November 21, 2011




Ciro teaches at the local school from 6 am to 12 noon, today I went to his school and was the center of attention the whole time. Lots of questions and everyone wanted a picture with me. They did not want a picture for themshelves but they kept wanting a picture taken of them with me using my camera. There were a lot of kids, it was noisy and very close. When they talked to me they were right up against me all around. It was quite different from our culture, they tend to be very close and do not have a sense of personal space like we do.

Ciro had to go somewhere else for awhile and left me alone in this room full of teenagers, one of which could speak english quite well. Angie served as my translater for a couple of hours as the other kids crowded around sitting on the floor, in desks that were all postitioned around me and others standing leaning in to get in closer.

Lots of questions back and forth but the main topic that kept coming up were my eyes, all the young girls kept complimenting my eyes and said they were beautiful. They asked if all people in US have beautiful eyes. It is rare to ahve any other color except brown and a very dark brown that looks black.

I was very flattered by all the attention and being treated like I was some sort of celebrity. My main message was about how wonderful and friendly it is here and how open everyone was. It seems that in the US most people keep working to keep buying stuff, work many long hours to keep buying stuff, here people seem to actually live. It does not take money to live a beautiful life all you need is joy in your heart and a close relationship to your people however you define your people.

For the kids the most important things the enjoy and what brings them alive is, singing, dancing, music and food. That seems to be true for most people here.

Today with the kids it was no different than any other place in this area, it seems as though there can be several conversations going at once, lots of laughter and joy in their eyes. They love to talk here and if anyone ever felt shut down and needed to open up, it is quite easy to open up here because the joy is contagious. I have yet to see anyone whisper and people just talk loud, open and honest.

Many of the students wanted their picture taken so they can go to this website and see themselves here.



most of the guys did not want to be in the photos, finally one guy got in a picture so I can show the guys and gals of this school. Left to right: Angie,me, Geraldine, Carlos
unknown boy running in front

Talking to Angie


I sat in a very small school desk as they asked me lots of questions

me trying to squeeze in a small desk

Angie on left who speaks excellent English and served as my translator

finally got more of the guys in a photo

Many of the photos were blurry unfortunately, but these are some for the students to find and copy off this website to keep.

Afterwards it was back home for lunch and then off to catch a bus into town for my Yellow Fever vaccine. We were in luck we happened to get a bus driver a bit more crazy than the others. He either had his foot all the way down on the gas or his foot is slamming on the brakes. The bus ran all stop signs like many people do, not just slow down they just sort of look and keep going, same thing with red lights at major intersections. they just push their way through and always constant honking everywhere, there does not seem to be road rage like the US. Everyone seems to be okay with someone driving up the right turn lane in a bus passing 6 other busses and cutting back left at the last moment to get back in the straight lane, but only to make an immediate left across two other lanes to make a left turn. Man this guy has excellent negotiation skills in crowded traffic speeding inches away from other cars, busses and people. One of the turns was so fast that when he hit a bump I thought the bus was going over on its side. At one point he was racing another bus trying to get ahead and making incredible maneuvers passing cars almost touching the other bus inches beside it. I think it is better than a roller coaster ride, if you're lucky enough to get a seat you are sliding everywhere in the hard plastic seat as the bus takes off fast, slams his brakes to make you fly forward and then the turns push you side to side. You are constantly pushing against other people and they are always pushing against you. The busses are private and the compete to get places first to pick up people. There are no real bus stops, you just stick your hand out pointing to one of the many buses going by and the bus slams on its brakes and you get in. Before you have a chance to get all the way into the door the bus is taking off again. You then stand there and pay the guy through a window. Getting off is pretty much the same, get off fast because as soon as you have stepped off the bus is moving again. But I have to say people seem honest, a person got on the bus from the rear and had to pass her money up through everyone to get it up front to pay her fare, then the driver made change and each person just handed it back until it made it back to her.

waiting to catch a bus

all the busses seem to have fuzzy dice

We made it there and found the place for vaccines, I got my shot and it was way cheaper then the $300.00 + I was going to have to pay for the MD visit and all the other layers of bureaucracy I would have to go through. Here I just stood in a line, walked in, signed a form, showed them my passport and got a shot for yellow fever.... for free. :)

inside a mall approaching the place for vaccines

the clinic

signing for the yellow fever vaccine

they are getting information off my passport for the vaccine certificate

waiting for the shot

Spent some time in the downtown area which is filled with people everywhere and what looks like chaos. The smell of diesel, the loud noises, the people moving everywhere around the sound of loud diesel engines up and down the road with busses back to back.

I have been seeing 2 or 3 of these people with signs stating the fee to use a phone. It is a business for some of these folks to charge per minute fees to use their cell phone. Some people had several cell phones to allow several people at once, all of the phones connected with a chain. I thought that was a clever idea.

dressed in the Colombian colors

lechona for dinner




previous page

back to trip index

next page

back index next


HTML Comment Box is loading comments...