I don’t usually work on Fridays but yesterday I did because we had some visitors coming to the foundation and I had to receive them since N is in the Netherlands. I didn’t mind though, it turned out to be a very nice and relaxing day. What we usually do with visitors is that we make a presentation about Fundación La Vecina and show them around in the school buildings. Then, if they want to spend more time discovering the Boquilla neighborhood, they can go on a canoe tour in the mangroves and have lunch in a traditional restaurant far away on a deserted beach. I had already seen some visitors come and go but this time, as it was Friday and I was not really even supposed to be at work, I decided to go with them and try out the tour so next time I know what I’m talking about.
First of all, taking care of visitors this week I have been positively surprised about how fond I've come of La Vecina in such a short amount of time. I have only been here for a month but it feels very natural telling about what we do and why. I know all the presentation slides by heart and when they ask questions I get more than excited. Of course I can't take any credit of anything yet, but I love to share and present the hard work of my colleagues. Today I was expecting a group of four persons but two of them were sick so finally it was just a Scottish man, R, with his Colombian guide, D. They were both absolutely lovely persons and fun to spend time with. R and D, thank you for the company and for coming to see La Vecina! Your interest means a lot to us and I can’t thank you enough for the donation, and the gifts you brought to the kids!
However, our foundation was not the only reason for their visit to La Boquilla: R and D also wanted to observe birds in the mangroves. I don’t remember having met any bird watchers before so that was a discovery for me, and one more thing to add on my “Before my travels by the Caribbean Sea I had never...” -list. D told me about fanatic or “hard-core” bird watchers who don’t eat, sleep or shower because they can only focus on birds. She has a travel-agency specialized in bird-watching and some of her clients have been exactly like that. Luckily R and D are not, and they did enjoy canoeing, beautiful landscapes, sunshine and the tasty lunch almost as much as spotting birds. Still, I found it hilarious (no offence) when every now and then they would stop in mid-sentence, grab their binoculars and fix their attention on a bird flying by or hiding in the bushes. I swear our canoe could have been on fire and they wouldn’t have noticed, so concentrated were they. I must admit though that it is a skill as any other. I was constantly astonished by how they could recognize the birds from so far and tell the different species apart. At times I tried to pay attention as well and see the resemblance between a bird and the picture in their book. But it was not easy so when I lost focus I would just chill and enjoy the sun and the calm surroundings. The canoe stroll was delightful, here’s some pics:
After 45-minutes of canoeing we came to a village far in La Boquilla and walked a short while to a restaurant on the beach. There we had a traditional Colombian meal: grilled fish, coconut-rice and patacóns (fried green plantains).
Since I have no self-control when it comes to buying beautiful things, I was of course I perfect target for a vendor passing by. I had hard time choosing which one of his hand-made creations I would buy so I bought four (but one is for you Mum! :))
All in all, it was a very enjoyable day. And before you ask, yes, I learned something about bird watching. Here’s my short lesson:
Ps. I didn't break my Friday routines, I just moved them to Saturday. I did surfing this morning + healthy lunch and cleaning afterwards, and now I'm writing. I was lacking inspiration at home (as always) so I came to write to a cozy restaurant in Getsemani. It's called Caffé Lunático and I am already in love with their papaya-coconut juice.
I'm Emilia, Finnish-Parisian, a recent Master's graduate. I'm currently traveling around the Caribbean and on a volunteering mission in Colombia. I'm passionate about writing, music and different kinds of sports. I can't wait to discover new places and cultures - and share my adventures with you!