Santa Marta, Santa Marta (Distrito Turístico Cultural E Histórico), Colombia
Back to what's been going on for the past couple of weeks:
I left Minca pretty banged up but with some wonderful memories. As I sat with Kate eating lunch at a cute artisan cafe we found, I got a call from the woman from the plane, Señora Genith. She had called before I left for Minca to see if I wanted to go to the beach and that she would call me later and I never heard from her so it was nice getting a call from her. She asked where I was and if I'd like to have lunch with her and her sister. I said of course but that I'd be an hour or so as I was in Minca. once again the accents here are so difficult to understand as they don't pronounciate every letter, but somehow I understood enough:)
I said bye to Kate as she wanted to stay longer and I wanted to tend to my wounds in civilization lol. The taxi ride was the equivalent of $2.50 for the hour drive and it was beautiful. I arrived at Genith's house with hugs. She lived with her 92 yr old mother, her sister, her sisters husband and daughter and a nurse and a maid and her sister's oldest daughter was studying to be a doctor in Bogota. When Genith saw my bandaged hands and feet she immediately asked her nurse to take care of me. I felt like a guest of ancient Egypt where ppl used to wash your feet for you. It was so wonderful!! I was introduced to Margarita, Genith's sister who was a local judge. Genith had lost her sight out of her right eye so I had to remind myself to look at her left eye. Margarita had just come home for lunch... They get 3 hrs for lunch, why don't we do things like that!!! We talked about how Genith and I had met and she commented on the fact that when she first saw me in the airport she thought I was from Europe or maybe even a business woman from here as I was well dressed and didn't look like a typical person from the USA. I was so flattered when she said that as she seemed to feel that I was respectable enough to invite me into her home. I stayed with Genith and her family for he rest of the day... Genith insisted I take a nap which I was grateful for. Later Genith's cousin came to pick us up and take us to the famous Tagana beach (Genith doesn't know how to drive and with her loss of site I think it's better she stays off the road. Margarita's daughter Maria Laura came with us as we hopped in their beat up truck, dropped off Margarita at the court house and headed over the hill to a beautiful beach called Taganga. I would later find out that it is a hot spot for tourist and robbers but for the day we saw paradise. Taganga is quite small but it has a beautiful beach full of little boats and grass huts selling the delicious fruit drinks I am learning are everywhere. You can have the fruit in water or milk and I love both:) thy have some fruits that I have never heard of before like Lulo: a tomato type of looking fruit, maracuya: passionfruit like fruit, mulo I think it's called: they look like grapes with a hard green shell and a yellow inside with a huge pit but the fruit tastes like grapes too. There's a fruit that has brown skin and reddish orange inside and it tastes kinda like a cross between a melon and a kiwi. There is so much amazing fruit here I don't know where to begin!!!!
Sorry I got distracted by the thought of the delicious fruit:) we arrived at the beach and decided to take a boat around the bay... I thought we were taking it to other bays but I misunderstood. As we walked over Genith walked into dog poop an we all laughed... Guess you had to be there to see this 60 yr old woman in heals and nice black slacks an linen shirt with pearls and diamonds on, step into dog crap and then hobble around trying to get it off:) the bay way pretty and I was told they had lots of fisheries where they were studying ways to bring the fish back and not overfish. We saw families swimming and beautiful cliff houses an that was it. When we went back to the court house to pick up Margarita they all insisted I stay with them, so I called an cancelled my reservation at la brisa loca and John at the front desk was happy to hear I was well and told me to keep in touch and let him know when I want to come back.
I learned that night what it means to be a family in Colombia.... Everyone took care of the grandmother and they had dinner together and watched TV together and they switched sitting with the grandmom, who has dementia or altimerz and repeats everything over and over again, and they'd rub her back, feed her an sleep withe her... It was amazing! And with all of that they were kind enough to open their house to me and give me a bed with an already crowded house.... This is one amazing family!!!!
The following days involved me running errands with Genith, visiting the court house some more, having wonderful political discussions with Margarita as she explains to me how Colombia just adopted the American judicial system in 2004 and it not working too well so far but they have hopes of that changing. We went to a private beach club the third day when Margarita had some time off and I splashed in the ocean and the pool, met Genith's niece, Melissa and her friend and I will admit my Spanish was still bad and I was exhaust with trying to figure out what everyone was saying all the time. Melissa was studying to become a doctor and knew English so every once in a while I could ask her what something meant in English. She insisted that she show me Simon Bolivar's estate... It's a museum of sorts now and he works there so I said sure. By the third day I had been eaten alive by mosquitoes and as much as I loved being with this family, I didn't want to overstay my welcome and I really wanted to check my email lol. So Margarita took me back to the hostel and told me to call her if I needed anything. Genith of course wanted me to call her the next day and come over when I could. I will say it was an amazing experience staying with the family for four days and three nights and they are absolutely wonderful!
Back at the hostel I was greeted with smiles and headed to the bar to make new friends and the fun started up again:)