Posted in Colombia, Quest, Uncategorized

Pericos, a Park in Colombia

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/quest/

 

These photos are from an incredible hike I took in a park here in Colombia called Quebrada Perico, near Buenaventura, Colombia. It is the definition of a quest and one of the most difficult hikes I have ever done. It is a climb up waterfalls, mountains and natural pools.

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My friend climbing up a small waterfall

 

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hiking through this

pericos-2-033pericos-2-047pericos-2-039pericos-2-032pericos-and-bird-videos-045pericos-and-bird-videos-047 Adventure travel does not do justice to the beauty and bio-diversity of Colombia.All of the images above are from a day filled with memories and adventure. The country of Colombia is full of fun and excitement. Every department has so much to offer.

Posted in Spiritual Presence, Signs of the Universe

Visa, Bogotá, and Signs from Above

Getting a Visa is not hard in Colombia, but recently I went through some major stress trying to get my residency here in Colombia. All Visa requests now need to be done online, this is where the stress came in. I had to enlist my friends for help. A form that says takes only 15 minutes to complete took over two hours by an expert. I ended up getting several messages back from the Cancilleria in Bogotá requesting more information, different file forms which can only be a certain number of megabytes, you name it they asked for it! I ended up coming in 4 days short for the Residence Visa, but my Pension Visa was approved quickly in about two hours. That was a major relief as it took so much time for the residence application, I was down to 5 days before my current Visa expired.

Once the Visa was approved I needed to fly to Bogotá and pay the 211$ fee while getting the stamp on my passport. I was so relieved to get this process over with that I was really excited to take a short trip, visit tourist spots in Bogotá and have some fun. It was last-minute as I thought I was going to have to get an extension on my Visa. So I called my friend Monica hoping that she could come with me even though I only gave her two days notice.  She teaches English here in Palmira, Valle del Cauca. She is my friend and my teacher of Spanish also. I can converse one on one with most anyone now; but when it gets complicated I need a translator. Not only is she the best at that, but she is also so much fun, I felt like I was on a layover again!

We took off at 11 am and landed quickly at the BOG airport, a short hop from Cali, Colombia. I had made reservations in a quaint hotel near the consulate and areas of interest I wanted to see. We had a short 24 hours to have fun, and arrived early despite the traffic of Bogotá, our room wasn’t ready yet. We were not concerned and just checked our luggage in, and took off to explore. The first place we went to was Usaquen, a barrio in Bogota that is so delightful and full of treasures to explore and to buy.

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Usaquen, Bogota, Colombia I bought amazing Colombian hand-made jewelry that I give as gifts to all my guests at Villa Migelita. I also bought for myself!
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I bought this gorgeous necklace for myself, a work of art!

We were beginning a fun adventure in Bogota, and I cannot stress enough how pleasant it was. I was with my friend, enjoying myself and getting rid of the stress of over a month of trying for my residency. I want to emphasize to those who are considering Colombia for retirement, they will welcome you, but it is all about rules. If you don’t comply they don’t give exceptions..Simple, but in a way reassuring. I know that my new place of living does the homework it needs for anyone entering the country.

We were shopping and sightseeing and entered the church in the main square of Usaquen. I lit a candle for my daughter immediately. I do this often in any church I see that is open to the public here in Colombia. I was raised as Catholic, but I identify as spiritual; that being  said I don’t want to identify as a  specific religion. I know there is a higher power. You need only go to my Facebook page Villa Migelita to see my many videos of hummingbirds coming to visit me, while I rescue them. I believe it is my daughter showing me she is with me still. I love that I get these signs! There is no other way to explain what happens.

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I lit a candle in this small room off of the main church

The actual church was not open. I sat silent for a few minutes contemplating about Misha and where my life has taken me since her death. I think I have done well. I have a Bed and Breakfast hotel and I have peace. I have the knowledge of someone who believes in the Universe. I know there is another dimension. I don’t care who would  try to argue this point with me. Nor do I want to go into what your religion is.  I know. I have the signs.

