I carry my name, which sounds different in other latitudes. I carry the first words I learned, their sound and rythm an intrinsic part of my accent. I carry memories of a happy childhood: playing on our tree-house, catching frogs with Ana, picking wild blackberries with my brother, hiking with mom and dad, green, always green, the color of my memories.
I carry my heritage, the roots of my tree, transplanted to a new land. My grandfather, self-taught scholar, business man and politician -when politics was not a bad word. My father, creator of color, maker of dreams, a man ahead of his time. My brother, a young life lost, always present in my memories, always felt in his absence. My mother, the stronger woman I know, beautiful and smart; my north.
I carry the smiles, the faces, the words of so many of my friends. Climbing mountains, hiking trails, acting in plays, traveling north and south, working together, building a dream. I am a sum of my friends, I am one in a chain.
I carry the flavors and smells of Colombia, guayaba, mango, maracuya, mora, lulo, to mention a few. I crave this flavors in my mouth, I close my eyes and taste the idea of them.
I carry others with me, those I met along the way, teachers, friends, students, in another land. I learned about me by learning about them. I embraced my differences by opening my mind to the new, the other. I am one amongst many, we all carry our baggage.