Got up early and decided today would be a good day, starting with being open again to myself and others. Orlando and I had a nice chat first thing, as I got the bike ready for the day’s journey. He provided me with some water free of charge, and I needed to get rid of a Central America book, so I gave it to him and told him he had to practice his English. It was then off to ‘Dian’, or the Customs office for my moto, the whole reason for my backtracking to Turbo. The gate was closed with a whole new set of militaria there to greet me. After a quick sign in, I was through to more mud-filled roads and water-filled holes. At the end of the road I finally found ‘Dian’, and was escorted through by a private security guard. I was faced with 3 or 4 cubicles and hoped successfully to get the nice looking woman. It went smoothly and i chatted with her about her family, who are all grown and in university, and coming back to Turbo for Xmas. She even gave me some coffee to drink. Then, back through the mud-filled streets and the bank machine. People have been so friendly throughout my trip, and I needed only to ask one person for directions to it.
After, I stopped at a store, and soon was overwhelmed with what seemed like the entire town surrounding me and the bike. Fortunately I had created friendliness and openness so I took it all in stride. I had just gotten down about my ability to communicate in Spanish but all told I can definitely get around. I gave the kids candies just like my grandpa Butson used to. That felt really nice. All of this, just to get back to my starting point from the day before, Necocle, where some gas and a fine meal awaited. I felt rich with my four $50,000 peso bills, which together added up to $100. Then the adventure began, with two bridges out, and roads that would make you physically sick if you thought you were going to go through them. Spurned by my successes with people and bridges, I carried on, and met a couple who were on their way to Barranquila. The next guy I met ended up inviting me into his house, and his town, Monteria. Alfredo, the man.
He was in the military police for 10 years in the narcotics division, and after getting shot 3 times, once in the neck, he decided enough was enough. Now he keeps busy with his love life, and touring hapless Canadians around, although I am sure I was the first considering the starstruck response I got from his girlfriend’s family. It was, and always has been difficult fielding questions about Canada, specifically immigration and work. I usually feel uncomfortable, as I’m not sure if they are looking for me to sponsor them, which would be a big responsibility. I would like to sponsor them all if it weren’t for the enormity of it all. None of the family seem to have jobs, despite living in a beautiful home that is well taken care of. It’s like all the money has dried up somehow.
It got me to thinking of the need for home-grown talent. We really are not helping these countries by letting the best and the brightest into our countries and expecting them to help out back home too. It’s such a drop in the bucket, and meanwhile things are just getting worse and worse in Columbia. What would it take to make a positive change down here? I’m sure it’s not more Denny’s and Best Westerns but unfortunately the executives of big American chains are greedy enough to come in and start making money wherever they can. As long as the government is friendly to them, taxes aren’t too high, and the place is safe, these companies are raring at the bit to get in. We need more locals creating a whole new way of life. As long as they know that Canada, US and Europe are the ‘haves’, they are going to want that as well. The ‘Have-nots’ are going to want more, and why shouldn’t they? Microcredit from banks has worked in India and look out for that country.
I just wonder: what the hell is this world going to look like when we all have nice refrigerators, 2 new cars, a big house with lights on 24/7, and hot water to bath and shower as many times as we like? I doubt the world’s current infrastructure can handle the electrical needs, not to mention the land area for cows so that everyone can eat 2 big macs a day. Certainly no easy answers but if I had to choose, I would definitely say home-grown, self actualized countries creating their own vision for the future. When most of the population are only thinking about making babies, it is an interesting conundrum to wonder where the hell they will go from here, with or without our tampering.