Stories from the front


Security on a street corner in an upscale Bogota neighborhood

Security on a street corner in an upscale Bogota neighborhood

Stories from the Front

Anyone want to hear about the summer I spent living with a group of young journalists, in a South American country in the midst of a civil war?  Oh, wait – that’s this summer – and it’s not as dramatic as all that.   While everything I said in the first sentence is factually correct; it’s also horribly misleading.

I live in an exciting, wealthy cosmopolitan city where the murmurs of FARC and continuing peace talks garner little notice – unless, of course, you are living in the corporate offices of Colombia Reports.  But otherwise, paramilitaries are not a big part of my daily life with the exception of the occasional amputee in the park.

(This is not to minimize the horrors faced by the populace for the last fifty years, but to avoid over-sensationalizing daily life here.)

 

lost his leg due to a landmine

lost his leg due to a landmine

Daily concerns

A bigger concern is a more basic one – for any woman alone in any major city, particularly as a traveler navigating a foreign city, and foreign language: the usual safety concerns to avoid being victimized.  So, I worry more about being mugged for my purse than being kidnapped and held by gangs or para-military groups.  Living here is like living in Chicago, Detroit, and Washington D.C in that respect.  But that’s not always what people want to hear.

Flashy Headlines

Big headlines attract readers, but substance and content are what’s really important.   So instead of trading in on ‘war stories’ with my readers, I try to bring portraits of daily life in Colombia and other parts of Latin America.  It’s not as flashy; and exciting – but it’s worthwhile reading all the same.  So with that in mind, I hope you enjoy reading about the lives of some of the people I encounter in my travels.

Dr. Constanza Moreno Serrano, Hand & Microsurgeon


Dra. Constanza Moreno is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand and microsurgery.  She specializes in the treatment of traumatic injuries such as digital and limb re-attachment, reconstructive surgery and correction of congenital deformities.  Next week she is traveling to Atlanta, Georgia to give a presentation at the International Hand and Composite Tissue Allotransplantation Society on the Hand Transplant Program she is developing at Santa Fe de Bogota.  Her aim is to restore limbs (and functionality) to the lives of Colombians affected by landmines. 

I hope to follow her to the operating room when she returns.. Look for more exciting news from this gracious physician in the future..

Colombia and Landmines

21 April 2011 – since I originally posted, I’ve received a lot of questions about hand tranplantation.. Here’s a Yahoo article discussing a recent hand transplant.