Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Discovering Colombia - Part 1

Discovering Colombia – Part 1

I have a friend who says “its not an adventure if you know what happens.” It’s been 30 years since I traveled alone to a country where I do not speak the language. I have have only the sketchiest idea of what this trip holds- a hotel address, an invitation to give a talk (where? for whom? with whom? I don’t know) and meet with someone – that’s it.  

This journey began with an invitation from Mario Chamorro, Executive Director of the Happy Post Project.

I met Mario at the United Nation’s High Level Meeting on Happiness and Wellbeing: defining a new economic paradigm this April. He was in the same working group as I (civil society) and the first time I heard him speak, he was inciting, in the kindest and most sweet way, over 800 of the most esteemed world academics, politicians and NGO leaders – among them the President of Costa Rica, the Secretariat General of the United Nations, Jeffrey Sacks and Vandana Shiva – to take  personally the high level recommendations the Government of Bhutan  and academics recommended.  “It says here ‘
Governments, universities, hospitals and other organisations can buy from sustainable local sources, like organic farmers and fair trade groups.”  So why not do this in your own life for at least one day?  Try buying only from local producers or at your farmers market.”  There was a sort of silence after Mario spoke – a combined effect as if he had said “the emperor has no clothes” and “I love you” all in the same breath.  Then the meeting went on, with the usual complicated academic and esoteric comments, albeit laced with deep and beautiful gratitude.

I saw the shining beauty in Mario, and went up to him in our working group delighted to find someone so cool. We kind of giggled together, agreeing at once to conspire.

And so here I am, on a plane with impossible connections on my way to Cali, Colombia. 

Posted by Laura Musikanski, ED of HI

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