quixote, which I am relishing right now.

    You don’t have soup at lunch as a meal, do you? Isn’t it only an appetizer? I have yet to get accustomed to having soup or salad or both as a meal.

    I would enjoy very much coming down for a visit, especially if we could now have Saturday morning readings in Spanish. Some Borges, some Cervantes.

  2. I need to do the Cervantes, really and truly. Soon.

    Not soup alone. They always have sopa y seco. The soup is a hearty meal and the seco is a plate with another hearty meal.

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