Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mothers' Day

We woke up yesterday morning and made pancakes to celebrate moms around the world…I hope everyone had a good day…

When I sent my last note to this blog, I was really not in tip-top shape. Everything is behind me now, pun intended, and I am moving on…I feel healthy and great…I have been in Apartadó for the past week. This town is really important as it is the home of the dioceses that is sponsoring our work here. Alan, Julie and Gregory have a room on the church grounds for sleeping and storage. We use it as a place to replenish supplies and organize courses. In an interesting turn of events, I have a room in the same building as the priests for the cathedral next door. Each night, I ring the bell, and one of the priests lets me into my room. Despite living a completely responsible existence here, I still seem to feel guilty while waiting for someone to open the door.

The heat persists here…wow. Everything is damp too! What a combo. It really is not all that comfortable, but my body is getting used to it.

I thought I would keep my eyes open for the past few days and take some photos of the animals that are living on the cathedral grounds. This will be more interesting for kids than adults, I imagine. Here is a photo of our shared terrace and the ground below. It is teeming with neat critters. You can see the groups of orchid leaves on the big two trees that form the foundation for the deck, I missed the full bloom by a few weeks. That is Vincente in the background, definitely a friend, not a critter. I took the second picture at this morning’s information meeting. We were organizing class-work, planning finances…I guess Julie got some meditation in as well. This is where I drink my coffee in the morning.




















What better place to start looking for great animals than the KITCHEN!! I wish I were kidding. Everyone loves the kitchen. I found this moth while we were cleaning dishes after dinner.


Here are some more house guests…



We have a huge variety of lizards around the house. We have a neat one that is really fast and not so photogenic (yet). It has a dark body and a orange head. Here…I almost got a photo of him this morning.
Looking at that one again, I really probably didn't need to share that with you.

Despite carrying my camera around for the past few days, I missed a fantastic photo opportunity on the way to lunch yesterday. We saw a tree laden with big iguanas. Big. We counted over 10. The largest probably had a body 2 feet-long with a longer tail. But I did manage to find these guys in the trees over the terrace. Not as dramatic, but sort of a neat ‘find the iguana in the photo” game. They move fairly quickly and they also fall from the canopy and hit the ground with a large “thud” before rolling over and heading back up the trunk to the leaf-laden limbs.
Despite their size, these guys aren't all that easy to find in these photos...I might have to share the real photos when I get home...

I would like to dispel any thoughts of the tranquil solitude that surrounds a cathedral. I shouldn’t generalize, but the area around this cathedral is teeming with noise. There is a great spanish word for it "bulla". The services of the church use microphones, the neighbors of the church play their music loudly and at all hours, there is a busy street nearby, and not to be out-done, squirrels, an owl, monkeys, lizards all compete for air-time. I need to share my surprise when I was strolling from my room in the priests house to our office, I walked right into this:

I had no idea that peacocks were loud. It isn’t really a beautiful noise. It sort of sounds like an angry wet cat screaming. This one flew (they fly!) to the roof opposite our meeting this morning, I took a quick video...




There is a family of white-faced monkeys that live here too. They are much more active in the sunshine and we haven’t had an abundance of that yet, so I am still waiting for a better photo opportunity.

It is interesting to mention that people with white skin and blonde hair are called “monos” by the people here. Mono is Spanish for monkey. This monkey’s white hair around its face and its white skin are the reason why.

And lastly for this installment…my favorite…look how cool these guys are…

They are called leaf-cutter ants. They are pretty organized. They cut big chunks from a leaf and walk with it for long distances back to their hive. They move in nearly single file. Here one has also picked up a small flower…hopefully bringing it home to its mom…wow...ending on a cheesy note...

4 comments:

Degns Of Our Lives said...

We all enjoyed your blog this morning! It reminds Mia of the Zoo--I guess we need to pack up and go. Sorry, about all the noise--I'm sure you'll adjust and get some sleep eventually. Peacocks are annoying -maybe you'll learn to love their call and miss it when you come back to the states.

Your indoor animals remind me of college life. I went to college in Hawaii and I slept amongst many lizards, frogs, and HUGE insects. In fact, sad story. When I first got there and saw a gecko next to my face on the wall next to my bed--my first reaction was to swat it HARD. I killed a gecko--and I still have remorse! I can't really call it an accident either because I wanted whatever it was, dead. I think twice before swatting at innocent creatures nowadays. So, try not to kill anything or you may possibly regret it for the rest of your life!

Take care,
Mia, Tanner & Cara

Eric & Danielle said...

You pictures are amazing, the kids enjoyed the video of the peacock, they are very noise birds, kind of like kids. I guess I have 4 mono kids, and not just because of their blonde hair but I really believe they are monkeys. We sure miss you but we are happy that you are enjoying yourselve and Lucky you that looked like an awesome place to be. Looking for your future blogs and pics.

The Oldroyd's

Bakers4 said...

We have enjoyed hearing about Columbia and your new friends. Hope everything continues to go well for you.

Hartleys said...

Hey, Doc. Good,
Love the photos! Reminds us of Florida, with the canopies and lizards. We also had peacocks and monkeys, though not so common.
Conor had to watch the "calling peacock" video several times. What fun! Have a great time with it! With love, John, Tami, John, Sarah, and Conor