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Photo taken after I had lit candles for my daughter

 

The photo above was taken while looking at the street art in Bogota. I see the light in this photo and the beauty of the this light, can you? It was a wonderful end to my day when I went to look at the photos I took while visiting Bogota. It is surreal. It is mystical, it is full of a presence. I know my daughter was with me after lighting candles in the churches I visited.

I know Misha heard me talk to her that day as I visited these historical churches,including the famous mountain of Bogota, Monserrate.  She knew I needed this Visa to stay in Colombia. She helped me; I will admit I went through some sleepless nights, and told her about them in my prayers. I usually go to Florida to the embassy in Miami to get my Visa. This time I didn’t because it was for my residence. I learned a lot, enjoyed Bogotá, had a wonderful time and now have a year to apply and get my residence. I always say things happen for a reason and we must accept them. Even death. We  must show others that we can continue, despite the sadness we might endure. We need to be strong.  I am enjoying my life as an expat in Colombia.  The USA needs to stop this nonsense about immigrants ( I am an immigrant in Colombia) and start accepting other cultures. Enjoy and travel..do what you need to do to love your life. Stop reacting and start welcoming others to your country , even if they don’t speak your language perfectly, or they have to learn your culture. They want to live and start a new life like I have in Colombia. I believe it should be easy for anyone to live anywhere if they have proper documentation.

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Same tour of the Graffiti and me enjoying Bogota

We might never agree on everything,  but we can live peacefully wherever we are. Peace out…and love sent to all of the world.

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Cheers or Salud!
Posted in Colombian life, photo challenge, Uncategorized

Edges of Life

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Edges are found everywhere in my nature photos. I  focus on nature and animals. I have a Villa that frames my photos with edges in all my pictures. The cover photo is an example of Colombian life.The line of the walls, the roof, the beam and the walls frame the backdrop of the mountains and banana trees. Even the line of the coat rack that holds the hats exemplify life in Colombia

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My ducks Poco and Corazon when just babies with my goats

The edge in the photo above is the bamboo fence which is part of Colombian life. We use a lot of bamboo…you also can see the piece of metal with a frayed edge. We had a hole and we fixed it temporarily with a piece of sheet metal.

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The edges of a painting, a doorway and the flowers with a stem used as decor in an arrangement

 

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The stairway to the upper floors of Villa Migelita

I love the photo above because it shows so many edges, again the fence is in the background, along with my stairs that go to my upper floors. the backdrop of nature shows what I see every single day when the sun rises. A perfect life.

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My Collie Colleen a few months before she passed

The line of the swing in this photo of my old dog Colleen adds a bit of sweetness to a sad photo of my dog who had not long to live. This photo captures all that is good about her and her life with me. She could not walk well by this time, the angle of her front legs show this. Her eyes show all the kindness of her soul.

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The edges of the tile with the tiny bit of a chair showing in this picture of two wonderful friends

This photo encompasses a lifetime friendship of two animals that grew up together. They are both deceased now. I brought them with me to Colombia. They enjoyed their last years in Paradise.

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The bumpy edge of the mountains of Cali with clouds

A view from my Villa in the morning with cloud formations.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Nature Symbolism, Uncategorized

An Unexpected Visitor

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Loud sounds like scraping on metal, banging and then a huge creature flying over my bed, slamming into everything! The curtains, the walls, the ceiling, then dropping down to the ground in front of my divan. Confusion from waking suddenly to this unexpected appearance fogged my brain. I thought it was a bird. Rapidly I jumped from bed as my cat Franchesca had bounced straight up into the air: as I awoke she did too! I thought she would kill the flying creature and rushed to save it.  No worries about that! She ran to the slight crack in the slider which she enters and exits..but it was closed. So she ran to hide under the coffee table in front of my divan. I exited my bed quickly as I still wasn’t thinking I had a bat visitor but a bird and wanted to keep my cat from attacking it. That wasn’t a problem as this bat had landed right on the ground in front of Franchesca, wings spread wide and they were staring at each other! She was up against the wall looking frightened. It was then I realized I had a bat in my room. It is interesting how the animal kingdom knows all. Franchesca has probably seen many bats on her nighttime escapades! My dog Marley was sleeping on his dog bed and watched everything unfold without moving. He appeared unaffected. Me, well I was unnerved, and that is because I have the same opinion of bats as most people: they carry disease, they look scary, and I sure wasn’t happy to have him in my room. I did some research because I love the bat rescues I see online: cute bats being fed by pacifiers and given fruit. This was different and this bat was large. He was not threatening, I want to make that clear. He was confused. They fly by sonar.

