Banana Leaf

Today I’m sharing more photos of the delicious food we ate in Colombia.  Below, you’ll see some appetizers that were exquisitely arranged on a banana leaf, followed by a main course presented similarly.

This is a delicious sampling of food, and is called a Bandeja Paisa.  Yum!

We also had several outstanding desserts with our meals.

 

And sometimes we had live music!

In addition to the tasty Colombian food, we found some great Venezuelan Arepas.

We were really blessed by all the great restaurants that we found.  The food in Colombia is truly unique and delicious!

 

 

 

Colombian Food

We really loved the food of Colombia.  Breakfast buffet at our hotel was amazing!

One of the things we like most in foreign countries is exciting new fruits that we don’t see at home, such as this delicious banana passion fruit.  The seeds are eaten right along with the gooey substance inside, and it’s wonderful!

We also love the prevalence of great juices in South America.

At the end of each day we would return to the walled city and look for an interesting restaurant (there are many to choose from).  We always had fresh fish, plantains and coconut rice, among many other things.

At one restaurant a couple came in with their boom box and started dancing right beside our table.  It was exciting and beautiful!

Colombia ia a wonderful place to visit.

Luis

I’m thrilled to say that I got to see Luis again in Colombia.  I don’t think either of us ever imagined that we would have this opportunity again.  He reminded me that he had found out from me on Valentine’s Day (via Facebook) that I would be returning to Colombia–he said he would never forget that!  Luis is a Compassion Alumni, and several years ago I attended Luis’ graduation from Compassion’s Leadership Development Program.

I was immensely impressed with him at the time, in 2013.  When he graduated, he stated that his goal was to “open a cafe some day.”  Well, this brilliant young man has just done that.  He has his own sandwich shop in Santiago de Cali, where he lives.  He has been working in a bakery for several years, but now he owns his own shop as well.  How proud I am of him!  He was excited to meet Chris and Sarah this time, as they weren’t with us in 2013.

We enjoyed giving him a few gifts and he brought us delicious pastries (almond croissants, chocolate croissants, chocolate chip rolls, cheese croissants and others)!  I regret that we didn’t get any photos of the yummy treats; we were too busy gobbling them down the next morning, than to think of getting photos of them.

He also received a NASA shirt and a Wyoming hat in his gift bag, and immediately put them on.

How wonderful to start getting acquainted again and to catch up on each other’s lives!  Then we hopped in a taxi with our translator (Jazmin) and headed to the walled, old city of Cartagena.

 

 

Gerlan

I also got to meet the young man I’ve been sponsoring in Colombia — Gerlan.  With Fredy, Sarah, Chris and the translators, we headed to Gerlan’s Child Development Center.  When we arrived they were holding a welcome banner.  It was a wonderful way to surprise me, with Gerlan hiding behind it!

This is a super nice young man.  He’s working hard to help his family while he finishes high school, by driving a motorcycle taxi.  Unfortunately, his father was in a motorcycle accident and is not able to work, so Gerlan has much to do.  He hopes to finish high school and study electronics, focused on large equipment repair.

Gerlan is shown here with our wonderful translator, Jazmin, whom I had worked with on a previous visit to Colombia.  I was thrilled to see her again!

We had many gifts to share with him, and his mother, but I think the soccer shirt was a favorite.  He gave me the welcome poster and another one he had made for me with photos and scriptures; very special!

I was thrilled to meet his mother, Mariela, a super sweet lady.  She was very grateful for Gerlan’s sponsorship; I was told that it changed him a lot, because of the support.

Here, Gerlan is sporting a hat from our town.

We had a great lunch together, chatting the whole time.  There will be more photos to share in the coming posts.  I really enjoyed hanging out with this mother/daughter team for a day.  Special people!