Thursday 29 March 2012

Message from your Mother

Dear Daughter,

I haven't written one of these letters to you for a long time BUT... this morning you left for New York and Columbia and there were a few things I wanted to say but I didn't.

You see, while I am super excited for you to be going back to New York again I'm a little worried about the other parts of your trip.



Yesterday I googled Bogata. Big. Mistake.

Yes, you would have thought I had learnt my lesson about googling anything that troubled me after I looked up root canals (and if dear reader you are seriously going what the hell is she talking about, then google root canals - you will never be the same again.)

So while I was saying goodbye and wishing you a great adventure, I was silently replaying all the bad stuff I read about Columbia. Like,
  • the Mayor of Bogota is a former leftist guerrilla,
  • according to a 2011 article in The New York Times, 'street muggings and thefts have surged since 2007', leading certain commentators to declare a crisis of security in the city, and
  • in several recent polls, around 72% of the inhabitants say they have been victims of violent crime in 2010 and 2011.
Then last night, I watched Modern Family and lo and behold, Gloria referred to Columbia as the "murder capital of the world." It's just a comedy though, right?

Did you know about this? I know you can't change your plans but I am just going to pray you don't drink or eat while you are there because I read that they slip things into your food and drink so they can rob you. No, of course I don't know who 'they' are, as it could be any one of them. Yes, I really said that.

I know I worry too much to the point of being irrational. At least I kept my mouth shut until you were safely out of the country. And, given you have no Internet access, you won't be able to read this until you are safely back in the country. So by then, it won't matter what you think about what I thought.

Yes, I know, that made a whole lot of sense to me too.

However, in my more rational moments I do realise it is how it should be - Age Considers and Youth Ventures.

Take Care

Your Mother


  1. Hello Lilly, please don't worry.

  2. Ha ha, you are going to spend the rest of her holiday chewing your nails. Come to think of it, I would be too. At least she will fit in with her dark hair and look like a local. I can't say I know anyone who has visited there but Columbia is a real tourist attraction now so it must be safe, apart from the drugs, guns and violence (sorry couldn't help it, lol). Unfortunately Gloria is not doing much for their tourism industry.

  3. Lilly for all you know she may be safer in Columbia than in New York! Seriously I have friends who visited Columbia mainly because their son was teaching English there one year. They had a wonderful trip, I believe there is an interesting Salt mine there among other things.

    What else can a mother do but worry though, looks like it never ends!

  4. I believe that funny Gloria character is from Columbia.
    I had to check that you didn't confuse Columbia with New York City. I always thought NYC was the murder capital.

  5. I can truly 100% commiserate with you, Lilly! Seriously. My son, Jon and Sarah went from Hawaii to Florida to Bogota. And then to Medellin!!! Medellin! (as in CARTEL????) I told him, "I sure hope they don't send me part of your ear because I don't have enough money to pay for the rest of you." Sarah's parents will have to pay for her, if they can.

    I can write whatever I like because he's too busy to read what I write on my blogs... usually.

    Jon just text messaged a note to us saying they left Medellin and are now in Cartenega. Where the heck is that? I won't google it because it might freak me out too.

    They're going to spend 3 months in Ecuador after this to learn Spanish and then head toward the east coast (of the U.S., thank goodness) to begin their graduate studies. It could even be NY! What? That's the murder capital? What? Granted, our kids did grow up in Chicago which used to be the home of Al Capone.

    OK, OK... I'll stop my ranting and raving now. Thanks for letting me get it out of my system.

    Loved your post, by the way. :-)

  6. I'm quite happy to do a swap. My kid finished uni, found a job one train stop away, squats at home and pays no rent.

    She's not contemplating moving out, or even going overseas!!!

    (I'm sure some of your good sense has rubbed off on her, stop worrying).

  7. @ Kay how funny - we are facing the same thing. My daughter is going to Cartagena too, a bit later in April - its on the coast and is far safer and very pretty from the pictures. How funny if they were all to meet up?

    I found this NYT article about Cartegna Kay - now its the type of place we should be going to so you better show Art, lol. It could be on your next port of call when you travel next.

  8. @ Young Werther, yep they are too clever. Let's hope she earns the big bucks and keeps you in your old age, lol.

  9. Ohh Lily i can feel your concerns and love. I have an adventurous daughter--well at least by my standard! I dont fly due to my fear..she does it all. She is on her way home from Hawaii today. She hates flying--but she does it! Good for her. I hope your daughter stays safe and well. Life is to be lived--i know that. Its just very hard for us moms. New York is a blast but Columbia...well lets just say..ADVENTUROUS! lol

  10. I have to laugh Lily. i posted yesterday or the day before and commented about you having the same song as I do--I dont think you have that song--i think my blog was playing in the background and I didnt realize until later lol anyway the song is Fight Like a girl!

  11. Prayers for your dear daughter Lilly. You wrote a great post, and surely it'll make her smile once she gets back safe and sound and reads it! She knows you love her, and that is what she will always remember:)

  12. How funny, well it will be when she comes back safely that is.

  13. My mother worried about me travelling to Egypt back in 1979 when I was in my 20's. She thought I would be taken into the 'white slave trade'....but I managed to side step that one!

    I do understand your worry Lilly and at the same time adore your writing style.

    Will send light to your daughter regularly for a safe and happy adventure.

    Peggy xxxxxxxx

  14. Enjoyed it and Yes always listen to your mother! Sure do miss mine. Hope you have a wonderful time... Modern Family is my favorite show!

  15. I understand why you would be worried too. NYC is a great place to visit but Columbia is getting to be a popular tourist destination too. they will look after their tourists I am sure.

  16. I have just changed my comment system over to Disqus so all the previous comments need to imported into this system which may take 24 hours or so (hopefully as I would hate to lose them all). 

  17. I hope she is alright then Lilly. What a great experience for her, travel is just the best .

  18. Lilly,I just so pray that everything about her trip goes fine and soon and safely back with you. I know how a Mom worries . HUGS

  19. Joanna Jenkins1 April 2012 at 14:10

    Hi Lilly, Welcome back!  I've missed you.

    When I saw your headline I thought you were going to talk about your daughter going to Columbia UNIVERSITY in NYC--  I yiyi, I didn't realize you meant THAT Columbia.

    I will be holding your sweet daughter in good thought and hope she rocks those shoes in Columbia!

    xoxoxo jj

  20. Thanks Kirti - she'll be fine but she will have some storeis to tell, she always does!

  21. Thanks for stopping by Fran. Yes I wish it was me flying off somewhere too.

  22. Thanks JJ - yes imagine shopping before you go to Columbia!

  23. Hey Lilly,
    My son lives in NY so I pray every day.  I would be apopletic (sp?) if he traveled to any where I deemed unsafe but I don't know where safe lives except in my mind, heart, kichen and other environs.  Like another reader said, she'll be just fine, fine, fine, fine, fine...actually that

  24. Hugs! I am at your service but you'll pay for my hurting knees ;)

  25. I guess we mothers never stop worrying, do we? She is having a wonderful time in New York though, just loves it.

  26. Damn that is my problem, standing or sitting will be fine! Lol

  27. Getting a root canal can be really painful, especially when the effects of the anesthesia is out.

  28. Haha, the mother couldn't the least bit be concerned! For one, there's probably no dentist in Bogota that could compare to her orange county dentist. I feel for the mother. I hope the daughter gets the sincerity, and humor, in that mother's letter. 


Thanks for your comments.