I was moved to read this morning that the Nobel Peace Prize has gone to President Santos of Colombia, for his negotiations with FARC to end a half-century of conflict in Colombia. The prize committee were aware that the peace agreement had just been narrowly rejected by Colombian voters in a referendum, but expressed hope that the award might help bring the settlement to fruition, and also be an example to other leaders.
It's more than half a century since I was last in Colombia, but I've always felt a fondness for the country and its complex culture, its beautiful landscape and ancient art. And I feel proud that my children are half Colombian. As Francisca says in CONDOR AND HUMMINGBIRD, "Pelo verde y vents verdes--Colombia!"
Although CONDOR AND HUMMINGBIRD, which takes place in 1963, doesn't deal with the specific half-century conflict with FARC, it does explore, from the perspective of that time, the culture of "La Violencia" and political violence--intertwined with a passionate concern for the lives of children in poverty, and the possibility of wisdom from ancestors and ancient cultures.
CONDOR AND HUMMINGBIRD was once recommended, in a travel book for women, as a good way to acquaint oneself with Colombia. And even now, I think it would give new readers an interesting persepective on some aspects of Colombian culture, from an outsider's limited experience. But it does feel right somehow, to have brought out this 30th anniversary edition of CONDOR AND HUMMINGBIRD in the same year as these momentous happenings in Colombia. And I fervently wish Colombians a new era of peace and hope.