December 8th, 2011

DAY 21


They like to ring bells around here, at 5:30 am the bell rang loudly as if to wake the whole town to start its day. It went on for what seemed two minutes and then it rang again at 6am. It seems as though everyone starts their work day at 6am and that would make sense if people want to enjoy daylight after work because the equatorial zone has sunset around 6pm.

It is raining hard this morning, I know it will clear up and be a good day but I told my new friend here I would stay one more day. So here I am in Gigante one more day to see what happens next. I have a lot of time this morning to sit and think so I will just type down my random thoughts and observations.

The world can be a seductive place, it is easy to stay distracted by all the enticements. The world of technology with its devices, gadgets and social networking can easily keep us from finding those moments of stillness. When we lose touch with that inner silence, we begin to lose touch with our soul. I believe our soul has all the answers we seek if we can only be still long enough to listen. Someone just asked me what I thought about death and I have no answers to any questions. I have my own thoughts and ideas but each persons truth lies within them.

I think the fear of death is where most of us have problems. For me death is a transition state. It is difficult not to fear death when all that we love is around us in this life, but it is the fear of the unknown. We do not really know what death is like, we hear stories about what happens after death but there is no way to know until we go there ourselves.

Sometimes I like to see the physical world as a play we are all acting in and some of those that we love leave the stage, they are not really gone but only waiting for us backstage.

For now the most important thing any of us can do is live through our soul and be alive, death will come someday in its own timing. I try to keep joy in the now, right now because that is all we really have. We often think about the future but the future never comes. When we arrive at that future we imagined, we are still in the now, it is always now!

I suppose it is all about balance in life. When I am too contemplative I am not laughing. When I am too much into this world I am getting disconnected from my soul. How do I strike that balance of just being and allowing my soul to be awake and flow through me in a joyous manner?

Bells ringing again at 9am, okay I will stop typing for now.

I made my way into the center, had a coffee and pastries then explored a bit more of the shops. There was some sort of service at the church and I find it interesting that so many people are out in the streets and restaurants hanging out and not working.




Just about every cup of coffee I get is always half full or a little less than half. But it is strong coffee so all I need is half a cup.





For lunch I decided to try their version of fast food, I have only had slow food here. The culture is much more centered around slow food and the joy in preparation as well as taking time to eat and enjoy it. But there have been small burger places and pizza places popping up and it appears that is appealing to the younger people. I went into one and asked the waitress "what do you recommend?" in my best attempt at Spanish. She pointed to something on the menu and I said "si". I decided I was going to experience a bit of everything in the cultures I immerse myself in. I hate to say it but this was not very good compared to all the wonderful food I've had so far.

That is half a quail egg on top with some sort of sauce swirled around it. It was "ham" burger, 2 beef patties and ham in the middle, some sort of white soft cheese and some sort of fruit with lettuce and tomato. An unusual combination of flavors.

Another interesting observation is the big M symbol for Monster Energy drinks is everywhere. I have seen decals on motorcycles, I have seen it on t-shirts and hats, but I have not seen it sold anywhere. What I do see everywhere is Pony Malta natural energy drink. This stuff is sold in every restaurant and store I've been into and the ones I passed too.

5pm and there goes that bell again, it sounds like a large church bell and each time it has the same type of ringing to it, it starts out fast and then a few slow beats and then a little faster, it ends with a pause and then one last ring.

5:30pm and the bell is ringing again, this time two individual rings after the pause.

My friend John never showed up, not sure what happened. So everything has its reasons and I was meant to be here an extra day anyway. It rained most of the day and I was able to spend some time in my own thoughts and giving some thought to a couple of profound questions that was asked through the internet. I also enjoyed getting know some of my new Colombian friends through the internet too. A different country, a different culture but some very common interests in life.

By the way, the most popular song I am hearing right now is below. I also hear it as ringtones on cellphones.



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