I wrote: Cocaine, Gabriel García Márquez and Drug Cartels.
After a week in country, in the small town of Villa de Leyva high in the Cordillera Oriental, she asked us how our pre-conceptions had changed. What would we write now? A week isn’t long, but my thoughts had deepened, expanded. I wrote things like:
Cowboys, montañas y aguardiente
La Paz, amistad and reconciliation
Fertility, biodiversity and richness
Plátanos, papas y carne
Wealth, poverty and land reform
Café, jugo y fruta
FARC, para-military and narcos
Mountains, jungle and coast
Indio, Africano y Castellano
Las Cordilleras Occidental, Central y Oriental
Salsa, Cumbia y Vallenato
But the word I forgot, I realize now, was amor. When Colombians talk to their family and friends everyone is mi amor, mi vida, my love, my life. And so, as Colombia got under my skin, it lodged itself as mi amor, and there it will remain.