Thursday, June 21, 2012


In English “despedida” means “farewell”. We are in the midst of the season when there is a turn-over of expats here in Colombia. People who have served their time at the embassy and are headed on to another country or back home. Missionaries are going on furlough to have a much needed R&R.
I'm staying. We are ½ way through our tour here in Colombia. One year in and one year to go. My head has known certain friends would be leaving this summer but my heart didn't really contemplate it until a few days ago.
We attended a going away party for some good friends. Others who are leaving were there as well. There were 3 particular ladies who I encounter in the same circle of life. We are in book club together, attend group lunches, some of our kids are at the same school together. The morning after the party it settled on me that I will never see these women again. The biggest difficulty is the familiarity they bring. In a life where there are constant changes the familiarity of the year becomes important. Pieces are now missing from the puzzle of my life. A good group of friends are still here, so I can sort of see what the picture is supposed to look like. New people will come and fill in the empty spots. The puzzle will look different, the picture will be almost complete but there will be one piece missing.
There is often that one person or family that becomes integral to how the puzzle looks for a time. That couple is leaving. Another piece won't fit into the hole they leave. It's a couple who are similar to us. They love the outdoors, a good restaurant, an adventure. Our conversation is never milk-toast. We can lay it on the table, who we are, where we came from and what we think. They are a piece that fit into the puzzle very cozily.
Shakira's song La Despedida has a bit of a haunting, dissonant sound to it. As her voice wails a melody and gains feeling my heart feels the cries of a "farewell".
B&E you will be missed. The adventure will just not be quite the same without you around to share it with.  


  1. Hey Kris - right there with ya... same thing's been happening here. And, our friends who've been that integral piece to the puzzle for the last 12 years just left Niger definitively 2 weeks ago. I think the tears will be nearby for awhile...

    Hope your new becomes normal again, even though it will never be the same, asap!

    1. 12 years - wow, my heart feels for you. I haven't even lived in one place that long. Iknow a friendship like that will last despite the ocean between you.