Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Colombia Soy Yo!


July 20th is recognized as Colombia’s Day of Independence. There were marches and gatherings for peace all over the country. In the center square of Manizales throngs of people marched in celebration of liberty and in protest of the FARC – demanding the release of all hostages. We watched the speeches and the beauty of a mass dove release. It was beautiful; the doves rose in a mighty swell before the imposing Manizales Cathedral. While blank eyes of stone saints saw the people’s prayers ascended to heaven, silence filled the square.

In the late morning we decided to spend some of our last day in the country. A friend of CC had a small farm with animals so we drove 45 minutes to Santagueda. One of the highlights of Manizales is the weather. It’s really perfect. It never gets too cold and never gets too hot. Santagueda was freakin’ HOT! As we drove through the area, I was starkly reminded of the tacky touristy section of Myrtle Beach. CC confirmed my suspicions. We passed horse back riding, open air fast food style restaurants, a mini water park, go karts and 4 wheelers. After a short ride down a very bumpy dirt road we arrived at CC’s friend’s house.

A few changes had been made since CC last visited. The animals were gone. All of them. Not even a dog. In their place was an outdoor snack and drink bar with a tented area to sit in the shade, bouncing castles, a pool (which had been there before) and a large slope roped off containing a giant clear ball, large enough for a person to fit inside. They decided to sell off the animals (although a hint of their scent still lingers) and convert their country home into a summer fun bed and breakfast type inn. It looks like a great place for a little weekend get-a-way with the kids. But my G-d it was hot! Little Mermaid bounced until she just couldn’t bounce anymore. She was a hot sweaty mess! And the Dudes played with a sort of tetherball-ping pong apparatus. Thankfully, we didn’t stay too long, or we would have withered away from heat exhaustion. After about an hour we drove home for lunch.

Lunch was the Colombian Soup we’d had at the Lady in Red’s house (minus the capers). It was good, we even had some rice pudding, that Sandra had made (the family’s housekeeper). It was PHENOMENAL! I’ll have to google it and try a few different recipes. I was totally stuffed and took the Little Dude upstairs to nap. Well, no nap happened! The Dude came up and we hung out and watched the end of Fool’s Rush In on the television. I played on the computer and edited some more videos.

The rest of day was very low key. Everyone sort of hung around and relaxed. Just as I began thinking that it might be about time to settle the kids in for the night, a crowd of people bombarded the house! Nearly every person we’d met over the last 10 days came to say good bye to CC. It was so sweet. Both her brothers, the Lady in Red’s family, the Good Witch’s family, and the Sister in Law with Izzy and the Little Dude’s girlfriend. (as it turns out Izzy called home crying, begging her mother to drive the 3+ hours to pick her up and bring her home. She wanted to see her auntie one more time, CC thinks she wanted to play with the Little Mermaid again!

I had just burned 2 cds with all our photos from the last 10 days for CC. The house was hopping; I just couldn’t let the opportunity pass without documenting it for CC. People kept rolling into the house. It’s was a like a scene from It’s a Wonderful Life! I finally had to get to bed around 11. I mean we ARE leaving at an insane hour tomorrow for our first of 3 flights home. As it is, it’s 11:22 pm. The Little Dude is asleep, I think the Dude and Little Mermaid might be in bed and I can still hear people downstairs visiting. But I recognize almost all the voices, so I think it’s just family now.

Time for me to hit the sack. It’s going to be LOOONG day tomorrow!