Voices (and rectangles)

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This post is about memories. This is a final day of the fellowship, and I have to write this.

Week ago we arrived to Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, where our travels ended. Nothing more to do, no further west to go. It was sunny and windy and I was finally wearing my blue jacket. Dusk, and autumn, was creeping in. We had started from North East where everyone was Swede, Finn, Irish or German. Now the Pacific was washing our feet and China was starting to creep in from the other side (SF has the largest Chinatown of U.S. cities).

We took pictures of the bridge, hugged each other for the camera. Somebody had written Freddie Mercury on a stone.

After taking all the pictures possible to take, we drove to a place called Sausalito and watched the evening fall. The soft haze veiled us, blue turned into dark ink, red changed into misty grey. I tried photographing it, but soon put the camera down. It wasn't a rectangular thing.

In that gray haven with a Tolkien feel the fellowship was splitting up, and impressions were bound to disappear. Sometimes when you walk with a camera, you start to think that life is what happens in rectangular shapes and in good light, possibly someone smiling straight at you. But that is not all there is. Many times you cannot see, not always someone is there smiling. You just have to live each second and find other ways to preserve your experiences.

My fellows, the strongest memory I have is the impression of you.

I am Wilson Vega from Colombia and I work as a foreign news editor for El Tiempo. We have heard the introductions of each other in so many meetings. They remind me how leather chairs feel - those chairs in countless conference rooms - and how diet coke tastes. The introductions have became our inside joke, and we have warped them for our fun. I am a chief investigative news anchor of staff and also a news editor from South Bulgary and this all sounds great to me but could you please clarify one thing.

You are so crisp and clear. I know your accents. I know how you walk, look at things, if you tend to walk in front of the group or hang back or stray apart of others. I know how and if you dance, how you laugh, what makes you laugh, what ticks you off and how you try to hide it. I know the questions you ask, the sport games that make you fall asleep. I know who is always hungry and who will not say no to a beer. (Hungary takes care of food, Australia of beer and Finland gorges both.) I know if you're a flaming torch or a calm observer. I have watched you struggle with fatigue, almost crying, and then again jump for joy. I have watched you talk to your wives and children, how your face lights up when you do, and I've seen how much you miss them.

But in two days you will meet them. Goodbye, my chief investigative national news anchors of staff, I will always remember you.