Abuela Alicia (EN)

 

Tonight I was called ‘corazon’, ‘querida’, ‘linda’, ‘amor’. I was looked at with love, admiration and full acceptance. For whatever sentence I put together in Spanish I received back five compliments about how talented I am to speak foreign languages. I was hugged, kissed, discretely touched on my arm and stroked over my head. All that ‘undeserved’ and unconditionned. Priceless when you are on the road alone.

And no, this all was not comming from colombian muchachos.

But from one tiny elegant lady. We just exchanged the signs of peace and smiles few times in the church this week. I enjoyed the warmth of her hands. The warmth comming from the heart and looking straight into my eyes as if she knew me. That was what provoked smile that was never left without an answer.

Tonight, knowing it is my last night in Cartagena I went to her to say ‘goodbye’ and … she did not let me go. As much as humble and delicate she was for her age she had quite a lot of decisive power in her hands holding mine, not letting me escape. I was directed straight to the ‘fiesta’ and were proudly introduced to all the community (every single one by person – each introduction was ended by ‘and look how she speaks Spanish although she had only 5 days course, isn’t she amazing?!’ and she was indeed proud and happy to ‘hang out’ with me). As if I were her most beloved grandchild.

By others I was immediately taken as a part of the family. We had excellent dinner followed by singing local cartagenian songs and dancing. It felt like a movie but it was true and I was part of it. Soaked in love and friendship. For one day I had not only grandma’ buth the whole colombian family.

Mi abuela Alicia! Isn’t she beautiful?

Being 92, this decent lady spreads love and gentleness around and definitely knows what ‘loving’ is.