Music Monday: Mr Black

Edwin Antequera is not a good name for a champeta urbana star. This genre needs cred – and for that, you need a good stage name. Take, for example, one of the best-known champeta stars: Twister El Rey. Twister the King. He’s got a name that is making a bold declaration. And as Israel Gómez Monterrosa has declared […]

On grief/Remembering Ben

Today I finally realized that I am not special. I can’t pity myself. So many people are in my club. The Club of People Who Have Lost People Close to Them. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized how oblivious I’ve been forever. I suppose because I was growing up […]

Álvaro is a cobbler

Every morning, Álvaro carries a table, a chair, and several gunnysacks across the street. He places them under the shade of a large tree in front of one of the public schools, on one of the busiest streets in town. Then he makes a pyramid of pairs of other people’s shoes on the table. He spends […]

Music Monday: what’s hot

Today for Music Monday, here are three of the most popular songs on the coast of Colombia right now. J Balvin & Willy William – Mi Gente I’ve featured J Balvin before; his song “Safari” is one of my favorites to dance to. Well, now “Mi Gente” is on that favorites list, too. This one […]

Toilet talk: bathrooms in Colombia*

* I am only speaking from experience regarding the country of Colombia, but from what I understand, these things apply to much of Central and South America, if not a much wider swath of the world. This isn’t the sexiest topic I could blog about, but I’m doing it anyway: bathrooms. As someone who consumes […]

A weekend getaway to Minca

Minca, Colombia, nests in the Sierra Nevada mountains about 45 minutes outside of Santa Marta. During the 1990’s the pueblo experienced devastation, as it was taken over by a violent group involved in drug trafficking and other dangerous businesses; by 2000 peace was restored, although the town remained under paramilitary control until March of 2006. A […]

Sensing the Colombian Caribbean coast

Sometime early in our school education, we all learned that humans have five senses. Sight, sound, taste, touch, feel. While I have spent much of my tenure here reflecting on the other kind of feeling (emotional), lately I have been trying to imprint the sensory experiences of the Colombian Caribbean coast on my memory. My strategy? Think […]

Small bubbles

vPersonal bubbles here on the coast of Colombia are small. Every single greeting and farewell begins with personal contact. Even at a party, the polite way to enter is to go around the circle of chairs and physically touch everyone. Most frequently, women are giving cheek kisses to the people they know and shaking hands […]

Music Monday: Maluma

Like all the most popular urban musical artists in Colombia, Maluma isn’t the real name of the singer. Juan Luis Londoño Arias just isn’t very catchy or unique, so he created a stage name by combining the first syllables of his family members’ names (Marlli, Luis, and Manuela). Maluma’s songs – at least the most popular […]

Mountain View

A little about me!

Hey! I'm Brianna Hope, a born & bred midwesterner embarking on an adventure as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia. I am clumsy, I spill a lot, and I share most of my interests with 6 year-olds.

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Disclaimer

The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Colombian Government.

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