The bat was an adult male, black with his wings spread out looking quite large. Exactly like the image below. The TV light was on and I could see I had a bat in my bedroom not a bird. I opened the door and yelled for my partner, who came running inside the bedroom. I had no idea what to do. I was unnerved, I admit that. As a nature lover and advocate for all wildlife I knew I didn’t want to hurt it. But at the same time they are misunderstood creatures and they do carry disease:  they are also timid and there is no need to fear a bat ever, unless you molest it. Even then they are not known to bite a human on purpose. Vampire bats feed on livestock, and some do carry rabies but hardly ever pass it on to their prey.

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Stock image of a vampire bat from the internet

All bats are super-heroes. They control the insect population on this planet. They are as important as bees, and other creatures that interact within our eco-system that keep our world from dying off. They become confused when they fly at night and see light…a street light, a light like mine from the TV and it affects the radar that is their guidance.  Their eyes are very sensitive to light, so if there is an open window or door with light inside, it may overcome their senses for a split second, and they may enter the house. That is what happened with the bat that entered my bedroom. A window had been left open and the screen not closed. The TV light was nothing but an image on Netflix..apparently this is all it took for the poor creature to become confused while flying by. He entered and was frightened. He flew and hung upside down on my curtains. He was not threatening at all. Just scared. He was beautiful, and I wish in that moment in time I could have comforted him.

My partner knew exactly what to do, he immediately turned off all the lights in the bedroom. I had turned on a bedside light which was harmful to my visitor. Then he opened both doors of entrance into the room. Lastly, he turned a light on outside of my room. He took a broom and just touched the wing and the bat flew around a bit as we ducked, and then flew outside to freedom. I learned something new in nature. I love to learn and experience new things, and this was no exception. An experience of a lifetime once I got over the image of that huge mammal flying above my bed in confusion.

So let us understand what bats represent in the spiritual world. They are revered in many cultures. “Bat’s wisdom includes shamanic death and rebirth, initiation, viewing past lives, pollination of new ideas, transition, understanding grief, the use of vibrational sound, camouflage, invisibility, ability to observe unseen, secrets.” They can also mean new and positive changes are coming in your life. ” A bat flying into your life signifies that transformation of the ego self is about to occur, the end of a way of life and the start of another. This transition can be very frightening for many, even just to think about. But you will not grow spiritually until you let go these old parts of you that are NOT NEEDED. Facing the darkness before you will help you find the light in rebirth. The bat gives you the wisdom required to make the appropriate changes for the birthing of your new identity.”

I will never forget the visit of this bat. One more thing, he was most likely a Vampire bat. I had never seen one like him anywhere ever here in Colombia. As they are nocturnal, and are only looking for food at night. Vampire bats are misunderstood and the myths and legends that portray them as blood sucking demons are false. Myths about Vampire bats are fueled by a lot of misconceptions. Bats are shy and gentle creatures.

I did learn I most likely have bats outside my Villa  every night. They go about their business without bothering anything, and I have animals. They are just part of the animal kingdom of the Rainforest in Colombia. They are nature, and I love nature. Even if they appear frightening. Any part of nature is part of the world for a reason. I live in the Rainforest, I give respect to the animals. We have to stop over building in this world. We are losing nature, we are losing so much more than that, perhaps even civilization.