Colombia my country, I keep you in my heart with love, I believe in your destiny and I hope to see you big, respected and free.
In you, I love much of what is dear to me; I love your beauty, I love that you were my home, that you are the home of my elders, that you have the life and the blood from which my blood comes; I love that in you I learned a lot of what I am, you gave me my wife and one of my children, and alongside of this, you gave me the courage to fly for my dreams and for my family (*).
Australia, my new home … my home, I keep you in my heart with love, you welcomed me with open arms, and you made me feel respected and welcomed. You gave me my beloved daughter, and a beautiful, peaceful, happy, free and respected place in which to grow and see my family grow.
5 years and a few hours ago, we were stepping on Australian soil for the first time, we were partially lost, arriving to a country where you walk on the other side, you drive on the other side … even the turns in board games go to the other side; We arrived in a country where they speak aussie, which claims to be English, but it is not English, where “water” is pronounced “wata”, we arrived in a country of no one and everyone, a country of indigenous people, who have lived here thousands of years, and of the immigrants, who have been arriving for more than 200 years, a country in which even today, more than a quarter of the population is a 1st or 2nd generation immigrant.
Migrating is not easy, leaving behind the comfort of the house, of the known; leaving behind your culture, your friends, your family, your “social status”, your “engineer position”, arriving in a country to “work on what comes out”: cleaning, washing dishes, distributing flyers, all this with the purpose of looking for a better future, all this while you see that you have more time with your family, that there is enough money, that you live more calm and then when you finally find a “qualified” job, life has already changed your perspective and you have grown.
Migrating is not easy, but while “loosing” a place where the Soccer World Cup stops the country for an entire month, we are wining joyful times watching with your family AFL and Cricket at the MCG, while waking up early or going to bed late to watch the UEFA Champions League or the World Cup (event if no one else knows about it). These 5 years have been of many joys, of much learning, of much love. 5 years walking hand-in-hand with my wife, 5 years loved and protected by God.
Thanks to all those who have supported us in this dream come true, 5 years have passed, and I hope there are still many more.
(*) First 2 paragraphs based on the poem “Oración a la Patria” from Monseñor Pedro Pablo Galindo Méndez, but have been modified – made personal.