Buga- New Colombian Friends

Trip Start Apr 28, 2009
Trip End Mar 26, 2010

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Flag of Colombia  , Valle del Cauca,
Friday, October 23, 2009

It was time to get Wesely serviced so we decided to take him to a shop in Buga.  Going to the mechanic is always an experience and itīs usually quite fun!  Not only do we have the challenge of speaking Spanish but we also get to meet some wonderful people.

We had asked the hostel owner if he could recommend a mechanic in Cali but he didnīt have a car so he knew of no one.  Since Cali is a large city we decided to find a mechanic on our way to the lake, in a smaller town.  We find that in smaller towns they are more down-to-earth, helpful, and less likely to take advantage of you.

So we pulled into a mechanic in Buga and, as usual, they fit us in right away.  We tried, despartely, to express that we needed a basic service, brake recalibration, and fluids changed.  After the usual  back-and-forth the mechanicīs wife had an idea!  She took us into their home, right there in the mechanic shop, and showed me the computer.  They had a translation program on it.  So I just typed what we needed in English and it translated it into Spanish... perfect!  After his wife told him what we needed he got straight to work.

We had been there about an hour when a gentelman that we had meet earlier came in with one of his friends.  The friend spoke English!  This kind gentelman had gone to get his friend to come and help us.  The friend, Fran, had lived in Detroit for 16 years and his English was perfect.  He was quite a help as he took Devin all over town to buy oil, air filters etc.  (In many Latin America Country you need to go and buy the part yourself so the mechanic only charges you for labor).  Fran stayed with us the whole night, until about 8:30 PM, when the car was done.  We kept thanking him profusly and he just made us promise we would do the same for someone else.

As I waited with the car and Devin went to get parts, I got to know the mechanics family.  The wife was very kind and funny.  They were all very curious, of course, so I explained in broken Spanish about our trip.  They had an adorable little girl that I played with and danced with.  The family really liked Micheal Jackson and they had one of his DVDs.  They played different songs for me, in English, that they didnīt understand.  They asked me to translate.  So I spent about an hour explaining Billy Gene, Give In To Me, and Thriller... in broken Spanish no less!  Tell me when, and where, you would ever have such a fun and different experience! 

After the car was done Fran took us to a parking garage in town and then to a hotel he knew of.  After that the three of us went to a late dinner.  Devin and I got back to the hotel around 9:30 and quickly passed out after our busy day.

The alarm went off at 5:30 AM and Devin and I got ready for our date with Fran.  He and his wife were taking us on a hike.  They picked us up promtly at 6:15 and we headed off.  The hike was beautiful, and tough, with great vistas of the town.  We enjoyed some fresh squeezed Mandirn Juice at the top and some pineapple on the way day... what a prefect way to start the day.

After the hike Fran took us on a drive around town.  You could tell he was very proud of Buga and he showed us the staduim, old town, and new town.  Then we headed to their apartment, right in the middle of downtown, for a great breakfast.  Fran and his wife told us they were saving to drive down through South America and they hoped to set off on their trip soon.  Of course we mentioned that we would help in any way we could with information etc.  They were so kind and opened their hearts to us, so I only hope that Devin and I can return the favor at some point.

After that we still had one more thing to take care of... the muffler had to be fixed again.  Fran insisted on taking us to a guy he knew and again his translation services where greatly appreciated.  We got the muffler fixed, said our many thanks to Fran, and headed out to the lake.

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cmedancing on

Hi! It´s so great to know that you are following our blog! Colombia really is amazing. The people are kind and gracious. Devin and I are voting it the nicest country yet!
I hope all is well in Canada. We love getting comments so write whenever you want!
Cheers! Christina & Devin

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