©Wolfgang Kaehler

Colombia: Mom’s Adventure Day 5


Cartagena, Colombia

At lunch time, we join other students at a restaurant where I order chicken in a passion fruit salsa. Then I am off to do more exploring. A the Simon Bolivar Plaza, named for the famous liberator of Columbia, a man plays a trumpet from the balcony of the government building. Beneath umbrella-like palm trees, men sit at rows of little tables concentrating intently on their chess matches. An elderly fellow seems to have a steady business going shining shoes. As the evening approaches, horse carriages line up to take tourists for a tour of the old town. As I make my way back to the hotel, I pause to talk a brother and sister who work at the jewelry shop on the corner of my street.

Plaza de Sta. Teresa, Naval Museum

Of course the grand emerald I admire framed in silver filigree (Columbia is famous for its emeralds) is far to dear for my budget, but it is fun to look. The brother tells me they are from Saint Andres Island, that has “the most beautiful beaches in Columbia”. He came to study in Cartagena but stayed when to marry his girlfriend after she got pregnant. It is amazing how open people when you stop to talk to them — after about 10 minutes they will share all kinds of personal stories. On their island they speak English, Spanish and Creole. He is proud to be trilingual and encourages me to keep going with my Spanish. So I return to my hotel to study the preterito indefinido.

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