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.