Sunrise/Sunset: 6:09 / 6:05
Foo Song: Saint Cecilia
Sometimes I try to create extreme adventures. Other days I just roll with it and keep it simple, though I’m not naturally good at that approach. Parenting, however, has taught me both to mellow out and enjoy the simpler things in life and also to reconnect with my own roots and childhood experiences.
Today, all we did was go to a pool. Just as I did so much at the old Tuscawilla Country Club in Winter Springs, FL, back when diving boards were still permitted and Jimmy the short order cook begrudgingly dished up food to a bunch of smartass, ketchup packet-smashing goons like me and my amigos. Somehow, perhaps because swimming practice became more like a military drill and extra time in a pool seemed about as fun as a soup sandwich, recreational goofing off in pools lost its luster by the time I was in my early teens.
Here, at a Santiago de Cali city recreational facility (not a country club), I reconnected with my inner child. Today included five hours of tossing children in heavily chlorinated water, multiple (at least three, I swear!) generous applications of waterproof bay-butt protecting sunscreen, and a generous lunch (and making sure not to heed the old wives’ tale that you can’t swim right after eating a meal). In fact, I gulped down five bowls of soup – sancocho (I love that stuff) and cazuela de pescado – fish stew) and plantains two different ways. Man I love the fresh food here.
So awesome playing in the sun, but ouchie on sunburnt skin later on. Tropical sun is picante and bravo (spicy and mad, or a I guess we’d say in Boston, mad spicy, or wicked spicy).
The evening was mostly at home, just watching tube, working on this blog, cleaning up digitally. Plus a brief outing to Cosmocentro to find aloe vera and take a short stop at Juan Valdez Cafe with my wifey. Amazing music was booming in the center of shopping mall. Everybody crowded around. Not some bland crappy production. Shopping is so different here. You don’t just go to get what you need, you take time and enjoy the people you’re with, spending a little extra in the process, but with the dollar so strong right now, I can afford the time and expense. Real genuine energy around.
Looking back, this was my first night of real digital overload since starting vacation, but I was not randomly surfing, and it was fine after such a long day of play and child tossing (and discovering soreness in small long neglected muscles). I was working with a purpose, dreaming of ways to make enough money and pull together all he ideas I have about Colombia and our future living in the US and Colombia. Now that Mateo has reached five years old, it seems easier and easier to live this way, stretching ourself between two places, two cultures, and two languages. Where it used to feel as if I had no home and no center, I am beginning to feel good just knowing that I, and my entire family, is mastering this international life, tied deeply to multiple places.