Ode to the Most Amazing Couple in Colombia

Me (with hair), El Rey Noé, y la Diosa del Caribe Colombiano

I’m not as religious as my moms raised me to be, but I’ll say that when I think about the many people that I have in my life – worldwide – who I can truly call friends, the only thing I can really call myself is blessed. I lived in Bogotá, Colombia, for 18 months back in 2006 and 2007, working at a university and sinking into the surprisingly-diverse cultural life of the Colombian capital, high in the Andes. It’s a chilly place, and at over 8,000 feet in altitude, often gray and rainy and cold and solitary. But on many a Sunday, I found a bit of warmth over at the house of Indira and Noé, two of the most amazing people in my circle of friends (though, now that I think about it, I have an inordinate number of amazing friends in Bogotá).

I met Indira at a party and we bonded over Spike Lee movies, house music, and the shared understanding that, as an Afro-Colombiana, she had to go to another country before she even considered herself beautiful, let alone considered beautiful by societal standards. She made it big as a model in Venezuela, then came back home to Colombia start her acting career. She’s still one of the very few black women on any screen or billboard anywhere in a country with an estimated 40% of the population having African ancestry.

Then there’s Noé, an aspiring photographer with a raucous, Venezuelan (read: raunchy) sense of humor who just happens to be Indira’s husband. As a man from a hot, Caribbean country stranded up in the Colombian Andes, Noé knows what it’s like to be out of his element. They brought me into their home on Sunday afternoons for movies and meals, our line-up spanning countries and cultures: Eve’s Bayou, Secuestro Express, Amelie. I caught many a sunset from their westward-facing balcony and picked more than a few golden retriever hairs off my sweaters (shouts to Bruno the Dog). I’m missing those days even as I write this.

As with everything, we moved on – I, to a job in Barranquilla, then out of the country; Indira and Noé to the responsibility of raising little Maximiliano, now three? Still, these wonderful people served as two of the larger of the many rocks I leaned on as an expat in Colombia, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Indi, Noé, little Max, and Bruno…I love you guys!

Check out my peeps flowing with English on the red carpet. Noé, you got that ‘thank you’ down pat, bruh! 😉

More ‘friend profiles’ to come.

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