Evening comes on at Piedras Blancas

I am up at Piedras Blancas right now. The sun is going down and there are still a few hikers using the trail down by the creek. It has been a warm and sunny day. The pines and cypress are lit by the lowering sun and the air is still warm. The hummingbirds are coming to the feeder for their last few sips before night falls. Wish you were here. The Andes are one of the worlds great resources!

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Some Prices on Everyday Food Items

These are taken from this week’s flyer from Carrefour. The price in US dollars is based on an exchange rate of 1988 pesos per dollar.

White Rice 5 kg for 10,600 pesos or $5.36 dollars ($0.43/lb)

Brown Sugar 2.5 kg for 4690 pesos or 2.36 dollars ($0.43/lb)

Soy oil 3000 ml for 12,590 pesos or 6.33 dollars ($0.06/oz)

Olive Oil 1000 ml for 12,990 pesos or 6.53 dollars ($0.19/oz)

Quaker Instant Oatmeal 180 gr for 2490 pesos or 1.25 dollars ($0.20/oz)

Oreo Cookies 432 gr for 3990 pesos or 2.01 dollars ($0.13/oz)

Brown Eggs 30 each for 5890 pesos or 2.96 dollars ($0.10/egg)

White Bread 480 gr. for 1990 pesos or 1.00 dollar ($0.06/oz)

Clover Ice Cream in Prado Centro

I found a  nice little shop where ice cream, coffee and crepes are served. Clover Ice Cream is the name and  the address is Calle 66 No. 50B 23 in Prado Centro. This is  just a block and a half up from the Hospital Metro Station.

They offer a wide choice of ice cream sundaes, fruit salads, malts and both sweet and salty crepes. The decor is  bright, colorful and in good taste. The table cloths are a rich orange and contrast well with the green menus. Photos of ice cream dishes adorn the walls. The times I have been there the music was soft North American or British rock with some jazz mixed in. The service is friendly and effective. They also offer home delivery.

I think the quality of the food and coffees could be improved. They vary from oka bit less. This shop is however a welcome addition to the neighborhood. A place to stop after the commute home from work or any time your travels about town bring you to Prado Centro or the University of Antioquia. This is a relatively new business and they need support from the community  to make a go of it.

Carmina Burana at the Metropolitan Theater

Last night we attended a performance of the Carmina Burana at the Metropolitan Theater. It was a great production which down played several of the Springtime  and Tavern pieces in a way that set off  the final Fortuna  very nicely. Overall it was gentle in a way I have not previously heard.

The lighting was extremely good using well designed thematic projections on the high walls of the theater.

The Carmina Burana is very popular here in Colombia. The audience appreciated the performance and called the principles back three times. There was a lot of applause for the children’s choir whose contribution was professional. Sarah Cullins sang soprano parts nicely The baritone voice of  Camilo Mendoza is deep and rich.  

Leaving the theater we entered a December evening in Medellin. Lots of people in the street getting the Christmas season celebrations underway. Music everywhere. The Christmas lights display at the EPM Barefoot Park are great. Clear white lights in profusion covering the trunks of the trees, radiating up from the ground. The effect driving by was like looking into a forest of lights with the canopy a darkish cloud. I have to go back with the camara.

Christmas In Medellin

Christmas in Colombia has typically been more of a spiritual than consumer holiday. This appears to be changing. Two weeks I ago I began to hear Christmas music in the malls and supermarkets. There is a lot of advertizing for Christmas gifts, much of it aimed at kids and parents.
On the brighter side, Medellin puts on a spectacular light display every year. The river is decorated to the nines and there are Christmas lights and displays all over the city. A cabbie told me that the city sells its displays every year to other cities both in Colombia and in other countries. This does not surprise me as the work is very good and deserves to be used again.

A nice link can be seen here.

Check out a video stream of this years displays at http://www.tv.une.net.co/zonastream/

10/12/2009

Last weekend they had the official dedication of this years lights display. We were out-of-town and have not had a chance to see them yet. The display along the river looks very interesting. They are using water fountains illuminated by LEDs and synchronized flows to create the effects. Got to ” go down by the riverside” and check them out! More later.

At the Lido Theater

November’s program at the Lido Theater can be accessed here.

Last night we went to see the Antioquia Folkloric Ballet presentation “Colombia Viva”  at the Lido. Beautiful, colorful and lively. Music was provided by Tierra Adentro. This is a very good band and are worth seeing by themselves.  The folk ballet is a very enjoyable way to spend an evening and will give you a sense of how Colombian culture developed. You also will see the pride they take in their history and traditions.

People were lined up around at least 3 sides of the block waiting to get in! If you come to see one of their shows make it early. We arrived around 06:00 PM for an 07:00 PM performance and were two blocks from the door.

While standing in the line we struck up a conversation with a mother and daughter who also were waiting for the show.  Lovely people who typify the friendliness of most people here. If you speak some Spanish it is hard to be lonely in Medellin.

The Lido is a historic theater which was going to be torn down but was saved by the City. Now restored it is the home of diverse cultural offerings for which admission is free. It is located at the Parque Bolivar in the downtown area. We have seen several great productions there and I highly recommend checking out their offerings.

Cuts of Beef

I added a page with comparisons of cuts of beef between the States and Medellin. It includes some price information based on prices in one super market and the exchange rate for 22/10/2009.

Health Care System

I am scheduled for some minor surgery today. I continue to be impressed with the health care system here. During the lead up to the event I have had interviews with two surgeons and the anesthesiologist. The Clincia de Prado will do the work under my health insurance from work. They are very organized and have been helpful in all aspects. They provide a very good pre-surgery check list and it seems to cover all the bases. This is much better service than either my wife or I received in the States.

The major downside difference I see at this point is that one has to go to more than one institution during the process. First one goes the primary care group to get into the slipstream, then to the insurer for approval. Then a consultation with Surgeon 1. Then back to primary care for blood tests, etc. Next, a consultation with the clinics surgeon. Then back to the clinic to chat with the anesthesiologist. This could probably be made more efficient but as I said they cover the bases.

19/10/2009

The surgery went well.

At the Metropolitan: October

The new schedule for programs in October can be found at their website.

Rainy Season

10:55

Here we are in mid-September and it looks like the rainy season is getting started. We had nice gentle rains the last two nights and right now we are having a good soaker. I’m glad to see it arrive! We will have to get some leaks in the roof fixed but the rains make Colombia a very green country.

18:12

The rains continued on and off throughout the day. Nice soaking rains that we have not seen since May. Talking with a cabbie on the way home we shared our appreciation for the liquid gold. He is from a country background. He understands that the rain is our wealth. We don’t eat without it.

In the mid-afternoon I went for a short walk. Everything was damp and smelled very fresh. It was cool and humid. Easy on the nose and skin. All the plants were the fresh green they attain only just after a good rain. Peace and abundance. Gentle fertility. May you be filled with loving kindness, may you be well.

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