I didn’t have a conventional mother growing up. To this day she is a very complicated person to describe. Perhaps the closest person to her is Laura, and this is the very reason why when they get along the world trembles, but when they don’t, there’s war. From the fiercest warrior, to a catatonic Buddha she’s not easy to imagine.

She’s strong, that we all agree upon. When we were little she had the self love to realize that getting help from Tia and Omi didn’t mean that we were less hers, and that sometimes they were (and are) the other versions of herself we need to face different stages of our lives. She allowed others to love us as much as her and only now – where crazy politics make her go coo-coo- plays the “I’m your mom card”. Maybe earlier, but defnitely only when I was seventeen did she want to get rid of me as much as I wanted to get rid of her; obstinacy on both sides led to lack of understanding, and in a twist of fate, it led to Maximo having to handle female problems in a way he had never known how to.

In the constant flow of life she has changed, or perhaps she never has but growing up has altered the light under which we view her. The one thing I have always admired about her is her fearlessness to break free from the norm and her matter-of-fact self worth. She married the Italian, refused to go to University and due to a fight, started a business that defines her as the original wanderer.

“Where’s your mom?” Is a question we never answered with common thing like “shopping, at the store, visiting her friends, at grandma’s”. Our answers were always different and such as “in Nepal, gone to Tibet, travelling to India, going to the Amazon, Casanarito.. and my favourite: I’m not sure”. By no means does this mean that she left us behind and neglected us, the greatest gift she ever gave us was taking us with her, and for me, giving me a camera to start capturing the way I see the world.


On top of table mountain, she refused to share her camera.

She has never been a person easy to define, and it hasn’t always been golden moments and happy thoughts. I still want to kill her some days, as I’m sure she wants to remind me she’s older and knows better, but our relationship has morphed into a sort of friendship that has become as unique as her. She has never been conventional and it was her foresight that supported me to leave everything behind and move to Africa at 22 – her greatest gift to me as of yet.

Por toda tu locura, gracias mamá. Felíz día de las madres!

6 Comments on “Astrida”

  1. Your mother definitely doesn’t sound conventional. Her greatest gift was an exceptional one indeed! I doubt your life would have been the same if your mother hadn’t supported you to move to Africa.

  2. Ale, I only know you from watching WE when you are guiding us around Djuma and Chitwa and now the posting of your pictures from the Mara. I think your Mother gave you much strength to be the woman that you are today. Hoping we can meet when I arrive at Djuma this September. Thank you for sharing.

  3. That’s why your a free spirit also. The Apple doesn’t fall far from from the tree.😊Your Mother gave u a great gift. Being a free spirit is wonderful, people who are live life to the fullest. Beautifully written. Love reading ur blog. 😊

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