Sep 02, 2005
Sep 02, 2006
Where I stayed
. I had visions of this being a guerrilla hang out but took a deep breath to go with the flow. Just when the tension was getting the best of me, Uncle Lalo emerged with Mama Miriam.
It appeared that we had stumbled upon a spiritual and healing center for the Guambianos people and she was their leader. She greeted us with the warm smile of a very wise woman and proceed to take us to her pharmacy which was stocked full of various potions (Bastyr students would be in heaven). After a brief introduction she then took us on a full tour of herbal garden. Uncle Lalo had told her we were from America and were researching herbal farms ( a little bit of a stretch) but in proved to be just the right entry into a afternoon with Mama Miriam. As we jumped back in the car we drove away full of laughter at our good fortune and appointed Uncle Lalo as our official guide through Colombia.
Laura´s Mother finally agreed that we could travel outside the city if we took along Uncle Lalo to be our driver and bodyguard. She thought we would be safe under his watchful eye. Apparently she had forgotten about the crazy side of Uncle Lalo. We wanted to go to a nearby mountain village named Silvia to see life in a small farming town. After a one hour drive we arrived at the town center and Uncle Lalo went into action. He determined that just to walk around the town would be too boring so he proceeded to ask where the local indigenous people lived. We had been directed to a dirt road and off we went, passing the local police station which was completely blockaded with sand bags for guerrilla attacks-- not exactly giving much confidence in exploring the back roads of Colombia. After twenty minutes we finally hit a chain linked gate to a compound which prevented us from going further. Without the ability to turn around, Uncle Lalo entered the gate and began to knock on the doors and window of the compound