This morning, I took the opportunity to walk around the roads close to the Tubagua Plantation on my own, looking for photo opportunities. I was blessed with beautiful vistas and friendly people along my travels.
I headed out a nearby dirt road where the owner of Tubagua had told me I would find a few local houses. I thought it would be interesting, so I threw on my sneakers (so glad I packed them) and headed up and down the rolling hills on a dirt road that was hard to walk on, let alone drive on!
The hills were a more than a little bigger than I expected. As I headed down my first hill I was already wondering how I would ever find the energy to climb back up it.
Then, I headed up and down, up and down, up and down several large hills. At the top of each hill was a spectacular view of mountains and fields in every direction.
I walked for about half an hour, taking photos, saying ‘Hola’ to the locals. When I got to the big white house at the top of a hill I decided I had better turn around so that I could make it back up all of the hills on the way home. Besides, I couldn’t see anything past the white house, so I thought it was a good place to stop.
On my return walk, I stopped at a house where a young boy was cutting into a coconut and asked if I could take his photo. He immediately stood up, put his coconut and machete away and grinned proudly. I explained that I actually wanted his photo while he was preparing the coconut. So, he posed again for me and I got this lovely photo of him.
I then asked if I could take a picture of the family, as there was a woman standing in the doorway smiling at me. This was the boy’s aunt. So, I began to gather them and another girl together for the photo when more people came walking up the road. I politely said ‘Hola’, and then asked them if I could take their photo. One of the young men immediately spoke to me in English – good English! I politely told him that I needed to practice my Spanish, so he slowly continued a Spanish conversation with me.
Unfortunately, after my long and interesting day, I can’t recall the names of these two young men, but before they continued on down the road, they did take a moment to tell me that they were Jehovah’s Witnesses and they were in the area talking about the bible.
When we were done chatting, I turned around ready to now take the family photo that I had wanted to capture, but now two women were sitting talking to the aunt and preaching the word of the Lord. The quickly invited me to sit down, and as not to be impolite, I obliged and sat down under the big tree with them. The younger of the two women politely handed me a booklet with a message in English.
They continued to talk, but I didn’t understand much of what they were saying. I guess I haven’t learned much for religious words in my studies so far! The older woman didn’t want me to take her photo, so I didn’t, but she did however offer me some fresh almonds that she was carrying with her. Yes, I’m aware I shouldn’t take food from strangers, but, well, I did! And the almonds were very yummy!
When the ladies left, I took a moment to take a couple of photos of the family. Unfortunately I couldn’t explain posing very well, so it isn’t my best family portrait ever, but then I got them to hug and I liked the second one better.
I sat and chatted with these folks for awhile and they were very patient with my slow conversation and encouraged me by telling me that my Spanish was quite good and that they could understand everything I was saying. YAY ME!
What a lovely little solo adventure I had this morning!