Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Sorry to double dip...I figured I speed up the update process so we can get to the good stuff (Colombian Caribbean coast). I'm in Barranquilla right now. Let's see if I can give you all of Colombia before I actually leave on the 26th. I can't believe I've been here a month!
So Armenia is very very very miserably poor. I was shocked. Ppl walking around with no shoes, living like animals. Or worse than many animals I know. It was really hurtful and pissed me off. On the way to Armenia all you see is coffee and banana plantations. GORGEOUS and prosperous-looking. Why is the region that is providing the world with some of the best coffee so poor? Don't get it.
We stayed at this worker's retreat place that was cool...had a proletariat feel and lots of colorful details. Didn't feel like a hotel at all, which was kind of refreshing.
The concert was at this ENORMOUS conference center which was built in the middle of NOTHING. So weird. Huge building with a bunch of sinks, classrooms, work spaces, closets, all empty. One of the strangest things I've seen thus far on my trip. And by strange I mean suspect. Looked more like storage space to me. But anyways.
During the concert I thought about one of the books I read last semester for class (Highbrow/Lowbrow, Lawrence Levine). The book talks about manners and the ways in which audiences are trained to behave during performances. I have always been an advocate for letting people be themselves. But in Armenia, for a moment I felt that I missed the well-mannered ways of the gringos. This lady was ON THE PHONE in the middle of the performance. And it was a pretty small room so I'm sure the musicians could hear her. So extra! Emma shut her up though, thank goodness. But then the lady started crying. I was really confused about that part.
Armenia was short and uneventful. Manizales was next.
The rides to places always feel longer because drivers lie about the distances. Not sure why but I think it's hilarious. I quickly learned that 1 hour means 2, etc. The road to Manizales wasn't that long though, plus it was really scenic. Our hotel was at the top of a mountain, in the middle of nowhere. It was cold, rainy, cozy and GORGEOUS. It felt like being in a resort somewhere in Switzerland. These subclimates are so random! The hotel was made up of several cabins, 4 ppl each, and ours had a nice spring pool of its own :) I hadn't bathed in spring water in years! Loved it.
The concert in Manizales was ok....the audiences change a lot from city to city. This audience was cold, no dancing and not much energy. Oh well. One of our clarinetists, Guillermo Marin, wrote a beautiful song for his sister Rita who passed away. It's a traditional Colombian llano song. The orchestra played it and I teared up-so beautiful.
I had a chance to walk around downtown Manizales...so busy! I've noticed that about some Colombian cities and towns...the streets are PACKED. Didn't take pictures though, it feels awkward taking pics in the middle of the street...very turista gringa.
The day off in Manizales is my first day off in 3 weeks...so necessary. I slept pretty much all day. My body is aching from exhaustion, but I feel a lot better after getting some rest.
I miss and love you guys. Next stop: Medellin.
PS. Some of these pictures are stolen from Emma, since I didn't really take many pics.