The adventure begins for some, ends for others, and awaits 2 more

Six of us arrived safely in Bogotá, last night. Jill, Marie-Do, Rachel and I flew through Mexico on bankruptcy-protected airline Mexicana. We didn’t know that the airline would be in trouble when we booked the tickets. The only supplies they had on board were lemon-flavoured peanuts and tequila. Fueled by what sustenance was on offer, we made it. Yolanda and her mother, Theresa, arrived a little later on much-better-supplied American.

Chantal Bililu was refused boarding at Nairobi. Kenyan Airlines claimed that she didn’t have the appropriate visa for transiting through Europe, something called a Schengen visa. While we’ve had visitors from the DR Congo travel through Europe without this type of transit visa over the last couple of years, Kenyan still wouldn’t let her board. It is very frustrating, and seems arbitrary. Chantal has returned to be with her family in Bukavu.

We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Cora and Vernie who will join us in a few days.

Today is a mostly a day of reconnecting with old friends and orienting ourselves to a new country. We will be meeting Lilia Solano later this morning to hear an update on her situation, and meeting later with Omar Fernandez to learn about the future work of COMOSOC, a movement of churches and other organizations working for reparations for victims of the war. Omar and I traveled to Halifax a couple of years ago, to meet with the local KAIROS group and exchange information about our work.

Last night we stayed at the Carmelite Mission in the capital. The nuns are treating us really well, but I have a question for them: how do they survive both the cold AND the mosquitoes at the same time? Last night was, like, 8 degrees and still the mosquitoes buzzed around like Apache helicopters. They must be some super-Colombian breed.

Filed in: Gender Justice/Women of Courage, Latin America

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