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Don Miguel Ruiz

Las Flores, dinner, more photos

Sunday March 9, 2014

Hi Everyone! I hope all are doing well. I am.

Here the Carnaval just finished this past Tuesday. The main weekend was last weekend, with parades and concerts all over the city. The main parades, in downtown, were on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with more smaller parades on Tuesday. I didn't see much of them, the crowds are unbelievably huge, and unless you get to the parade route at least a couple hours early you will be stuck at the back of the crowd unable to see anything more than heads walking down the road.

On sunday Vivi and I went to Las Flores. It's a barrio in the north of the city, where the Magdalena River dumps into the Carabbean Sea. Although she has been here most of her life (a few years were spent in Panama) she had never been to this area. There is a breakwater that was build back in the early 1900's that was meant to create a channel for shipping. It is called Bocas de Ceniza. There is a wikipedia page located at (that is the Bing translated version of the original spanish language page. The translation has many errors but it can still be mostly understood). There are some videos on this page -,_barranquilla_colombia. Over the years though it never really helped a lot, and it also caused a lot of damage to the river itself, it was later discovered. There is a rail car system, actually just 4 rail cars that have small engines, that takes people out onto the breakwater, most of the way towards the end of the breakwater. At the end of the tracks one can then hike out to the very end of the breakwater. There are many shantys along the way, a couple small "restaurants", and a few beaches on the Carabbean side. I have some pictures in the photo album. It was very nice and sunny (as always) and I got a bit sunburned, again, but not bad. I haven't been able to find the length of the Bocas listed anywhere, but judging from google maps it has to be at least 3 miles long from where it actually leaves the mainland.

It's saturday evening and I am at Vivi's and we are fixing dinner. First note: she lives in a studio apartment, so no kitchen. There are, I think, 7 or 8 studios here, and one shared kitchen (with no fridge). So we bought some chicken and fixed rice with it. We used diced tomatoes, diced onion, finely chopped garlic and ginger root, and a bit of salt. That stuff was cooked with the chicken when it was done cooking, along with a bit of water. That made a very good sauce for the rice, and flavored the chicken which cooked in it. It was very good. And she won't stop teasing me about the rice i tried to make previously, it didn't work. Twice now. i just made rice mush. But tonight I saw how it should be done the proper way. I am used to cooking the 10 minute rice-in-a-bag. Using raw rice is new for me. I might get it right some day. But dinner was very good. I tease her about her 'kitchen in a bag'. She has all her kitchen stuff in a suitcase - her 'kitchen in a bag'. She just fires back 'My kitchen in a bag is better than your kitchen in your apartment'. Hey babe, at least I have a fridge (a small one, but a fridge none-the-less). hehehe, we're having fun. Sunday she will be busy on the voting jury so we won't be able to go out and do anything. The voting jury is the people who, during the election time, sit at the table and check people's ID as they come to vote. It is a mandatory obligation here, and the government picks people to do their part. Kind of like the way people get picked for jury duty in the US, except apparently there is no option to appeal with an excuse to get out of the duty. So tomorrow will be a day of being lazy for me, and that's ok too. Walking home this morning I passed a couple voting locations and the lines of people waiting to get in were very long. I posted a picture of one of them in the photo album, it wasn't so long, yet. The other that I passed by went around the block and further up the street.

I also posted pictures of more churches, in a photo album called Churches in the Barranquilla album. I found a couple evangelical churches this morning, but of course they are spanish language only, not surprisingly. But I recognized the music, it was the same songs I am familiar with from the churches I went to in Arizona and Washington.

I have updated the photo album with new pictures and also reorganized some of the Barranquilla photos into a few more albums.

Oh, and one more thing, in early May my website registration will expire. I am saving up money to renew it, and hope to save all that I need, but it looks like I may be just a bit short. So if anyone can help I would sure appreciate it. If you want to help please contact me using the contact form on this website and I will tell you what options are available. Thanks.

Till next time, chao!

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