Colombia – hanging with the natives.
One time, in Colombia, while drinking cheap beer and philosophing on sidewalks, I met a guy named Francisco, who was from a tribe called Wiwa. The Wiwa live far up in the Sierra Nevada and Francisco invited me to come and meet his family and people in his village. I don’t often get offered to hang out with mountain tribes, so clearly I jumped at the chance.
After walking uphill for endless hours, half eaten by spiders and mosquitos, i was just inches away from calling the whole thing off in favor for a hot bath and a manicure (Damn you supercute sandals that are totally inappropriate for mountain walks!), when we finally arrived at a place not much short of paradise. Meeting the indigenous people here I felt thrown back into a past day and age when people didn’t have the comfort of modern living and had to do with what nature made available. The Wiwa live in the most basic conditions and are very shy and quiet but also happy and full of spirituality. Under their care, I took baths in waterfalls, cooked traditional dishes and walked through the jungle in the darkest of nights. Francisco explained to me how to make use of the nature as medicine, and now I am a pro in making the best coca leaves lemon tea – an ideal brew against anything from stomach cramps to hangovers.
I can probably say that this experience was the closest I’ve ever felt to nature and it stirred up some seriously fondamental questions in me. The one question of what is most important in life was lived by the Wiwa right there and then – nature, food, love and family.
As the Wiwa had never heard of Europe, I sang them Edith Piaf songs and made them laugh about stories of the frozen lakes currently gracing my home pueblito Berlin. They shared some of their life with me and I shared some of mine with them and it was the most natural thing.
This trip opened up my heart for the basics of life, and now I know there really is a nature girl, hiding underneath this pretty dress and that moisturized skin. A girl who can´t wait to go back to the Colombian mountains to marry a long haired Wiwa and spend the rest of my days walking barefoot through the rain forest. Alright, I’m getting a bit carried away there, I’d probably still want to wear sandals. cutes ones.
But enough of the talking.
Let’s see – could he be my future husband?
Would she be my pet?
Would I have a kid like this and teach him how to cook Vegetarian MishMash?
Would this soon be my backyard?
And would those be my new homegirls?
I’ll think about it.
Post written by Anna-Zoe Schmidt