Many Iguanas and the Night to Be Much Observed

Friday, April 22, 2016
Monteria, Colombia
We were up at 7 AM for our morning walking! It was more humid this morning than previous mornings. We stopped at the restaurant for breakfast on our way back to our room. There was a new waiter, so we were apprehensive about getting our breakfast right, but I explained to him specifically what we wanted. And surprise, it all came out like it was supposed to! Success!

Olga gave me a piece of fruit for me to try—a níspero costeño . It looks like a small russet potato on the outside, yet it is very soft and has a few seeds that look like large watermelon seeds. You can peel it by just pulling on the skin. I was warned that it was very sweet—and it is! It tasted just like eating a teaspoon of brown sugar. Delicious, but very sweet!

We went back to the room to shower and to do office work—reports for Passover for three congregations in the US and five congregations in Colombia. I had asked Olga if there was anything I could do to help her with the Night to Be Much Observed preparations, but she said that her maid was helping her so she was fine. She wanted to make two flower arrangements—one for tonight and one for the Holy Day tomorrow, but she was short on cash. I said that was the perfect thing for me to help with. Providing her the money was easier than trying to prepare any food in my hotel room. A win for both of us!

We decided to do the McDonald's run for our lunch--Caesar salads with chicken and jalapeños . It is close by, quick, healthy, and easy. The McDonald’s clerk knew exactly what we were going to order. After lunch we returned to the hotel and changed for our afternoon walk. We needed to do it early, so we can be ready for the Night to Be Much Observed.

We hoped we would see more Caporo or Iguanas today. We wanted to beat our record of 17 lizards in one day last year. We were surprised by how many that we actually saw. We walked and counted as we walked without even really trying to find them. We spotted 65 total for our walk. If we had stopped and looked in the trees, I am sure we would have seen many more. I took several pictures; a few of them were the really large Caporos!

I even got a picture of the bird that I have been trying to get a picture of for three days—the Bi-colored wren. It was very hot this afternoon—96 F or a real feel temperature of 127 F.

We stopped by Éxito! to see if we could get Scott a good snack as dinner was going to be late, and we were unsure of the meal plan . The cafeteria would not sell us just a piece of beef steak or a piece of salmon. It could only be purchased as a combo with potatoes, rice and salad—two of which Scott could not eat. So, we nixed that idea. We returned to the hotel, and found out that they had chicken vegetable soup, and that would work for a snack later on in the afternoon.

We showered again! After each walk, one just needs a shower, and then another one before going to bed. So much sweating creates the need to do laundry. We simply don’t have and can’t carry with us 36 pair of underwear, so Scott washes his out while in the shower and they are ready, clean and dry, the next day. I choose the sink for my laundry tub for my under garments and exercise shirt each day.

We went to the hotel restaurant so that Scott could get some soup. I had a Cherry Lemonade, and Scott had a frozen lemonade made without sugar. It was a bit tart, but it was refreshing and a nice diversion from plain water .

We knew it would be a late night, so we stopped at McDonald’s for a cup of coffee before going to Olga and Robinson’s house. It was right on the way anyway. We arrived at their house at 6 PM, and everything was ready—the food was on the buffet and the tables were set. We were the first to arrive. I took pictures of the beautiful setting, and we sat and talked with Glenna, as the others were still getting dressed. Glenna had moved since we last saw her, so it was nice to get caught up with what was happening in her life.

It was quite pleasant on the terrace. Gradually the others arrived between 6:00 and 7:00 PM. There were 20 of us all together. For six of them (not including the baby), this was their first Night to Be Much Observed. Before we ate, Jaime C. gave a short discourse about the significance of the evening. We were here to begin the celebration of the Days of Unleavened Bread with the Night to Be Much Observed . We were celebrating and remembering the time that the Israelites left Egyp--a type of sin.

Olga, Blanca, Glenna, and two other ladies worked all day preparing the food. We had meat loaf, chicken legs in wine, roasted vegetables, coleslaw, a potato casserole, three types of rice, fresh fruit salad, pasta salad, and a mango jello salad are the ones that I remember. We also had fresh mango juice and Matzos. Scott held little Danna at the beginning of the meal so that Lyda could eat. When Lyda finished, then Scott ate. I took pictures of most everyone there, but they kept moving around so I may have missed someone.

During dinner, Glenna taught me a Spanish joke, "Enero, febrero, matzo" (marzo). Translation, “January, February, March!”  Another word I learned the day before was, “Core!”  Glenna handed Olga a heavy package to give to Jaime. Olga took it and said, “Core, core, core!”  Core (cor-ray) usually means “run .”  I could not understand why she wanted Glenna to run away. Then when I saw Jaime take the package, I realized that “core” meant “hurry—hurry and take it from me.”

We ate and fellowshipped. During dinner, some took time to talk to Scott about their personal questions. About 9 PM, about half the people left to go home. We stayed to talk with the extended Castro family. Shortly after that, it started to lightning and thunder, and then we had a down pour. We were able to stay on the covered terrace and continue talking. They brought forward and discussed many of their concerns, questions and needs. We listened intently and were able to talk openly with them. These face to face in person conversations are vitally important to the health of the congregations we serve. We stayed talking until it stopped raining. Eventually, we finished our conversation and left the Castro home at 11:35 PM and walked the five blocks home.

We took our third shower of the day and crawled into bed shortly after midnight. It had been a busy and long day, but it was nice to start the Days of Unleavened Bread with so many people in Montería.
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Jennifer Colón

¡Me encanta las caras amigables de todos! Saludos desde Charlotte! Pienso que la broma fue muy chistoso, tambien! "Enero, febreo, matzo," jajajajaja! Besos y abrazos! Con cariño, Jen

PS, how is my Spanish? Lol!


Jen, your Spanish is good enough to come visit!


So iguanas aren't dangerous to humans? Some of them look a bit threatening!

Love all the pics, and glad you had a great NTBO, as we did!


They are afraid of us and run away when we get close. Thanks to my 20X zoom, I can get some good shots.