A Wonderful Night to Be Much Observed

Friday, March 30, 2018
Cúcuta, North Santander, Colombia
Today is Friday.  For those in this country, it is “Good Friday.”  Scott says, “Every Friday is a good Friday.” No one is out driving. Only public transportation is running.  I looked out the window and the streets are empty except for all the people walking to church a few blocks away.  We take it easy this morning as we had a late night last night.  I finished up a couple blogs.  In late morning, we went to the mall to walk for exercise.  There were people around, but not too many that we couldn’t walk.  We get our “fill” of skimpy tops and tight jeans.
We took a tour of the food court area looking for something new and different to eat for lunch.  Well, that was a futile attempt.  Each restaurant has the same thing; some have better photos to make it more appealing, but it all looks the same.
We thought if we got something to go and take it back to our room that it would be faster and less expensive than the restaurant at the hotel.  We settled on Kokoriko’s as they had salad that we could get.   We also ordered chicken wings to share.    It was a little cheaper than the restaurant, but we had to wait 25+ minutes for our food.  So that was not any faster.  We returned to our room and ate.  It was much quieter in our room than the food court.
We took another walk in the mall in the afternoon.  We needed to get out of the hotel room after working for several hours.  It has been overcast and rainy most of the time that we have been here.  It is too cold to use the pool, so walking is our exercise outlet.  We stopped at Juan Valdez and got a latte frio.  We sat there to people watch.  Next to Juan Valdez is the court yard where the mall had set up for a church service.  Today, they were having a service while we were there.  When the service was over, they had an “alter call” of sorts.  Everyone lined up and walked forward one by one to kiss the knee on a statue of “Christ on the cross." The priest wiped the spot they kissed with the same cloth after each kiss. All I could think about was how that was a good way to spread germs. Not making fun of their sincerity, but since Scott easily catches things here, he was glad he was not part of this activity for several reasons.
We returned to the hotel and prepared for the Night to Be Much Observed. Shortly, before we were ready to leave, I notice that it was raining. We would have to take a taxi for the short distance of 6 blocks.  The bellhop waved down a taxi for us, and he told us it would be $5,000 pesos—about $1.50 so that wasn’t too bad. Because of the traffic and one way streets, it took longer to take a taxi than walking, but at least we stayed somewhat dry.
Everyone was there when we arrived. We gave hugs all around to everyone. It was so refreshing to see everyone whom we have not seen since the Feast. The hall was set up with one long table and one small table. I brought a box of matzos. They can’t get them here, so it is a treat to have them. Doris and her extended family cooked all the food. They had plates of unleavened bread and patacon chips on the tables. They, also, set up a counter with all the plates, filled them with food, and then passed them out to each person. We had total of 38 people! We had chicken leg quarters, rice, potato, lettuce and fruit and cheese salad, and soda pop. The conversation was great and we had a really enjoyable time. They made Scott vegetables as he could not have the rice or potatoes. They are always so generous in helping him to stay healthy.
About 2/3 of the people left at about 8 p.m., but a group of us stayed and talked until 9 p.m.  Scott explained how the U.S. culture frowned on some things that we do that are acceptable here and vice versa. We had a very uplifting conversation. Then we all said good bye. It was still raining, so we got a taxi with Jesus and Amparo. We got dropped off at our hotel, and then they continued on to their home.
I took a shower and did some reading to relax before turning in. I was tired when I went to bed, but I just could not sleep.  My shoulder was also hurting and I couldn’t find even one comfortable position even after taking something for the pain. I was restless, too. I think that I was too sedentary today. I did some more reading and finally I was able to fall asleep about 1:30 a.m. Fortunately, I did not have to get up early in the morning. Scott tries to be quiet when he arises and I’m trying to rest….
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Thank you so much for your report. Stay safe and enjoy your stay!


Love all the pictures!