Monday, December 5, 2011

Making the Move

Although the rain has caused lots and lots of problems in all the states, the
rich greens on a sunny day are enough to blind you! This is the last shot
taken from my rental house in La Loma on the morning of my move.
I've been out of energy and out of time and out of modem connection for the past 10 days or so... I had to move from the rental house I had outside the village to a less expensive option in the village, as the contract had ended and the past "Arrendidoria" (landlady) did not want to extend for another year. Her hope is that she will sell the property.

I endured a year of being given short notice - often less than an hour - for people to come and see it and then heard that she was upset it didn't look better. Sorry, but I cannot take down wet laundry, mow the grass, and pick up all my paints in 60 minutes. But now it shouldn't be a problem as it is empty. I hope she does sell it quickly. I am not ungrateful for the house, and I took good care of it, but clearly the owner's frustrations rubbed off on me.

Anyhow, my new living quarters are interesting. I don't have the expansive views of local hills and valleys, but I am living in a typical Colombian casa and, it turns out, it is also the OLDEST house in the village. The layout is awkward, which is why I think it has been difficult to rent. The owner wants to lease the front part to shop owners and I live in the back part.
This is the first patio, and you can see the dining area just
ahead. Keep walking toward the back and you reach yet
another patio before the 'quarters' that mark my sleeping
area, a guest room and the kitchen.
In its old configuration, there would have been three very large sleeping quarters for the family in the front, a courtyard, then the dining area, another courtyard and then the servant quarters and the kitchen and washing area. (That's my new domain.) The former servant section has been divided into two sleeping rooms, the kitchen has been remodeled, but the back 'yard' still has the old beehive bread oven and a roasting pit. It appears that this 'house' might have actually been more of a hotel, though probably not called that - more likely a 'guest house' where people could come and stay as they worked their way from Bogota to Bucaramanga on horseback... must have been a hellishly long ride!
This is the last patio, and that domed thing in the far back
is the beehive bread oven. The wood is put below and the
bread cooks above. I don't more than that about it.
Once it became clear that I was going to be moving, I had to do the packing up of things... and even though I only had a bed, a bureau, two side tables, three chairs and a washing machine in the way of actual 'furnishings,' I had plenty of books, kitchen supplies, and assorted other 'items' that it took a small truck three trips... it was rather embarrassing, actually, because most of the campesinos can load their belongings in this same small truck and undoubtably have space left over in one trip.

I hate moving, and I hated this one, too. I don't like the disorganization of it all, and even with all the labeling of boxes, things are missing and it will take some time to get resettled. I especially hate moving alone, and here there was no family or close-enough friends who might help. I was on my own. I managed to find the truck driver, speaking my rough Spanish, and he agreed to meet me in the park on the Friday at 2 p.m. so I could show him how to get to the house outside of town.

Only he never showed up. I called and he said 'perhaps he could come tomorrow.' Nearly in tears, the lady who was helping to clean up the new location for her cousin who is the owner showed up and took over. In an hour, the driver was there with helpers and three hours later everything was moved. As the sun set on my wierd and also wonderful day, I ached from lifting and moving things, but it was done!

My new home is very close to the cathedral; I am literally at the bottom
of the steps, across from the main park. I can hear the bells but they aren't
too loud because the old walls are almost 28" thick!!!
So that's the reason I haven't been blogging... but now that I'm finding my way around in this curious old house, I am motivated to find out more about it and see what interesting tales might be told of the people who once stayed or lived here.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Sandy! A new place, what fun! Think of it as a new adventure....

    Got a kick out of the guy not showing up. As Dom used to say to me, "Welcome to the South, Nan"... sounds like you're dealing with the same work

    I'll bet that you'll dig up some neat history on the old place. The area looks amazing!