My sister Luz Adriana and I had plan to go and visit our mother’s family together in Colombia for many years now and I thought this would be the year, but because of the instability of our home country of Venezuela, she couldn’t leave her family and her home. But that is another story for another day….
So I connected with some of my Colombian cousin’s daughters and sons trow twitter and facebook and this is how the reunion went down.
I landed on January the second of this year at the El Dorado Int.airport in Bogota [Colombia's capital] at around 5.30 pm after a few hours of being delayed due to bad weather, I was welcome by an entourage of family and friends with a banner saying “Welcome to Colombia Carlos Fuenmayor” I felt a bit nervous you see, because I had not seen my aunts and uncles and their families for about 30 years [ That was the last time I was in Colombia on holidays with my older brother Jairo] I could not believe how much love and kindness came from them to make my incredible welcome a happy one..It was like we had never been apart. I felt very blessed and yet so sad that my sister was not there with me to feel what I was going trough that overwhelming love…From the airport we went to my cousin Claudia and her husband Gildardo home. They kindly offer me their home to stay as long as I wanted..The food and drinks did not stop that night, it was just incredible and that my friends was only the first night…..
With my aunt Transito [right to left and center] my cousins Marta, Claudia. Paula, Andres and Katherine.
Celebrated my 45th birthday this year with my Colombia family and it was wild and so much fun.
With my cousins [right to left and center] my cousins Marta, Claudia. Paula, Andres, Luis, Luz Alba, Gildardo , Katherine and Luna the dog in my lap.
For the next 3 weeks I travel and meet and visited other cities and families from all over Bogota. We travel to Cundimarca, Tolima, Ibague, Cajamarca, Armenia, Pereira, Montenegro and the coffee region of Caldas where the best coffee of Colombia comes from.
Going up the Moserrate Mountain in Bogota.
Down the mountain on the cable car.
Simon Bolivar square in down town Bogota
At the Gold Musuem, wow just incredible. 24k gold warrior body suit.
At the salt cathedral mine in Zipaquira.
On our way to the top of the Colombian Andes in Caldas state.
By week four I decided that I needed a break from the mountains and wanted the sun and the beach, after all I was on holiday, so I decided to travel to the Old City of Cartagena , one of the most influential historical city in the Americas. I was there for two weeks. Made some new friends and meet up with friends from Ottawa and Toronto which made my stay fun and unforgettable one.
At the root top of the Decamaron Hotel in Cartagena de Indias.
A local woman on the beach selling fruits.
By week six I was back in Bogota, I saw more family and upon my arrival , they had planed a going back to Canada party for me all over the city, I was enchanted by the historical colonial architectures and the beauty of the new city and it’s people….I found a very safe and dynamic Colombia, you see my mother emigrated to Venezuela in the early 70 because of the violence and drugs, in which at the time became a very dangerous and unsafe place to live.
I heard stories from my family and friends and at the time could not understand the conflict and what they went through. I am happy to be the witness of how much the people of Colombia including my family have changed things around with hope and determination for the best.I had a great time and now have much more respect for this beautiful, amazing and complex country.
Sadly after six weeks my holiday came to an end on February the 12th. And had the come back to reality. It was really hard to leave Bogota and this new lovable and incredible family…….Thank you Mom for giving me greats brothers and my incredible beautiful sister and their families and also for my new found family, thanks Mom for this incredible gift.
My aunt & uncle Transito and Roman Bolivar [from left to right] my cousin Claudia and her friend Claudia Patricia.
In a personal note; I wan to say Mil Gracias to my aunts Transito, Rosa, my uncles Roman, Simon Bolivar, my cousins Claudia, Luz Alba, Marta, Luis, Johana and their families, specially to the Gonzalez family Gildardo, Doris, Claudia y el primo for making my connection an incredible one.
Yours, celebrating Family and roots from Colombia,