So yesterday, we had to wake up bright and early to meet at the bus at 4:30 am, which would take us on the nearly three-hour drive to Prado for a day trip at the lake. Though getting up at 4:30 wasn’t my favorite thing ever, when we arrived at the lake it was beautiful.
Let me preface this by saying that I love lakes. My grandparents own a lake house on Lake Tillery in NC and, as long as I can remember, my family has taken weekend trips to the lake, a place where my highly-connected and quite busy family is forced to leave behind social media, email, and work. We spend the time relaxing- swaying in hammocks and reading, riding jetskis, wakeboarding, skiing, and inner-tubing, amongst other activities. (Mostly reading, though. My family does that voraciously).
A passage, undated, in my journal reads:
I’m sitting at the lake by myself for a rare happy moment alone. I’ve been lucky to have grown up with a place that is a poem to retreat within. The trees are five thousand hues of green, the dirt a thousand hues of dun, the water 10,000 hues of what I can only attribute as “lake-water green.” But it is a refreshing, soft, quilten-relaxing color, soothing in its murky clarity.”
I often find cities of any size to be suffocating and cloying, and, though I’m not known as an outdoorsy-person, I feel so free and unchained, so liberated and unsuffocated, when I can spend time in a place not doused in development.
Prado was very, very much like Tillery, just with larger mountains and no docks surrounding the edges.
This next one’s for John from Australia. After meeting him at WorldMUN 2013, we send letters and things to each other (when I respond to his letters, I’m terrible at that), and he most recently sent me this shirt from his university. I just liked the fact that I’m standing in Colombia with AIESEC friends wearing a shirt from WorldMUN 2013 friends in Australia.
Then they took us in these little things to get breakfast at a local hotel. I wasn’t super convinced of the safety of these things, but I learned to get over that the first day with that terrifying bus ride from Bogota to Ibague.
Our British tourist. Who was adamant that we did not need meat-soup for breakfast.
I couldn’t tell if this was a Neanderthal or Jesus but I knew better than to ask and later deduced that it was the former. Joke’s on me if, in a thousand years, we find out that Jesus was actually a Neanderthal. Pff.
This is a reminder that the market on crazy patriotic people is not dominated by the USA.
Then she just pulled out a bottle of aguardiente, and it wasn’t even 10 am… and took swigs straight from the bottle for the remainder of the day.
We rode the boat across the water, stopping periodically to swim in the lake (they wouldn’t let us remove our life jackets 😦 ) and playing salsa music in the intervals.
Then we started to enter into a small cave, and this scene made me feel very Willy-Wonka-esque.
This next photo is important because of all the spider webs. Just keep that in mind as you continue this post.
Oh, look! Hmm… a spider! I hope it’s only one!
Oh, wait, maybe not.
Oh look, more! (They were as big as my hand).
So when we climbed out of the boat and the lady was like, “Keep your balance by putting your hands on the wall,” I was like, “Oh hell nope. Nopety-nopety no.” And a few other choice phrases I won’t repeat here but that Justin, Danielle, Griffin, and Kay will be quite familiar with.
Spiderman! Spiderman! Does whatever Spiderman does!
Then we went to go get lunch. All of our host families had recommended the fish, so most of us got that. It was, as promised, delicious.
And so fun to play with!
Afterwards we hung out at this place for a little bit, where we had the choice to swim, play in the pool, hang in hammocks, etc. The boys swam and had a jumping competition, until the people in charge said we couldn’t swim without life jackets.
I spent my time reading in a hammock (surprise, surprise) and finished a book called The Promise of a Pencil. It’s about a man who left his investment job at Bain to begin a nonprofit providing education around the world. It was very Three Cups of Tea -esque, but instead of focusing more on the story, there was a highlight on the leadership required and the financing, logistical aspect of the non-profit. Coming from a founder previously in finance, this made sense, but it’s not often provided in other novels of the same type. I’d highly recommend- not a difficult read, by any means, and very accessible to all levels- but not a waste of time (as some of these works often are).
Also Kindle should hire me for product-placement and advertising. #justsaying
Then we went to the boat again, where we swam one last time (this time to the sunset, which was wonderful), and returned back to the long bus ride home.
A beautiful day (: