Friday, October 5, 2007

Trip to Venecia Pueblo and Finca

I just returned from my third trip to Medellin, Colombia and had the opportuntity to travel through the coffee routes on my way to a friends finca in Venecia, which is located Southwest of Antioquia.

My friend invited me to make the trip with her family, to visit the family finca; coffee farm, for those of you who may not know what a "finca" means.

Our trip began at about 6:00 am, where we met up with about thirty of her family members. Many of the younger children would be making their first trip to visit the family finca. They would also be meeting several relatives they had only heard of through family stories told back in Medellin.

We all got on the bus...

The trip to Venecia, from Itagui in Medelin, lasted about three hours. We did make a few stops along the way to pick up an aunt who lived in the small pueblo in Venecia. We made a quick stop in the town square to load up with food for the day trip.

Traveling to Venecia, I was able to see several incredible traditional pueblo homes, many with balconies decorated with different types of colorful flowers hung off the edges of the roof, along with many which were hanging off the balconies.

Surprisingly, the roads where paved for most of the trip. A few bumpy moments though, not too bad.

On the bus, family members took turns telling jokes as they tried to entertain each other during the long trip. I had a great time watching everyone enjoying themselves, sharing stories, candies, chips, and for the adults, the national drink called, Aguardiente. We finished off a gallon of Aguardiente before 7:00 am!!

I kept myself busy by taking photographs along the way, as well as capturing some of the trip on video.

When we arrived, we were greeted by family members who decided to stay, when so many others made the move to the city of Medellin, looking for work. This is definitely one big happy family, to say the least.

After arriving, I was given a tour of the coffee farm. We walked up a dusty road, to where the coffee was recently planted. Then they showed me the whole process of how coffee makes its way to your kitchen; starting from the planting to the picking of the beans, followed by the grinding, washing and drying process, before heading to local as well as the world market for sale.

We ate traditional Colombian meals throughout the day. The men drank, the women spent a lot of time in the kitchen, laughing and telling stories of their childhood meomories living on the finca. I walked into the kitchen and the women all yelled something like, "there's a man in the kitchen!" as if it was a strange occurence. I chose to eat my meals in the kitchen, watching the women cook the next meal of the day while telling more stories.

The children ran about screaming, crying, horseplaying in between picking, mangos, oranges, banannas, lemons, amongst other fresh fruits from the nearby trees. The kids loaded up sacks to take back home for family members that did not make the trip. I lifted one of the bags and was surprised at how heavy it was, especially since this particular bag belonged to a young girl who had been running around all day filling it up with the fresh fruit.

I can continue on, regarding my whole trip, but I would like to invite you to take the time and view the photos I have posted to share with everyone. If a picture is worth a thousand words, than I have a million of them for you.

Hope you enjoy my trip report along with the pictures from my journey to Venecia in Antioquia - Colombia.

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