lie down in the light

It’s been too nice lately to get any work done. I alternate between feelings of sunny satisfaction and inexcusable laziness.

here comes home

A quick visit to North Carolina in springtime when the tulips are blooming, cardinals are singing and everything is a little bit better.

Nancy Parton, Dolly’s cousin, sings a Kris Kristofferson song at karaoke night in Tryon, NC. Watch it in HD for maximum effect.

san gil

In Colombia, down by the river.


Bogotá wasn’t so friendly to me, but I just couldn’t stay away. Like all the women I fall for.

“How the hell did I end up here?”, I kept asking myself.

After Caracas, I needed a break from the city. I started boarding buses that moved in a westward direction through Venezuela. On one particular five hour ride I woke up and saw beautiful fields nestled between hefty peaks. I decided that this was the place and convinced the confused driver to stop.

I didn’t even know what this place was called. I just started cutting across fields looking for a place to lay my head.

I eventually came across a proper town and secured a room in the hotel.

It just happened to be Carnavale and children had taken over the town square.

Second place – potato sack race. Second place – eating contest. But still a champ.

I didn’t realize Carnavale was also a time for scary costumes. Maybe its a Venezuelan thing.

The fog rolled in only adding to the mystery of this place.

A princess reigned over the festival.

I was hoping to go unnoticed in the crowd but they could all spot a gringo. A teenage girl came up and asked my name. I told her and she wrote it down.

A few minutes later I was called up over the sound system. They asked me to sit at a small desk with three other adults. Then one by one, these little girls in costumes were paraded across the back of a flatbed truck. I have no idea how it happened by I was suddenly judging a girls 10 and under beauty pageant.

It was cute overload. I didn’t know how I was supposed to judge these adorable little girls. They were all great. My co-judges were a little more discerning.

We tallied our scores and awarded Miss Congeniality and Best Smile but in Spanish words that I didn’t understand. Another contest started on the side for best costume. El Diablo took first.

Tensions ran high as the results were being announced. I sensed the Carnavale pageant is a really big deal in this town.

As my final duty, I pinned a sash on Senorita Turismo on the far right.

The old princess annoints the new.

The town was called Chachopo I eventually learned. I have no idea how I ended up where I did doing what I did, but I’m glad for it. The following morning I flagged down the next bus, knowing that I’d never know what was next.