Wow, where to start!
So much has happened in the last week.
I am flying by the seat of my pants, accompanied by incredible people who are happy to show me around!!
This past week, I had the incredible opportunity to go on a 4 day, 3 night trip/tour to Medellin. It’s basically the most “Poppin” city in Colombia.
To give you an idea, how wonderful the people are that I am meeting here are: for the majority of my stay I am staying with my friend’s mother in law, her name is Tilcia. Tilcia booked a trip with 41 other people, that she used to work with. She booked this trip before she knew the dates I was coming out.
Therefore, their group was full and had no room for one extra person, so she gave up her seat and had me go in her place. She absolutely insisted, saying she had already been there a few times and that I must go.
I am so Grateful she graciously gave up here seat and that I was able to visit such a kickbutt, cool city. It really was really cool!
Here are some of our adventures:
First we arrived at this pueblito, at 5am, and this was our view. We hung out for awhile and took tons of pictures of this beautiful view. (including the first picture)
Then we drove some more and had this had a ginormous breakfast! (sorry no pics of it, ill tell you why in a bit) But they many times eat red meat, 3 times a day, in which case I many times left lots of food, left on my plate, because we were fed "food typical of the area."
What I do absolutely love, is they serve these huge glasses of Hot Cocao for breakfast, not the sugary tasting United States Hot Coco, but Cocao. It’s tasty!
After breakfast, some of the group, climbed this huge rock, called Peirda De Penol. Check out this incredible view. So Incredible oh my goodness!
I feel like there are so many hidden treasures in Colombia and because of the misconceptions of the Country, based off of knowledge from 10 years ago, it’s a rarely discovered place.
After the big climb and long travels, we went to hotel, and the group exchanged gifts, we had a huge dinner. SOOO MUCH FOOD!! They made fun of me, because I don’t eat very much, especially when it’s piles of red meat, fried foods, and carbs! Haha! Saying that “Americans are so skinny”…if they only knew! Haha!
But here it is cool to be Gordo. Caling some one Gordita, is not an offensive term at all. It’s almost a name of endearment.
Here is a great example.
The next day, we went to Plaza de Botero.
Botero is a famous artist, his work can also be found in the United States. He was born in Medellin and in honor of him, the city brought his paintings to life, by turning his paintings into statues. It’s very beautiful.
We also did some browsing for shopping in Medellin, it’s crazy. I could compare it to “the fashion district” in LA, but like 5x’s more crazy. Simply because people are yelling at you from every direction “le orden…le orden” = What are you looking for, what are you looking for!
Or they pick you up off the street and try and bring you to their indoor store.
That same day, we rode this neat thing, called the Metro Cable.
What is so neat about this is A. it provides a beautiful view of all of Medellin and B. It’s not just a tourist attraction, it’s actually used as a form of transportation. Super neat.
We also, rode the Metro Linea, where and I will have pics soon of Santa Clause singing and playing the Saxophone for everyone to enjoy.
During this trip, we also visited local malls and this super pretty spot.
They are called Alumbrados, and it is put together OVER the river and beside it! They begin putting together this beautiful attraction, the beginning of the January. The beginning of January, they take one down and put up a whole new set of lights.
This is also the location, where my phone was stolen from my purse!
I was so upset! But sometimes, it’s more empowering to say it was my fault than to be a victim.
There are so many things I could have done different to prevent that from happening. I had bought a real leather purse, in a pueblito called Jerico, they have the highest quality stuff for super cheap. I bought a REAL LEATHER cross body handbag for $15 USA money. Legit.
Anyway, it hung lower, than the one I was previously carrying around..and I was taking lots of photos of the Alumbrados and I was wearing a bright blue tshirt, because the group I was with provided shirts, so that we could find each other always.
Except this evening, I wasn't with the whole group of 42, I went to look at the lights with me and just two other people. My friend Diana and I were walking, her Tio / Uncle was behind us. I didn’t zip up the pocket of my new bag, and two people came through pushing me and Diana, the next thing I new, I looked down in my purse and they had reached in my purse to take my phone.
It happened in seconds.
I wish someone would have told me there was a lot of petty crime here. Instead of just saying “Be Careful” because be careful to means, “ I don’t want you to die” haha and I never felt like someone was going to kill me…but I would have rather paid even more caution to my belongings.
I however, can’t help but think, that this happened for a reason.
So many little things came into place for it to happen:
I brought a different camera, so that I didn’t have to bring my phone around and at the beginning of my trip it stopped working.
Tilcia had told me to just bring around my phone, it’s fine. She did also tell me not to walk the streets at night though. But I felt like, it was like a once in a lifetime opporuntiy and wanted to live it up. I was wearing a bright tshirt and had just bought a new bag that I couldn’t pass up.
I should have zipped my bag and been more cautious.
Luckily, with icloud, my husband was able to erase all my information, my pictures, apps, contacts, everything and although, unfortunately all my pictures are lost, Gratefully the people I was with, took a lot of pictures! So, we’re good. And although, I didn’t need and reality didn’t even desire a new phone :) I now get an upgrade when I get home and learned the hard way to be more cautious here.
From my perspective, gosh I wish you all could really see, with your own to eyes how Beautiful this place is and the people. The group I was with literally just wanted to take care of me and each other. (I’ll share another article about cultural differences soon)
As for the large amount of petty crime: It’s like the world around many of the Colombian people, is growing, growing, growing but the communities are not. There are so many pueblitos, far from cities and their only income is from each other and when they are able to sell food (tipico…typical to that area) when passer byers stop through. They need to and want to keep up with the evolving world around them, there is just not a lot of opportunity, not a lot of infrastructure or business.
When it comes to learning the language: I had so many opportunties to speak, all the people on the trip had so much patientience and ligitmately showed me so much love. I feel much more confident, than the first week here. I also feel like I have extended my family even more.
And on an even more heartfelt note: Growing up and up until the last 2 years. I didn’t feel like I had family. My father is a drug addict and acoholic, my mother wasn’t apart of my life much, our family was just split. I felt alone. Now, I have a better relationship with my mom and siblings, I have the best husband and in laws ever, they fill my heart, I have the most incredible friends and extended community with the LDS church and community and my new friends here. I feel so much love. I am really grateful.
So, if you’re in an uncomfortable space and you feel alone, just keep swimming and working on becoming your best you, everything will fall into place. It may take longer than you would like, but it will. It will.
I will be completely disconnected for the next few days, Tilcia is taking me to a pueblo to go hiking, parapento…I forget how to say it in English and other things. I was hoping to rest and edit videos but not gunna happen. It’s all good though. I am learning, I am growing, I am experiencing and also helps time go by faster until I see my love again, in Cartegena!
May you have the most incredible week!