I tried to look for Anthony Bourdain’s email address on the internet with no success. He is apparently very hard to get a hold of, which seems reasonable with the crazy schedule he must handle whenever he shoots No Reservations. So my only hope is that maybe for one crazy twist of life, he stumbles across this post on the internet.
I grew up in Bogotá, Colombia. For many, the synonym for a drugs, violence and corruption. I grew up on a very different Bogotá though. Mine was full of kids playing soccer, my mom working 8am to 7pm and a catholic school that taught both Creationism and Evolution without any of the controversy surrounding the same matter here in the states.
I was not oblivious to the violence that occurred in my country growing up. I remember guerrillas taking over the Justice Palace where the supreme court of Colombia resided. I remember presidential candidate getting killed (one in a plane, one in a platform while giving a speech), and their funerals. I remember the kidnappings of periodists, the release of some and the dead of others. I remember bombs exploding on government buildings and malls. I remember Escobar being taken down from the roof of a house. His bloody shirt, and his limp hands tucked in his pants.
I also grew up on less violent times and yet a lot scarier. A corrupt president that gave half the country to the guerrillas in a lob sided trade to sit on “Peace talks”, and that same president that sunk my beatiful country so far into the mud that my family was forced to leave it in search of a better future.
Those are realities we cannot hide, not should we ever forget. Yet, life in Colombia has changed (as Anthony Bourdain so beautifully has shown). Gone are those days of daily fear. Optimism can be smelled in the air. An economic boom that has sent ripple effects through out the nation has occurred in the last 8 years. I didn’t get to enjoy any of those things, but I’m happy to see my own country do much better than when I left it.