& edited by Daniel Supervielle
Alberto Caló was the father of a good friend of my golden days. We went to college together. Caló was older than my father. In those years of the second half of the eighties, when I was discovering myself, love and what to do with my life he told me that he used to know my grandfather Perico who died in 1972, when I was two years old.
Alberto Caló was always reading big books while sitting in a big sofa. That is the picture I have in my mind of the man. I had very few conversations with him. He once told me that my grandfather helped him to arrange a very strange trip to Papua New Guinea at the early sixties. He disclosed that he was connected to a missionary at Papua New Guinea in the south Pacific very far away from my country; Uruguay using his short wave radio equipment. Once they got in touch they started a very strong and strange friendship that ended up with a visit of Alberto Caló to that remote island in Oceania. My grandfather, Perico, was then working as a diplomat for the Uruguayan government in Australia. The crazy sixties where roaring with rocknroll, free love and LSD.
My friend Pablo, left Uruguay, now lives in London with his family and is a very successful businessman. Shortly after his father died he gifted me a big white book written by his father. In that book I realized the kind of life and wisdom Alberto Caló had. I felt very stupid for not having more hours with him those days of my youth time. In the book, there are many chapters of his visit to Papua New Guinea with incredible pictures of people living in the jungle, in the mountains, far away from the civilization in which I grew.
When I received the confirmation that I had been selected by the SUSI program 2016 and saw the names and countries of my colleagues my eyes blinked for a second when I realized that I would be sharing six weeks with Patrick Matbob. Nothing more far away from Uruguay, in the south of South America, than Papua New Guinea, a country of 7 million people with more than 800 hundred languages, on the other side of the world.
After I have arrived in Athens it resulted that Patrick and I would be together, sharing the department. After some beers and conversation, we became friends. We spoke about our countries, our lives and students, and finally at the end I told him the story of my friend's father Alberto Caló. Immediately I connected him in London using WhatsApp and he sent me immediatly the digitalized pictures of that amazing trip in the early sixties. Together we laid eyes on them and I received lots of information, stories and meanings of those amazing pictures taken by Alberto and his wife Vera at Papua New Guinea more than 50 years ago.
After we finished viewing the photos, I realized I had cancelled my personal debt with Alberto and with my past. Also, encouraged by Patrick`s kindness and friendship. I realized that as long as we are open to let destiny play it`s role, life will always have a new corner with better and mysterious things to come ahead.