The Castro’s meet us at our hotel at 3 p.m. We get two taxis, as five of us cannot fit in one taxi. (One of the laws that the Colombians actually adhere to; we figure the fine must be stiff!) Scott and I ride with Olga. We are heading down to the River Sinú for a pantoon-type boat ride on the river. Olga informs us that she has called her TV video friend and she plans to film a video for her YouTube program “La miscelánea de Olgita.” She records shows about interesting things about Monteria, or festivals, or how to do things, for the public broadcasting channel here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWQDlJHJOPM
We have to drive through the city-center market. It is bustling with people. I tried to snap a few shots, but it is hard to do from the back seat of a small taxi. We arrive at the river. The boat was scheduled to leave at 3:30 p.m., but the operators say we are going to wait a little bit until the sun gets a little lower-it will be cooler.
A tiny, not full-grown hummingbird has fallen from a nest and ants are trying to eat it. Olga rescues it and sends someone off to take care of it until we return. She cups her hands like a small box and carries it to one of the shops. It’s really tiny!
Finally it is time to board the boat. We have to walk down a smooth ramp that is virtually at a 45 degree angle.
The River Sinú is a wide, smooth, and fairly slow moving river. We continue south on the river and see daily life on the river. We see an area which has a mud sand bar in the middle of the river and dozens of people are there playing in the river. We see lots of other areas where mostly children and young people are cooling off in the river. We see LOTS of areas where people have thrown piles of trash on the river bank. It is a shame that this river is trashed in this way.
We returned to the dock. They let us off next door where there were only a few steps and a gentle incline to walk up. That was much safer to walk up than the 45 degree angle ramp. Olga retrieved her hummingbird. Someone had found a tiny box for it to “live in.” While we were waiting for Alejandro to come pick us up, the tiny bird was cheeping. Olga went to a nearby restaurant and got a sugar packet and a condiment cup. She made some sugar water. She tried to hold the flapping bird so that she could put its’ beak in the water.
Alejandro dropped us off at our hotel. We freshened up before walking to Olga’s for dinner at 6:30 p.m. Dinner was turkey, sandwiches, salad, patacones, and fruit. The turkey was a “live” turkey on Tuesday when we first visited, but Olga butchered it on Wednesday. We remember the Castro’s dog named “Gato” that is “cat” harassing the turkey in the dark terrace…after dinner on Tuesday. Robinson and Alejandro went to other parts of the house, but we stayed and talked with Olga and Tanya for a good hour and a half. Scott and I were both tired, but it was a fruitful conversation. As we went to leave, Scott talks with Tanya at the end of the sidewalk by the road for another half hour…pretty common. We’re ready to leave and we end up talking for quite a while. This is all part of the reason we are there…and we don’t complain, but Scott does get tired, and seeks a teeny bit of quiet now and then.
We returned to our room. Essentially, the purpose of our trip to Montería—encourage the brethren we serve and let them know we deeply love them—was done. We would be leaving in the morning. We took much needed showers after spending the bulk of the afternoon in the sun. Scott tightens up some last minute details, answers some email, and we head to bed.