Sunday, January 14, 2018

RVentures in Colombia: The Golden Treasure of Friends

The ancient legend of El Dorado promised great riches to those who found the precious gold of the native Muisca people of Colombia. Over the years many explorers have unsuccessfully searched for the golden treasures. But as RVentures brought us to this legendary land of Colombia, South America, we found a more precious treasure ... the golden treasure of dear friends.

Doug and Luis first met many years ago as roommates at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. Luis traveled far from his home in Medellin, Colombia to study mechanical engineering at "Tech" while also learning the English language. He quickly mastered English's challenging grammar rules as well as the humor that is needed when learning to speak a foreign language.

Through the years they have remained friends and have been able to get together a few times when Luis' business travels brought him to the United States. It was during one of those visits to Orlando two years ago that Luis invited us to visit his home in Colombia. The promise of an international trip was incentive enough for me to start learning Spanish with the the help of Duolingo, a popular language app. 

In the beginning of January, we tried out our new language skills during a two week trip to the cities of Bogota and Medellin, Colombia. While we still have a long ways to go before we will be proficient in Spanish, we did find our "El Dorado"... our golden treasure ... in the kindness of our Colombian friends, Luis and Piedad.

It is not possible to write about all that we saw and did in one blog entry, so I will share stories and photos of our Colombian adventure ... the sites, food and culture ... in future writings. For now, I want to share some of those moments during our trip when we knew that we had found the ...

The Golden Treasure of Friendship!

Arriving on New Year's Eve, we were welcomed into their home and treated to a delicious meal that introduced us to "typical" Colombian food and wine.

We were also introduced to the Monigote (rag doll), the New Year's Eve tradition of letting go of all the bad things of the past year in order to welcome the new year.

The Monigote, along with all the negatives of the old year, went up in smoke as we welcomed in 2018. Since we had gotten up at 3 am that morning to catch our plane, our "midnight" was celebrated a little early.

During the following days of our visit, we continued to discover many Golden Treasures that our New Year and New Friends would bring!

The golden treasure of a "welcome to Colombia" gift ... a colorful mochila (traditional Colombian handbag) from Piedad. It would prove very useful during our following days filled with travels and sightseeing.

The golden treasure of a "you need to replace your duct tape wallet" with a colorful Colombian leather wallet from Luis.

The golden treasure of a "we know the best traditional Colombian restaurants and will interpret the menus for you". More on the delicious world of arepas, guanabana juice, obleas con arequipe, and other Colombian favorites in a future post. 

The golden treasure of a "breakfast with a smile" every morning from our talented cocinera (cook), Piedad and mesero (waiter), Luis.

The golden treasure of a silver ring "skillfully crafted with love" by artisan extraordinaire Piedad.

Jewelry making, gardening and painting ... her talents are endless!

The golden treasure of a "girlfriend pampering session" complete with manicure, 

... and a sweet twist on the heavenly Colombian coffee.

The golden treasure of our "tour guide extraordinaires" who showed us the ease of using the Medellin metro system to explore museums and parks.

The golden treasure of the "Guanabana con leche creator" who brought Doug to life one morning with a blender full of his new favorite fruit juice.

The golden treasure of including us in their "family celebrations",

... and a dinner with "dad".

The golden treasure of having friends who welcomed us into their "Hogar Dulce Hogar (Home Sweet Home)",

... put their special touch of "love" into every cup of cappucino,

... and brightened our world with their friendship!

We did not find our golden treasure in the Laguna de Guatavita,

... but in the smiles, kindness, and generosity of our Colombian hosts, very patient Spanish tutors, and golden friends, Luis and Piedad!

Until next time ... Share the golden treasure of friendship ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!

Print this post

No comments:

Post a Comment