Saturday, March 4, 2017

Bringing "The Existence of Pity" to Life

The setting of my novel, The Existence of Pity, comes from my youth. I grew up as a missionary kid in Colombia, South America, but I certainly didn't experience the conflict Josie faced. This is a picture of our house as it looks now. The current owner has made it more beautiful, but I miss the towering bougainvillea around the front door.

Cali's Baptist Seminary
Here is just one of many photo of the Baptist Seminary across the street. Although much of the land has been sold, the open fields and grand buildings make the place as impressive as ever. 
 
 What follows is an excerpt from my book about the Plaza de Caycedo:
Plaza de Caycedo

Cali's downtown streets swarmed with people as we headed toward the park to sit on thick concrete benches under towering palm trees. Some Colombians were dressed for work, moving quickly past us, while others relaxed with their friends in jeans and T-shirts.
"That looks fun," I said, pointing to a group kicking a soccer ball around.
"Yeah." Aunt Rosie leaned back and closer her eyes. "Do you realize, Josie, we could be anywhere in the whole world?"
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know; it just seems like people are the same wherever you go. Every city has a park for people to hang out in, and it usually has a statue of an important person in the middle." She opened her eyes and pointed to the bronze image of a man clutching a flag. "Who is that, anyway?"
"I'll go find out." I jumped up to read the plaque. Returning, I told her the statue was of a man who helped Cali gain its freedom from Spain. The park had been a public market in the 1600s.
As cathedral bells rang out, I looked around the old park with new eyes, wondering how much -- or how little -- had changed in three centuries. When the bells finally stopped chiming, I pulled out my camera to take pictures.
"I'm glad you like your new camera," Aunt Rosie said.
"Maybe I'll become a photographer for National Geographic one day." I took a picture of the statue with palm trees behind it, then one of the soccer ball flying in the air. "I'll travel the world, visiting all those parks."

2 comments:

  1. Fascinating pictures. This is how I pictured it when reading your book!

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