05.21 // South America // Days 1-4
Day 1 [the trip to medellin]
Early Departure. 3 Flights. 1 Box of goldfish. 16-year-old drinking beer on flight to Medellin. This is weird. Flowers and kisses from Luisa´s family (Martha, Jon, Felipe, and Sara). Does anyone understand me? Men dressed in green with guns. 45 minute ride from airport. Miles and miles of lights from city of 4 million people. Greeted by hired musicians at the house. Dancing with Martha is unavoidable. So much energy. Trying to take it all in. Lets sleep.
Day 2 [the eternal city]
Rise and shine. Special breakfast from maid (Perci). Fresh Fruit. Colubian coffee. Conversation on back patio. Beautiful day. Grandparents (Anita and Chucho) house for full course meal. Shy dog. Cigarettes with grandma. Grandpa full of life even though hooked to an oxygen tank. Crazy traffic. Lots of bikes. Matt told Jon that he didnt wear a seatbelt in the states but here he would. 1550 pesos for Metro ride (1880 pesos = 1 USD). Cable-cars (ski-lifts) took us over the slums. Red bricks. Tin roofs. Low standard of living. No americans. Sara studies for english test with Luisa and Doaa. Matt lies in the hammock. Saul is still not here. Medellin is beautiful.
Day 3 [Peñon de Guatape]
Alarm Clock rings. Early start. Pile into 2 cars. 2.5 hour trip to Peñon de Guatape (huge rock). Winding roads. Farming on cliffs. Painted cinderblock. Small colorful towns. Waterfall in park off of road. Breathtaking views. Shots of burning water. 635 steps. Top of the world. Time to go down. Contageous laughing. Another shot. Big meal. Drive over bridge. Jon asks if i want to jump. “Sure”. 75 feet of pure adrenaline rush. Jon said im a crazy white man. Crash in backseat with Saul and Matt. Beers in the street. Walk home in the rain. First shower of the trip. Best day yet.
Day 4 [La Casa de Elena y Juan]
No need for an alarm (Martha yelling on the phone). Perci (the maid) makes us paninis and eggs. Fresh squeezed juice. Took Metro into city to see the market. Lots of street vendors. Futbol jerseys for 6000 pesos (around 4 dollars). No high rise buildings. Mountains in the distance. Cant find coffee place for Doaa. Rush home for lunch. Arrive at La Casa de Elena y Juan (an orphanage for 148 children that are either orphans, lack parental care during the week, or may be at risk of domestic violence in the home). Kids swarm around us as we get out of the car. Crazy energy. Want me to speak english. Dont understand me but think it is the funniest thing they have ever heard. Wrestling with the little kids. Futbol with the boys. Everyone wants their picture taken. Little buddy yanked my earrings out. Always smiling. Always sharing. Always laughing. Always thankful. They have nothing, yet they love everything about life. Heartbreaking and exciting. Convicting and Refreshing. It was a highlight of the trip thus far. I continue to fall in love with Medellin.