In her footsteps

I've always looked up to my mother. Not just because she is incredibly hard-working, ambitious, and driven, but partly because of her mystery.She doesn't talk too much about her past until pried or late, late during holiday get-togethers and the little glimpses I've gotten have always left me wanting more. Like Aziz Ansari, I want to know more about the story that has led her here and essentially me to where I am today. In trying to follow her footsteps, I have found my own - carved and supported by the footsteps of giants who have come before me.

The death of Joselito (Barranquilla pt. 2)

In the morning, we awoke and found Joselito dead. Cause of death: Too much fun during Carnival. Or at least that's how the story goes. The last day of Barranquilla Carnival is affectionately known as La muerte de Joselito - the death of Joselito. Tuesday, Fat Tuesday to be exact, is the last day of Carnival. And not just in Barranquilla - Panama, Trinidad, New Orleans (Mardi Gras) were all celebrating today, giving it their all in preparation for the somber that Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season would bring. In my heart, I believe it was the collective force of the diaspora celebrating all over the Americas that day that made me fall in love with Carnival at last.

On my own two feet

Knock, knock. She tapped the flat wooden bottom of the point shoe against the table. "They're hard." A half-friend, half-bully Jane was showing me her dance shoes as she got ready for ballet class. She went to the ballet center across the street from daycare. A young child of about nine years old, I was in awe as she got to experience the world outside of the daycare walls that contained us during the day. "But how do you stand?" I turned my head and looked at my own feet to try and understand the physics of this type of dance. She put on her ballet flats instead and whirled and twirled down the hall. Showing us jettés, pirouettes, relevés, words I never knew existed. But I did know, it was beautiful.

April in Venezuela

"Ella es todo que yo tengo." Tears streamed down Lucia's face as she cried out to God to protect her baby. The family had sold everything they had and left using their last dollars to buy a plane ticket to Colombia. What normally had been an affordable flight was now triple the price. They had left the land of no food, no medicine, widespread corruption and robbery for hopes of a better life.

Life exuding

In my quest to learn languages, I have fallen deeper in love with my own. I am not referring to the syntax of American Standard with its confusing homophones and homonyms. I am referring to Black Girl Magic and the underestimated power it holds.

High cheekbones, fast feet

The sun had begun to set on the Candelaria district of Bogotá and a faint strumming hummed from outside the café windows. I peered out and a tiny band was forming. A guitar was present as always and low and behold a clarinet appeared. Clarinets are reserved for only the most extreme of pop-up bands. My interest piqued and I descended into the street.