Houses and where to place them

Looking back, he understood that his first love of his life was also, so much fun!

Vista al lago Guatapé, Antioquia, Colombia
The bridge        Guatapé, Antioquia, Colombia

“So Camila, which would you prefer: some place behind the orchard or in the pine tree’s clearing?”

“Well to be honest, neither of them.”

Magnifico was puzzled and he remained thoughtful for a few minutes.

Figuras en el agua Guatapé, Antioquia, Colombia
Figures in the water           Guatapé, Antioquia, Colombia

“Well then, where do you propose we build the house, Camila, or maybe you want us to live in the open and under the stars?”

“Don’t be silly, not even Georgina, your mule, lives without a roof over its head with these nasty, cold winds” Camila answered as she played carefully arranged her hair.

Cargando café Supía, Caldas, Colombia
Packing coffee         Supía, Caldas, Colombia

“You said that there’s a place behind the orchard, didn’t you?”

“Yes Ma’am, that’s what my father told me.”

“But then, the way you love to climb all those high places like if you were a monkey. Don’t you think that you get real bored after a while? All that land is flat anywhere you look.”

La siesta Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia
The siesta       Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia



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A small plot of land

He raised the most difficult question in his life when he was only a child

La Calle 14 Socorro, Santander, Colombia
 14 St.           Socorro, Santander, Colombia

“Hey Camila, I was talking to my father. He says that by next year we won´t be kids anymore.” Magnifico said with a mysterious air.

En la calle Socorro, Santander. Colombia
Street life          Socorro, Santander. Colombia

Camila couldn’t resist and let the opportunity go by:

“You still look too much like a kid to me, more like a child. You still can’t walk and now you want to run. So, you’re telling me that in a year you be all grown up… maybe you’ve been drinking too much of Lencha’s milk and you think that’s going to do it for you.”

Las colegialas Socorro, Santander, Colombia
School girls      Socorro, Santander, Colombia

“Look Camila”, he answered a bit seriously. “My Dad said I could pick some a plot of land for my next birthday. I can choose from the part behind the orchard or where the pine tree is standing.”

“Why don’t you ask for Georgina, the mule. So you can ride her to town?”, she replied, knowing perfectly well what he wanted to tell her.

“Aw Camila, seems that you are the one that’s riding me riding  today” he answered with a loss of how to get the conversation back on track.

Sol de mediodía Socorro, Santander, Colombia
Midday sun          Socorro, Santander, Colombia


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Goose bumps and breathlessness

Some memories are forgotten as time goes by, but the heart’s portraits never loose their radiance

Puertas y balcones Curiquí, Santander, Colombia
Balconies and doors       Curiquí, Santander, Colombia

    When everyone had left, he walked Camila home. As they slowly strolled on a path that made a shortcut to the village where Camila’s lived.

En verdes Curiquí, Santander, Colombia
In greens         Curiquí, Santander, Colombia

    When Magnífico found himself ambling or just sitting in high places, he many times felt goosebumps in his stomach. When Camila was by his side or nearby, he occasionally would feel a similar tingling, or sometimes he felt breathless, especially when her gaze caught him and held him in her glance.

En amarillos Curiquí, Santander, Colombia
In yellows           Curiquí, Santander, Colombia

        On that particular day they held a conversation, while they walked in high spirits and holding hands. Neither of them would never forget it, in the many years to come.

La chocolatería Curiquí, Santander, Colombia
The chocolate factory           Curiquí, Santander, Colombia


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True love

In his dreams he found the lost times of his childhood

El Teatro Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia
El Teatro           Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia

     It was a delicious cake decorated with a pine tree in the middle. At the highest point, there was a little boy. He was of icing and was watching the view from his heights. Suspended from the ceiling, three airplanes, were flying past, right in front of the pine tree.

El Colegio Fátima Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia
El Colegio Fátima           Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia

     That cake… the old traveller contemplated it in his dreams, as he sat on a bench in the park and overpoweringly asleep. He remembered that wonderful day, when they effectively did fly past, so close to him that one of the pilots had actually smiled at him, as he saluted him with his hand to his forehead, military style.

Frente a la iglesia Curiquí, Santander, Colombia
Frente a la iglesia           Curiquí, Santander, Colombia

     So much time had passed since he had thought about that happy day and what the warm love of his parents had meant to him in those childhood days.

En el parque Curiquí, Santander, Colombia
En el parque           Curiquí, Santander, Colombia



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The boy in the pine tree

And when he reached his special spot,  that was his shelter, his hangout… in that moment, he was happy.

Fachada Confines, Santander, Colombia
Facade          Confines, Santander, Colombia

    The birthday cake, had also been prepared by his mother, and behind his back, for she wanted to surprise her child.

La iglesia del pueblo Confines, Santander, Colombia
The town’s church         Confines, Santander, Colombia

          So skillfully had she endeavoured in the preparation of the cake that he never realized what she was up to. So, in turned out to be a great and happy surprise for him.

La siesta Confines, Santander, Colombia
Siesta  time          Confines, Santander, Colombia

       His mother, with that foresight so typical of mom’s had put away some milk from Lencha’s milking, also from Eugenia’s, and of course from Camila’s milk; the youngest of the cows, and the one that Magnifico had named in honor of Maria Camila, his first love and classmate.

Bajada al parque Confines, Santander, Colombia
The street to the park           Confines, Santander, Colombia


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A birthday cake

Starting upon that birthday, the happy sounds of his childish laughter, gradually became less frequent.

