Yuly Restrepo’s Unsent Letter to Her Friend Back In Colombia

Back before violence forced her family into political asylum in the States, Yuly Restrepo hung out with a group of kids across the street from her house in Medellín, Colombia. She got really close to Vero in particular. They hung out all the time, listening to music, and they dreamed of buying an apartment in Canada together. But Yuly and Vero drifted apart when the group of kids got too crowded and loud, and after that, Yuly felt weird even inviting Vero to her quinceñera. One day Vero handed Yuly a folded letter, wondering why they weren’t close anymore.

Two years later, after migrating to the States and then returning to Colombia, Yuly wrote a letter back to Vero. But she never sent it. We talk about immigration, gradually losing your sense of home, the hazards of being forced to do high school twice, and what Yuly’s written response to Vero was really about, in this episode. (Right-click the small “Click here to start download from sendspace” in the small blue box, not the fake-out ads. One day I shall have a podcast, one day!)

Yuly Restrepo was a Rona Jaffe fellow in fiction at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

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