Finally! We have reached the last two days of my trip to Colombia. You must be puzzled. Thinking, “didn’t this trip happen three months ago?” FACT! Read why you may leave Cali in tears like I did, and feast your eyes on the beauty that is Cali, Colombia.
Day 6 (New Year’s Day) : Don’t let his lack of smile fool you. Julian is quite the jokester.
Sisters: Sophia and Nicole. I told Nicole that her sister was an arepa, or a delicious Colombian corn cake, when I meant to say that she was afuera, or outside.
I do not eat fried foods often, but I wanted to do as the Colombians do! Once you try a Colombian empanada, you will want to stuff your face with every empanada in sight. Just look at that cornmeal exterior. These fried pockets of potato and chicken filled goodness were only $.25 each.
Family adventure time!
We had to enjoy a cholado, while in Cali, so we went to the city to get one!
This dessert is made with shaved ice, chopped fresh fruit, like papaya, pineapple, banana, grapes, strawberries, apples, mangoes, sweet condensed milk, and a wafer.
The result? Pure sweetness.
Diana, Sharon, and I swung on some tree branches in Parque de Perro, or Dog Park.
Day 7 : Patacones to start our day! Chopped sweet plantains are fried, flattened, and fried and flattened again!
Neighborhood watch dog on duty
During Christmas, Mauricio’s family gives a bag of food, toiletries, and home goods to families that may need it. We dropped a bag off to a random family. The kids’ faces when they received this gift was PRICELESS.
We took at least 100 steps down to Cousin Juan David’s home.
The view from his house is breathtaking.
Their stunning bird
His home had two bedrooms, a kitchen, and this beautiful open patio.
As Clipse would say, “Grindin”! They put in work on the coffee bean grinder to have their daily staple.
Things are looking up.
The prettiest flowers, like this dahlia, were found along our hike.
Nicole guided me to her home.
Jordin is pooped from all of the stairs.
In the distance is where Juan David’s wife, who is a teacher, walks an hour to work every day.
Home filled with plants.
We could not leave without playing another game of mountain fútbol, or soccer! All of Mauricio’s cousins were so good! It was a close game, but we lost 9-10.
Sharon caught a butterfly.
Day seven was such a bittersweet day for me. I felt blessed to have spent an entire week with a family that had taken much of their time to show us around their beautiful country and make us feel at home in their homes. And, it was time for the goodbyes. I knew my first time in a country outside the U.S. and Central America would be so different than anything I have ever experienced. I was overwhelmed and touched by the immense amount of love that their family always showed. Beauty exists in not just the exterior of the people of Cali, Colombia, but also in the hearts of those who live there.
To all I have met in Colombia: Thank you for reminding me to take pleasure in the simple things in life, to continue to live each day with a smile on my face and my dancing shoes on, and to value the time with those you love, especially family. Like I said, I hope my sister, Diana, and Mauricio get married there, so that I can see them all again and return the love that they showed me. 🙂
Thank you for one of the best times of my life!! ¡Gracias por un viaje inolvidable! Cada uno de ustedes tiene un lugar en mi corazón. ¡No puedo esperar para ver a todos de nuevo!