Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of five columns written by Ron Byler, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. executive director, to mark 100 […]
Posted by Tim Nafziger on 03/09/08 at 06:58 PM
This is my final post from our time in Colombia with Christian Peacemaker Teams this winter. I’m simply going to share with you a few of my favorite photos from my time there and a few reflections on each one.
This is dawn across the soccer field (and pasture) next to our camp site near the school in Los Nieques. One of the things I enjoyed about our time out in the Opon was that we went to bed with the sun and woke up with it. I love taking photos in the hour before sunset, but I rarely get to experience the similar time in the hour after sun rise. This photo and the next two were taken between 6 am and 7 am in the golden hour.
This is the rooster in the yard of a family we visited at 6:30 am before breakfast. Roosters and chickens roam around nearly every family’s house along the river Opon. Beutiful flowers are also common as were various pet birds. You can see a tiny baby parrot in a red cage on the far right side of this photo.
Rooster exits stage left. See also spade, boots, water jug, broom and tin roofing, the “modern” roofing option, although many families still prefer thatch (see below).
Horses along the rio opon, although cattle were a more common site. Trees leaning over the water were also quite common as the river was constantly changing course, toppling trees on one bank and sprouting fresh grass on the other.
One evening as we were about to sit down for supper, we saw a troop of monkeys in the trees nearby. We entertained ourselves for half an hour watching them scamper through the trees above our head. At one point they followed one another jumping from a branch on one tree to a neighboring limb. The final monkey to jump seemed hesitant, moving back and forth across the branch to get up his courage. Finally, he jumped and the branch he was landing on broke. He squawked loudly as he rode the branch to the forest floor and the bounded away, unhurt but with a lasting confirmation of his nervous disposition.
Families on the Opon have no refrigeration, so drying fish is the only way to preserve them.
The perennial chicken returns, this time posing beside the water barrel and washing table that every house in the Opon has alongside the river.
My teammate Nils juggling coconuts. He also juggles chocolate pods. Nils is a man of many talents.
It was a shock for me to see how much all these kids had grown since I was in Colombia 3 years ago. This little boy was about as tall as my knees when I was last there. Charletta took this photo of him accidentally. She was trying to get a photo of all four kids on the end of the CPT canoe (in the background), but he wasn’t cooperating, so she took a photo of him. I like how it turned out.
The river Opon flows into the Magdalena River, which is the Missisipi of Colombia. One day while taking the river boat, we passed this working tug, the Luis Fernando. I also snapped this photo on another day of the same boat pushing a couple of barges full of oil.
This is a farm in the Saint Lucas mountains. I did one accompaniment into the area, but it was simply a treck in and back out and so must of my photos are blurry ones out the window of a truck. But this one shows both peoples home (notice the thatched roofs mentioned above), the different types of crops and the beautiful view.
Thanks for looking at all my photos. I’ll leave you with these two flower photos, that don’t really have any story. But they are represent for me, the intricate, passionate beauty of Colombia.
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