November 17th and 18th, 2011

(it was all one long day with long layovers)


I have a 5 hour layover in Denver Colorodo as I start writing this. The morning of my departure was a very nice surprise for me. My ex-wife and the man in her life had me over for an excellent breakfast and then lots of really cool send off gifts. That meant a lot to me. There has been so much kindness, support and love shown to me. I have so much gratitude for those in my life right now.

Just recently I have been given gifts of love from friends and it is wonderful, especially reconnecting with a friend from many years ago. So many more wonderful people in my life and so much love being shown to me, why would I ever want to leave that! Why leave those loving words I now hear on a daily basis? All I can say is that there is an inner desire to go explore and experience new cultures.

I step off the plane in Bogota, Colombia I am still myself, my hope is that when I step on that return plane, I am no longer that person. My desire is to go out away from these distractions, have a conversation with my soul, and discover more about my soul purpose.

While on the flight from Miami to Bogota, I was really starting to feel like an outsider, everyone speaking Spanish. I asked the woman on the plane sitting next to me, "do you speak English", she immediately said "yes" with a big smile and went on to say "I do not speak Spanish, I am from São Paulo Brazil, I speak Portugese and English". She too was a bit of an outsider on this flight too. She told me Brazil has Portugese as their official language. For the next 3 hours I was able to ask lots of questions about South America.

The view flying over Colombia

Arriving in Bogota I met Ciro and Pilar at the airport, Ciro knows enough English to be able to carry on a conversation. His wife Pilar does not know any English.

The 3 of us got a taxi back to their place, they travel by taxi or bicycle through the town. The ride was something else!

The roads were in bad shape, I bounced all over the place, the cars here seem to drive fast and does not appear to have many rules, just drive fast and cut off anyone you can. The pedesatrains absolutely do not have any rights, nor do bicycles. The cars own the road and will not slow down for anything. It seems as though they may even speed up when someone is walking across the road, actually they are usually running across the road. At times there were 3 cars side be side on a 2 lane road. Our driver kept swerving from one lane to the next weaving around other cars. Constant honking, everyone just keeps honking, our driver would honk every 30 seconds or so it seemed.

We arrived to their home in a block where there are about 60 homes very narrow all in a long row on the block. His home is 3 stories high but narrow. They fee was "eighty thousand pesos", I had no idea what that amount meant but having "thousand" in it, it sounded like a lot of money.

After settling in we walked across the street to go eat lunch, had an interesting time trying to figure out what the food was and what I was going to be eating.

There are small restuarants, food carts, and little shops everywhere.

Back at their home I started to really notice the combination of lack of sleep and lack of oxygen to my brain. My head was feeling a bit heavy, my thinking was not clear and it was also difficult to get air into my lungs. I was able to rest for about an hour and fell into a deep sleep before waking up to see Ciro saying we had to go visit his family. I get up and staggered around a little feeling a bit drunk. The elevation is 2625 m (8612 ft).

Later we went to see Ciro's cousin at his mother's home who flew in from Miami today. Had a great time trying to translate jokes that just don't work because the meanings of words are too different. They gave me some coffee in a very tiny little cup not much larger than a shot glass size, but the coffee was good and it was strong. Then as we all were sitting around Ciro's brother handed me something to drink, it was clear and he mentioned water. Actually it was what they call "fire water" and wow was that strong! especially not having had any sleep for 2 days. Then my new "honored friend" Victor says uno mos, everyone is laughing and just having a good time telling stories, sharing photos and having a few drinks.

Most of the time it was the men gathered in the living room area and the women in the other room. I just had to smile a lot when they were telling jokes I could not understand. But some things are universal in hand signals like when Victor was trying to tell me about the women here and how he used his hands to illustrate the curves and says 90 60 90, obviously that was in metric system.

It was a great time, as people would knock on the door and just drop by the place was getting filled up with lots of wonderful happy, smiling faces. Ciro's mother somehow was able to cook for everyone out of a kitchen the size of a closet! Great food.

I enjoyed sharing in this famliy gathering and becoming a part of it. I felt so comfortable and totally at ease with just being. They totally accepted me and even though communication was difficult, we managed. Ciro and Jose' were able to roughly translate most things.

my dinner prepared by Ciro's mother, quail egg on top

Afterwards another rough and tumble trip via taxi through Bogota and over to see Pilar's daughter who is not feeling well.

Then a much needed sleep!


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