Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year Challenges

Happy New Year to all... if there’s one thing I would personally like for the new year here in Colombia, it would be a fast modem coupled to a fast internet service. With all the people here in the pueblo, and all of them using cell phones day and night, the cell-based modems are struggling to give any kind of service at all.
In fact, I decided against even renting one for these past two weeks because it is such a fruitless effort to try and upload photos or even collect e-mails. But there is an Internet Cafe which now has WiFi, so that may ease some of the communication challenges, provided I want to go there with my laptop.
It’s been busy here since my last posting with lots of musical events, openings of small eateries and hotels, nice dinners with friends, art shows and fireworks... the latter going off almost every night from December 16th until last night. Some were more organized than others. There was one event that tried to raise some funds for the victims of the flooding to the north, but I don't know how that turned out.
A village between Santa Marta and Cartagena was already
flooded when I passed it in November, 2010. Many of
these impoverished people now have lost even the sticks
that propped up their roofs with the intense flooding.
So, I have another New Year’s wish... all roads north of Bucaramanga are presently cut off by the ‘derumbas’ (landslides and rock slides) along with massive flooding of the major rivers during the heavy rains from October to middle of December and many people in the delta region of the Rio Magdelena have lost homes, jobs, agricultural products, livestock and hope. It is hard for the Colombian government to manage this huge task of reconstructing and assisting their people and it doesn’t get the media play of places like Haiti. There is a South American Red Cross that is accepting donations for this situation, if you care to offer up some thing.

My living in the pueblo of Barichara is going well; my Spanish is improving, though slowly. It's still a challenge to go and buy something as simple as paint, paintbrushes and thinner at the hardware store. Still, it's worth it.

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