Worst-Case Scenarios

In honor of the one(ish) year anniversary of Eric’s free-diving accident, here is the full(er) story. I am in a taxi on my way to Hospital Mar Caribe.  It took longer than usual to find a taxi because it’s Good Friday, which appears to be a shut-the-city-down kind of holiday in Colombia.  The beaches have…

The Season of Invitados

For almost three months, we were a self-sufficient four-person unit: Karpinskis vs. Colombia.  We ate, slept, studied, shopped, cooked, cleaned, watched Modern Family, did everything as a foursome.  It was both awesome — we could complete each other’s thoughts! — and occasionally painful — we could complete each other’s thoughts!  Then late March and Eric’s…

The Doldrums, plus Poems of Homesickness

As we tried to channel our longing for home in a productive manner, poems happened. TWO-VOICE POEM by Retta San Diego                                                   Both                                               Santa Marta You grew up with me You’re experiencing with me I am newfangled I am native I am here, I am waiting I can teach you I can comfort you I can…

Halfway There: Reflections

We are at the halfway point, the apex of this journey.  For three months we’ve been climbing up from our monolingual, baffled-by-everything starting point, and now we’re teetering at the top, starting the long slide toward our return to “normal” life.  In the grand tradition of Buzzfeed, where every article is “26 Male Celebs With…

Rule Number One

The list of items to bring Eric in the ICU included sheets, soap and toilet paper.  This freaked me out more than the phone call letting me know he was in a Colombian hospital.   In my Amero-centric view of healthcare — one that emphasizes sterility above all else and technology as cure-all —  these items…