Bathroom Gecko

This may be the cutest (truth alert – smallest; it’s no cuter than the others) gecko I’ve encountered in my nearly two weeks in Colombia.

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Now, to go to sleep, knowing that at any moment, this guy could climb into bed with me and do heaven-knows-what.

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La Iguana

Today after lunch our translators were taking us to the “iguana house,” or the place where iguanas are known to hang out, and not long after we left the cafe, voila:

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We spotted this guy climbing down from a tree. Like many of the animals on the La Javeriana campus, he spent a lot of time posing for us. If he doesn’t haunt your nightmares, you’re not doing it right.

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He even ate a flower that had fallen onto the ground from the tree where he had been climbing.

Churches of Colombia (not all of them, silly – just the ones I’ve photographed so far!)

No visit to Colombia would be complete without wandering through random churches, occasionally while services are taking place. Sunday was Election Day in Colombia, so several churches were closed (as were many businesses, and the place we had dinner had to be convinced to sell us beer. For a minute, I thought I was in Idaho). So, this isn’t an exhaustive post about Colombian churches, it’s a short post which includes pictures and almost no information about the few churches I’ve seen – most in Buga, and two in Cali. Image

Basilica del Senor de los Milagros de Buga – rumor has it that years ago, a woman found a piece of wood that was shaped like a cross, and had an image of Jesus on it. She took the wood home, and it grew, and continued to grow. Unclear at this point whether she still owned it, or gave it to the church, but people started taking pieces of the miraculous cross home, until one day, it was decided that the cross and image were no longer identifiable, thus must be destroyed. The wood was set on fire, and immediately began sweating, and regenerating itself. So, the church built a grand basilica to celebrate the miracle. The cross, now encased in gold, is inside, in a room behind the altar of the cathedral. So, Senor de los Milagros is the name given the cross and image, and the cathedral/basilica is named for him/it.

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Inside the (very festive) basilica. In the photo above, you can see a portion of the cross through the window – far grander than when it was discovered, one can hope.

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Temple de Santo Domingo. One can only assume from the electrical wires that the inside was amazing. No idea. Locked up tight.

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Church of the Apostle San Pedro, Buga. That. Is a lot of gold. An elderly woman pointed out the baptismal font made of stone, and assured us she had been baptized in that very font. One can assume, at the turn of the 19th century. No! I am not that mean! In the 1940s!

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Iglesia De San Francisco De Asís, Buga.

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Inside the chapel at the university where we’re being housed/studying.

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From the outside.

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Iglesia de San Antonio. Another rumor for you. If you’re a female, wishing and praying to find a man (then you have serious issues which I am not qualified to address!), find a statue of St. Antonio, and turn it upside-down, store it that way in your bedroom (presumably) and you’ll find your man. This isn’t the time or place, but if you’re that desperate to find a man, seriously, get a hobby! (Start a blog – something!). Great church, at the top of a mountain where hipsters hang out, and artisans have businesses at the base. Awesome. Plus, if the photo is any indication, they regularly put nuns in time-out. Girlfriend seemed to be praying to the door for forgiveness. I hope it worked, and that whatever her indiscretion was, it was worth it. I’m sure it was, since this was happening a few feet from the door:
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Worth a few minutes in time-out, no?

 

 

 

Mateo vs. the Chucha

There’s a little dog at the villa where we’re staying in Cali. He belongs to the caretakers, and his name’s Mateo. Mateo likes to sit around a lot and he sleeps much of the day. There’s a larger dog named Lucas who has similar interests (but more questionable ownership). They will occasionally drink out of the pool.

Monday evening, as people were wandering off to bed, I heard from outside the unmistakable sound of a dog in pain. My first reflex was to run out and help, but then I realized I had no idea what was happening, and whether I’d be safe, so I decided against leaving the villa. The next morning, we noticed that Mateo had an obvious injury on his forehead, so we asked Adrianna, the caretaker, what had happened to him. She said he had been bitten by a chucha. Please do not Google chucha, unless you enjoy looking at pornography. If that is the case, then by all means, help yourself, as soon as you’re done commenting nicely on this post.

I wanted to include a link to information about the chucha, but all the sites I’ve found are in Spanish, so they won’t do anyone any good, particularly me. The chucha is a nocturnal marsupial that likes to attack unsuspecting dogs, people, and whatever else crosses its path. Our professor has been coming here for four years (since Mateo was a wee pup), and has been warned against leaving doors and windows open, or going outside at night. She thought the chucha was a chupacabra-like myth, until poor little Mateo. The good news is, the wound isn’t infected, and Mateo is regaining some of his vigor (though he hates taking his medication).

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This picture is not of the chucha that attacked Mateo – it is an image I stole from the internet (thanks, internet!) of a chucha that was seen somewhere else, at a different time. On the right is sad Mateo, with his head wound, the morning after. I apologize if the photo is too graphic. I tried to be good!

Another Showy Bird

Today, we were minding our own business on the patio at our Colombian villa (speaking of showing off), while we were getting pedicures, when a bright red parrot landed less than 200 feet from us. Naturally, I had to get a closer look.

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Check out the coloring on the underside of the tail. Awesome!

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Eyes open this time! Super fun! We’re even getting some studying done in between photo ops. Goal for tomorrow – iguanas (and if the local monkey wanted to show its face, we wouldn’t say no).