When I met Gina in the early nineties, she had a lot of friends, a lot of people with numbers at the end of their names so that they may be recognized like the Nth of the dynasty they imagined it was important to belong to, of hangers-on hoping for a score with the best girl in town frankly… But there were two women who stood out to me when I briefly met them. Both friends were made when attending Wharton, one was Turkish who went back to Istanbul and the other Colombian who came back to, well… Alejandra welcomed us in Colombia with open arms, inviting us out to the screening of a wonderful documentary earlier in the month, as you may remember, and showed us around for lunch, drinks and dinner most days of the week, finally reminiscing in person with her college accomplice, my lovely wife. It has been wonderful for Gina to bump into someone with whom the roots of friendship are so deep, someone who knew her when she was still forming, someone who probably knows more about her than I do, it’s refreshing. Alejandra is an Eco-crusader, worked at her country’s ministry of the environment, is a musician and a mother. She doesn’t merely understand the difficult issues facing her country after such a turbulent past, she acts upon them. She has two lovely kids fluent in 3 languages, is still best friends with their father, her ex-husband, and is in the midst of redefining herself as a person, woman and artist by releasing an album which she wrote top to bottom, filled with the messages she has long wanted to express but which might have been weird within the government policies she helped enact. Alejandra is pretty awesome…


So when she generously offered to take us up to her country house for the day, we were thrilled to get to know a bit more about her, about her habits, thoughts and kids. “It’s rustic and in the middle of nowhere!” she warned with her charming accent, unaware of how prepared we now were to confront, even naked, all of the dangers that nature could throw at us thanks to our stint in malevolent Costa Rica.

Looking forward to a home-cooked lunch at this humble abode, about an hour away from town, we first stop at a little place she knows along the highway for some Arepas, delicious cheese-filled fried mini calzones. I know what you’re thinking, fried bread along a national road?… Well, that highway happens to be located along a beautiful canal, equipped with some post-Arepas nap hammocks, I mean look at this place…





Just beautiful but it was getting 2-ish, stretching our conception of lunch, so we departed, crossing a couple of small towns, stopping there to breathe in air un-huffed by tourists…




…and we got to Alejandra’s “country house” around 3:30 and GIVE ME A BREAK, ARE YOU SERIOUS LADY?!…


Right out of the over-curated pages of Dwell, the reluctant designer in me, still lurking in the dark corners of my being, had a bit of a design-gasm…




Getting the tour of this borderline insalubrious favela got us to question the sanity of this heretofore shining example of the human race. The bedroom? I mean, the bedroom?!…


Bathroom with a hell of a view
Bathroom with a hell of a view

Living in this room...
Living in this room…
This was not a “rustic” house by any definition, not that we minded, especially when the magic words “who wants to ride horses?” resounded across the poured concrete and the kids jumped up to heaven. Alejandra has horses, of course… Rustic my ass.



We finally had “lunch” around 6:30pm, thereby confirming our host’s loose comprehension of the English language, but it was all good, all good. Thank you Ale!


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