Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Enter Bogota

This past week has been absolutely thrilling. First, listening, learning and dreaming about current and future projects with some of the world's greatest photographers from the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C.--followed by a bird hop (I was the only gringo on this flight) to Bogota--where, the following day, I found myself cycling with a group of local adventurers (we jokingly called them body guards), to the top of a 9,000 ft. vista point over the 3rd largest city in South America.

My intention was to maintain a low-profile here but at the end of my first day, the Bogota TV news heard about my project through my friends here and interviewed me about it. Next, Caro, my friend from Bogota, set up a meeting with the national office of tourism. We shared breakfast together and talked about what their country has to offer foreigners.

When traveling in Latin America, my first stop after arriving in a new city is usually the main Plaza. For me, it's the best place to get a quick read on the energy of a place. Not too long ago, the main plaza of Bogota (Plaza Bolivar) was an empty, run down, and the site of a bloody conflict between FARC leftists and the Colombian government.

Yesterday, in the Plaza, children chased pigeons, local businessmen sipped raw Colombian coffee, fathers took their daughters for walks, and families let their littlest ones play freely on the cobbles--all of this while the sunset exploded in the sky above.

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