Sunday, December 20, 2009

A few days in Bogotá with a few moments in Guasca

Hey everyone, first I'd like to mention that it is so great to be back in Colombia (my second home). I loved seeing friends, family and former coworkers as well as meeting like-minded people with good vibes in my home town of Orlando; nevertheless, Colombia rocks my world.

I usually catch flights to Miami from Bogotá because it is usually less expensive than catching a flight from Medellín to Miami. I have two main motives for going to Bogotá:

1. to renew my student visa
2. to catch flights home

Although I enjoy my time in Bogotá seeing friends of mine, I really don't have any other reason to go there; I've been at least ten times and lots of money have gone down the tubes because Bogotá is a very expensive city weather or not you make Colombian pesos or U.S. Dollars. Still a fun city to kick back cheap boxes of wine in a park and enjoy illegal political urban art.

I honestly didn't take many pictures of Bogotá. As I have mentioned, I have been there many times and therefore no photos needed to be taken. Besides, I am sure that there are millions of photos of Bogotá in Google images.

(Click on photos to enlarge them)

This is what I would picture an eerie 1940's mental hospital would look like.

From left to right: Leo, Kevin, Joanna. I was honored to be Leo's first Couchsurfer and had a blast being simultaneously hosted with Joanna from the Netherlands. Leo is one of my all time favorite people and most definitely my favorite costeño (Valledupar, Colombia). He's moving to Madrid in a few months meaning I have to visit him while he's in Valledupar (I'll be there in a few weeks).

Being a traveler on a tight budget in an overpriced city makes free food a jump for joy occasion. Thanks Joanna for the awesome vegetarian lasagna along with an amazing salad (that was my dinner and breakfast the next morning).

The photo above and the rest of the stencils below are wonderful works of art that send a power yet subtle message to those whom pass by. A good friend of mine Ara took hundreds of photos throughout Bogotá of political graffiti. Bogotá is a goldmine for powerful political urban art. Now, Ara is taking a break from his blog which is smart because spending hours at a time on a computer screen while traveling is a huge waste of time unless it pays the bills. Anyway, check back on his graffiti page from time to time because eventually he will upload some killer stencil artwork from the streets of Bogotá:

Here are the rest:

These two above remind me of a line from a song called "Succexy" by Metric: "Let's drink to the military, their glass is empty"

By far some of my favorite pieces I've seen in Bogotá. The last piece is a game of tic-tac-toe saying "Nadie Gana" (Nobody wins). I've seen many more that I loved (like a "Falso Positivo" piece that I LOVE...coming eventually) but didn't have my camera with me. Again, I am sure that eventually Ara will post them in his blog.

These two photos above were taken by my good friend Catalina Rumbo. She's quite the photographer, many of her works can be found here:

Guasca, Cundinamarca

Guasca happened last minute and by accident. I had no idea this place existed and to be honest didn't really want to go at the time. I was supposed to catch a bus at 1am but to the CS Bogotá crew it was more important to drive out to a remote place away from light pollution. Of course, there were small towns everywhere with plenty of electricity to block the stars' beautiful, taken for granted shine and it just so happened to be cloudy everywhere we went. Long story short, we ended up driving for hours looking for stars and I ended up missing my bus back to Medellín.

Eventually we stopped in a small town called Guasca and decided to take some pictures so that our long drive didn't go completely to waste. However, most of us weren't in agreement because the people who had cars had no consideration that many of us had work early in the morning or in my case a bus to catch back home. I had an okay time but next time I would rather catch the bus and be home on time (I had a date to attend). By the way, these four photos above were not taken by me nor my camera, I forgot the name of the person who had taken them. I will give them credit a.s.a.p.

It was a cute little town and now that I look back I am glad that I went and spent more time with Leo and Catalina.

Reality bites. Here I am in this quaint little town in Cundinamarca with cute energy consuming Christmas decorations and I stumble upon this. It says, "AUC" which stands for Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia) and is the most dangerous armed group in the country (According to Human Rights Watch approximately 70% of all human rights violations in Colombia are caused by right-wing militias such as the AUC). This is Colombia at times, a quaint cute little town with a bloody past or a shinning grace with a dirty secret.

I am so happy to be back in Medellín. In a few days I will be on the road for several weeks before classes start back up again. That's all for now, I promise that while not traveling I will upload more photos and publish more posts.


-Kevin Post

P.S. Another photo taken of me by Catalina Rumbo in Guasca (I don't remember why or what I was doing when this photo was taken):

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