Place: Ampitheater, small, of a biblioteca or similar building in La Playa area of Medellin (I still cannot figure out how to put in an accent on that i).
Time: Mid-morning to midday, June 22.
Scene: Fold-down seats of about 150, half-full. Big screen on which presentation and videos from LGBTI (pronounced elle-hay-be-te-ee) collectives all over the city play.
Guys. Guise. Gize. This city has a different LGBT organization or collective for every neighborhood. OK, so this probably makes sense, given how big of a city this is. But still. That is pretty cool. And yes, maybe some neighborhoods aren't represented. I am sure that is true. Still.
Am I getting ahead of myself? How did I end up here? Where to start? The event at the other library with the history of LGBT people in Medellin? Where my now host invited me to stay at her sweet little house on the outskirts of the city, for much cheaper than the hostel I was staying at? With a KITTEN?
How the next day I went to a presentation on marriage equality in Colombia and met new friends who I rlylikealot. And went to a concert with them, only leaving early to not miss the last bus to San Cristobal.
How I got to go to this event because E (my host) invited me along, because she was going to represent her organization.
I learned a lot, even without being fluent in Spanish and not being able to maintain my attention for very long to the words.
It is amazing how much you can gain, and also how much you can miss, being in a group of people speaking in another language. This same day, I was sitting during lunch with a small circle of folks. E asked if she could have some piece of meal that I was too full to eat. I asked if I should put it in her styrofoam box. She said, No aca! And someone else, L, who I'd met a few times, laughed, Aca, in su boca! And I laughed with them. It was a simple joke, but still, it was a joke, and I understood it. It contrasted with the times I have sat in a circle of people laughing at a Spanish joke and not understood it.
Very soon after, I expressed that I was going to hang out with a friend, and L started teasing me about whether this was like a date. I was able to say, "Soy timida!" as an excuse not to reveal any information. This was all very good fun.
I have decided to experiment with posting shorter, bite-sized blogs, so I will end this here. Fair warning, the next one may be in a more serious tone.