November 27, 2011
After breakfast we went to Pasca,I rode on the back of Edgar's motorcycle while Ciro and Pilar took the bus. The road to Paskca was very rough and up a steep hill. Edgar is well known as everyone waves at him along the way. We stopped at a school and he showed me the place he works as a school teacher. Edgar walked me around the school to show me around and then he unlocked one door to pull out a couple of chairs for us to sit down. We sat and communicated with a few words here and there and me using some hand signals. While in town he also showed me where his father's house was.
When we got into the town of Pasca, Edgar parked his motorcycle and left his bag and stuff on it while we walked around town. Everyone in this small town is very honest and you can leave your valuables out and no one will touch them, this isn't true everywhere but it is in this town. In Bogota you have to lock everything up.
We spent some time looking around town, at the bull fighting ring and the museum. Apparently there have been some very important finds int his area dating before the Inca period. I also got to find out more about that lake we stopped at yesterday, Lake Bochica. Apparently it is a sacred lake to the indigenous people. I did not get the whole story through the translation but I took a photo of something that talked about it. From what I understand, the indigenous peoples believed that this lake was the bringer of all life. It would seem that this is a very sacred lake to those native population and I am glad I was able to stop and see it along the way as well as add a drop of the sacred water to it.
Edgar bought us lunch while there and we sat outside a teachers college where Ciro got his degree in teaching.
While sitting on a stone wall I look to my left and see two messages which seemed like they where for me, as if the universe was saying something.
We get back and within an hour we are eating another very large meal with several dishes. It is rude to not clean your whole plate so I've learned to eat fast so I can get all the food in me before my brain realizes I'm full.
We walked over to see the house of a famous cyclist named Luis Alberto "Lucho" Herrera. Pilar wanted to talk to him and had no luck using the intercom system at his home. It seems as though a lot of people in Colombia are passionate about cycling.
During the afternoon we stood outside while the kids played street soccer and more conversations ensued. They love conversation, very enthusiastic and passionate about talking. Maybe it is because they talk so much that they remain very close as a family unit. Always lots of laughing and smiling.
The games I've played are very simple but always very fun. Something as simple as tossing a balloon around and seeing how long it will stay in the air caused hysterical laughter. Every hit being counted: uno, dos, tres, etc...
Then the ice cream man comes!
Ciro also wanted to walk over and see a friend, Ciro was able to catch up with his friend who showed us the home he his building by himself. He also has lots of Banana and Plantain trees and I was given some bananas to take with me.
We went to one of the many stores around that has a combination of services, internet, photocopy and phone use by the minute. There is at least one on each block sometimes three side by side in the same block. This was also true in Bogota. When we got there is was closed but someone say us walking up from teh window and the young man opened the door and let us in, all these businesses are their home as well. We called a contact in Neiva where I'll be in about 4 or 5 days to see if there was a place to set up a tent or a space for me passing through. Apparently she knows some English and that always makes things a bit easier.
After the phone call, everyone engaged in conversation. It seems as thoguh if you look at anyone for more than a glance be prepared for at least 30 minutes of conversation. Even total strangers love to talk to you. So after about 45 minutes it ends up Julio is a competitive cyclist and wanted to ride with me part way in the morning. He is preparing for a 24 hour ride coming up.
After returning back to the house, I was told it was time to eat again. I sat at the table eyeing all this delicious food but wondering how I am going to manage it all. Again served with fresh juice just made and all the food made fresh just for this meal. This is their tradition, a lot of their time is spent around food and conversation. I tried as hard as I could to eat it all but I really thought I might throw up if I ate any more. I had to decide which would be more rude so I opted to not finish it. They were surprised I did not eat everything, I made sure they knew I appreciated it but I could not eat anymore.
The evening continued for many more hours of conversation which as usual, I wait for Ciro to translate something and I usually get about 10% of the conversation. Soon more people showed up as seems to also be tradition, people stop by and are always welcome. This time it was Julio and his sister, Julio wanted to see my bicycle and wanted to talk about riding tomorrow. It seems like the tradition is that when someone shows up people stop what they're doing, make coffee for the guests and make them feel welcome.
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