El pórtico de la entrada Confines, Santander, Colombia
The front porch          Confines, Santander, Colombia

      Outside the front door, his mom had placed a large, long table. It was in the terrace that ran all along the front of the house. There, in its shade, the air was nice and fresh. They keep the old red machine there, so rusty now, by so many years of wear and tear.

La chiva Supía, Caldas, Colombia
The chiva-bus           Supía, Caldas, Colombia

    Upon this table, she had arranged the Tolima-style tamales, the same ones she prepared with ingredients she obtained from the farm. Of course, there was plenty of candy; she had made with the goat’s milk.

Domingo de mercado Supía, Caldas, Colombia
Sunday market           Supía, Caldas, Colombia

       But what really provoked a nostalgic, cheery feeling in the bottom of his heart, was the enormous, huge birthday cake, with its nine multicoloured candles and the pine tree, carefully etched in the centre.

Una tarde de chicha Tacuba, Ahuachapán, El Salvador
A chicha afternoon        Tacuba, Ahuachapán, El Salvador

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The birthday boy’s farm house

Those days, bathed in the warm sunlight, beneath blue skies… have left to never return

Anocheciendo Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia
Night time          Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia

     It was beneath a warm noon sun all the guests went into the house. They left the wagons and the horses beneath the shade, on the way to the cow’s shed.

Días de lluvia Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia
Rainy days           Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia

      While everyone got comfortable, Magnifico, couldn’t help but stare, amazed, at the decorations in the front patio. Intrigued, he was trying to figure out at what time this had happened. When he left, early in the morning with his Dad, everything had been as usual. Then he remembered how his Mother had stayed behind; because, she had a few last minute chores to take care of, to later catch up with them, wearing this mysterious smile on her face.

Atardecer en el pueblo Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia
Night fall in the town           Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia

As it happened, his Mom, had quickly set up all the decorations, with a little help from the nearest neighbours, before running to catch up in time for Mass.

Everywhere you looked, there were so many brightly coloured balloons of all sizes and shapes, cheerfully dressing up the patio and giving it a happy, festive ambience.

Madrugada en la calle Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia
Dawn in the streets           Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia


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A brave dare

Gallant acts of chivalry are not lost; they may be found in the anonymous everyday life of the world’s unsung heroes.


La recta Camino a Barichara, Santander, Colombia
The straight stretch           Road to Barichara, Santander, Colombia

     It was on the straight stretch of the road, just before the curve that comes out to the clearing with the pine tree. On the same spot where the family gathered for lunch on Sundays that unexpectedly, Magnifico shouted at the top of his voice, his load voice enough to be heard above the general, happy din:

“Danilo, do you suppose that you could beat me to the house, or maybe, you are too tired to try…”

La campiña Camino a Barichara, Santander, Colombia
The country-side          Road to Barichara, Santander, Colombia

      Immediately, this challenge provoked a heavy silence among all gathered. In the midst of that quiet moment, the confident and quick reply of his best friend was clearly heard.

“But, I already beat you a while ago. Today is your birthday, and I really don´t want to beat you twice in a row, or better said, that you should lose again, you hear?”

Los caminos del valle Carretera a Barichara, Santander, Colombia
Valley roads           Road to Barichara, Santander, Colombia

      As could be anticipated, the silence was broken, right after that exchange between them. The air was filled with catcalls, whistling and jeers that came from both the children and the grownups. In the thick of it, Magnifico jumped from the wagon smiling, but not before he turned to Camila and winked at her.

La finca Camino a Barichara, Santander, Colombia
The farm           Road to Barichara, Santander, Colombia


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The popular songs

And what of life, if it were for the music, for it to be properly enjoyed

El parasol Guadalupe, Santander, Coombia
The parasol           Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia

    On the second uncovered wagon, and sitting next to each other, Magnífico and Camila were carrying on this lively conversation, totally engrossed in their own separate world.

Caminando bajo el sol Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia
Walking in the sun           Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia

    To their side and surrounding them, as well as in the next wagon, the rest of the schoolmates and neighbours were to be found.

Al otro lado de la calle Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia
On the sunny side of the street           Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia

      Most of them were happily singing songs that were popular in their time, many years ago, but lost today, among the memories past times. Undoubtedly, they conformed a scene reminiscent of another long gone age.

Un día de sol Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia
A sunny day           Guadalupe, Santander, Colombia


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Noon Zapatoca, Santander, Colombia

Leaving from the park

In a good life, there should always be time for a bit of rumba with friends

La Subida Zapatoca, Santander, Colombia

The hill          Zapatoca, Santander, Colombia

    Their departure from the central park was, without any doubt, tainted with the overtones that came from a long gone past. The serious part of the celebration, The Mass, was over and now it was time for the rumba: good fun and party.

Compartiendo tiempo Zapatoca, Santander, Colombia
Sharing a while           Zapatoca, Santander, Colombia

      The tired, old traveller contemplated that encounter with his past, was taking place in his dreams, with a definite sense of admiration. Danilo, his childhood friend, whom he had not seen again in so many years… was proudly mounted in, haunches upon his father’s horse, looking totally satisfied with himself; his gaze confidently challenging the future.

El Gran Cachaco Zapatoca, Santander, Colombia
El Gran Cachaco           Zapatoca, Santander, Colombia

        The men and women mounted upon their frisky horses, who looked anxious to be on their way. Some of the elder persons were comfortably sitting in the first of the open wagons with smiles on their faces, while onlookers bantered and swapped jokes with the crowd.

Noon Zapatoca, Santander, Colombia
Noon            Zapatoca, Santander, Colombia


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