Grandfather Diego and his reading bouts

He walked through life with his head bent , his mind high,and his thoughts, soared the skies…


El libro de los cielos Rivas, Nicaragua
The book of the skies           Sapsurro, El Chocó, Colombia

 

“Diego always displayed, this beautiful, special ability. What would you think, my child, if I were to say that that your Grandfather could read the skies, just like we read a book?

Atardecer en el Pacífico Playa de la Libertad, La Libertad, El Salvador
Sunset on the Pacific coast          La Libertad Beach, La Libertad, El Salvador

 

Diego never liked to read ordinary books, no ma’am. He used to say he had his own book: The book of my fortune, written in the skies. My book, my dearest Diego would say, is alive, and it re-writes itself every day. And it contained all he needed to know to plan his days and run the homestead.

Amanecer caribeño Sapsurro, El Chocó, Colombia
Caribbean Sunrise           Sapsurro, El Chocó, Colombia

 

Books written on paper, Diego believed, are dead, since they can’t change with the times.”


 

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Inés, the loving Grandmother

And in the looking-glass of the other’s pain, her soul itself, reflected…


Vista del centro San Gil, Santander, Colombia
The downtown view           San Gil, Santander, Colombia

 

Her Grandmother Inés, was a very dear figure in Dora’s life.

El viejo portón San Gil, Santander, Colombia
The old entrance            San Gil, Santander, Colombia

 

She possessed a great empathic insight and knew how to treat her like a fellow companion; she didn’t treat her like a little girl nor like a grown-up (for little Dora was none of these): she treated the young girl like a person, always affectionately and with due respect.

Bajadas y subidas San Gil, Santander, Colombia
Ups and downs          San Gil, Santander, Colombia

 

Constantly happy and loving, her Grandmother had known very rough times in her youth; in effect, she had first-hand experience with pain, and so, she was quite capable of recognizing it in the rest.


 

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Dora, the young girl

In spite of the surrounding concrete, the flower grew, and with a smile, it challenged the world…


Cementerio de la isla Los Ángeles, Isla Ometepe, Rivas, Nicaragua
The Island’s Cemetery          Los Ángeles, Ometepe Island, Rivas, Nicaragua

 

On occasion, certain gestures the child made reminded her so strongly of Dora’s mother: such a likeness, especially at that age: oh my darling daughter, how soon you left us. May you rest in peace…

Las escaleras de los mosaicos rojos San Gil. Santander, Colombia
The bright red-tiled steps           San Gil. Santander, Colombia

 

Dora’s favourite spot in which to spend the mornings was right at the beginning of the steep climb. The hours would happily pass, while she, engrossed in her own world, enthusiastically played, or she read one of the books, that she always carried.

Puente sobre el río Fonce San Gil, Santander, Colombia
Bridge over the Fonce River           San Gil, Santander, Colombia

 

Yes, that was definitely her favourite place, in front of the house with the yellow façade, sitting on the fresh red tiled bright mosaic steps, so spacious, yet so cozy. When the neighbours passed by, they would smile and greet her warmly, for they knew the little girl’s situation well.


 

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On the road to San Gil

La quebrada Cañón del o, Santander, Colombia
The gulley             Chicamocha Canyon, Santander, Colombia

San Gil is a bit more than then 60 kilometres to the south from  Bucaramanga, the capital City, as the crow flies or on a straight path.

Arco Iris Cañon del Chicamocha, Santander, colombia
Rainbow            Chicamocha Canyon, Santander, Colombia

The bus to Bogotá makes that journey of amazing Santanderian landscapes in a little more than a couple of hours of abrupt and tight curves, as it skirts the Chicamocha Canyon, till if finally arrives to San Gil as a stop-over.

La vida en el valle Cañón de la Chicamocha, Santander, Colombia

Life in the valley             Chicamocha Canyon, Santander, Colombia


If on that particular weekend, it was her turn to spend it at her paternal grandparents’, then she took an additional small bus for an hour’s ride to the close by coffee plantation where they lived.


 

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During the week ends

Bajada a la plaza San Gil. Santander, Colombia
Walking down to the plaza           San Gil. Santander, Colombia

Since she was a child and after the death of her mother, for an interval of various years, the young Dora was sent to the city of San Gil and to the town of Barichara, both belonging to the Santander Department, in the north-east of the country.


 

En la plaza Barichara, Santander, Colombia

At the plaza    Barichara, Santander. Colombia


It was during the weekends, on the holidays, and the long weekends that she would alternate between both places. Her Grandparents, on her father’s side, lived in Barichara, where they had a coffee plantation on the outskirts of the lovely town.


Subiendo a la casa de la abuela San gil, Santander, Colombia
The climb to Grandmother’s house           San gil, Santander, Colombia

Her Grandmother, on her mother’s side, lived in San Gil in the heart of the peaceful city.


 

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