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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

Peak Experiences: Climbing glaciers at the equator

It started to snow during the first kilometer, which is not what you’d expect, hiking in Colombia.  It wasn’t a soft, New Hampshire, get-out-the-cross-country-skis snow, but a Rhode Island coastal snow, halfway between snow and sleet, that uniquely snot-like texture that sticks to and soaks through everything.  Which is unfortunate since we were wearing 90%... Continue Reading →

The Long Goodbye

I like to think of myself as this flexible, go-with-the-flow kind of gal.  You know, who rolls with the punches and takes things in stride and all those other vaguely sports-oriented metaphors.  It turns out, however, based on a forty-odd year track record of actual evidence, that I’m not.  Which is one of the suck-y... Continue Reading →

In which I change my mind

Last night, at 3:30am, I woke up with my first full-blown panic about our plan.  Of course it won’t work.  We will be miserable and lonely. None of us will speak Spanish well enough to make friends.  We will be stuck with the weirdo ex-pats that washed ashore in Central America. Retta will turn 12... Continue Reading →

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