Hola, darlings. I hope Friday's been treating you well. As promised, I'm going to reflect on what it was like to travel throughout Colombia with my grandmother for three weeks. How did the adventure come to be? Well, one year ago I decided I should visit the country where about fourth of my family originated from (especially being that I've already been to Mexico and Ireland). A few months later, I realized I'd acquired enough JetBlue points for a free roundtrip flight. Then I told my grandmother about my plans and she expressed interested in joining me. We reserved our tickets a few weeks after.
My grandma and I have a pretty incredible relationship. We spend lots of time together and I can practically tell her anything. And yes, she does spoil me; when I was a little girl and my mom wouldn't buy me a little something I "needed," my grandma was the first on the checkout line. (My mom wasn't much of a fan of this habit.) More importantly though, we're close enough to be silly together and she'll let me take pictures of her as she's eating an oblea (two thin, crispy, wafer-like cookies with arequipe, otherwise known as dulce de leche in the middle). On my birthday, she said, "Oh, Daniela, happy birthday. The day you were born... now that was a wonderful day," as she hugged me. I was her first grandchild.
The stories filtered out of her as soon as we touched down in Bogotá. She told me of how her family struggled financially when she was a child; she told me of how secretly artistic her father was: he was a talented singer and wrote poetry with beautiful penmanship; she told me her cousin loved to dance so much, they once skipped school to spend the day dancing with their friends; she told me of how her sister convinced her to go out for empanadas one afternoon, and how only after eating two each, did she realize neither of them had any money; she told me of how hard her first factory job was in the United States... and that she'd only been 16 then; she told me of how her youngest sister begged her to accompany her to a church dance one night, and how it was there that she met my grandfather.
So, what was it like traveling with grandma? Kind of really awesome. At 76, she didn't have the energy to do quite as much as I wanted to do at times, but I just worked as she rested. During one of our last heart-to-hearts, she said to me, "Sometimes I think I have regrets, but when I look back, I realize that I wouldn't have rather made different choices. There is no life I can imagine wanting more than the one I have right now." I hope that means she had a good time as well :).