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SPRING2014 Multicultural Association of
Wood Buffalo
Travel to my country







Cultured in Colombia: my trip back home

Marleny Sloan

came to Canada to study English living spent a couple of days in my hometown,
with a Canadian Family for two months. we rented a nice cottage outside of the
I ter, I moved in with my boyfriend. I city to spend New Year’s Eve. Every year
La
kept studying English until I got the level we do something different. This year we
12 certification. When my boyfriend and I decided to wear Hawaiian collars have a
decided to get married, my visa was about special dinner and dance all night until the
to expire and we had to tie the knot in a fireworks began. The “Año Viejo” (the old
rush. I was happy, but at the same time it year) tradition comprises of a stick figure
wasn’t an easy decision because I missed that represents the dying year, stitched in
my home country and family. It was nearly old clothes, stuffed with paper, cardboard
two years before I could travel to Colombia. and pyrotechnical material, to be burnt
So when I finally went to Colombia, I at midnight on December 31 as a way to
got a wonderful reception at the airport, chase away the negative and sad memories
with music, flowers and all my family and of the year ended.
friends waiting for me. My nephews and Memories of the Sierra Nevada de Santa
nieces looked all grown up and lovely. I felt Marta, the spectacular snow-capped
very loved and special. I was very excited, mountain ranges that fall straight into the
after two years I finally had the opportunity Caribbean, sitting cross-legged with Kogi
to visit the upscale restaurants in Bogota Indians who live as they did 500 years ago,
with my friends, share stories about life in in a cluster of thatched huts two days’ walk
Canada. Also just the possibility of hugging down to the sea, always felt at one with na-
my brothers and sisters and seeing how ture. Listening to their shamans, I felt they
their children were growing to be healthy could actually hear the earth breathe.
and happy was priceless. At breakfast-time in Cartagena, one
December in Colombia is a magical time, bright coloured toucan nudged my ankle
December and that is why I always try to visit during with his colorful beak, looking for a hand-
in Colombia is a that time. Family and friends get together out. Doesn’t everyone find a toucan under
her table?
for the Novenas tradition, a celebration in
magical time, and honor of Jesus Christ that begins nine days Colombia happens to be the second
that is why I always before Christmas, everyone brings food;
try to visit during it’s eat, drink and dance time. Just being

that time able to share Novenas with them, filled my
heart with warmth and happiness. After we




















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