Last Days in Arauca, now in Bogota

In my last days in Arauca, I mostly rested and played my harp. On Friday, while I was in town by myself, I discovered a group of musicians performing in the market. I got their contact information, and Luis called and arranged for them to come to his place on Saturday for a while about 4 PM. Of course I paid them. They turned out to be Venezuelans, and very fine performers. Harpist Victor Morales, I realized after the fact, was one I had picked out as exceptional on Youtube. He did not sing, but his three sons (Victor hijo (jr.), Antonio, and Ericson) sang and played maracas and cuatro. Another harpist and singer was Luis Gonzales. Another singer was Ander Garcia. I made some videos and posted the first on Youtube, "Luna del Capanaparo" sung by Luis Gonzales.

They finally struck water at the farm on Saturday, in the fourth day of effort. Luis was elated. However, we did not go to the farm out of caution because of a threat from the guerilla ELN (Army of National Liberation). A nationwide strike was expected to affect mainly private motor vehicle and public transportation. (There are reports of a bridge blown up and perhaps other incidents in the last couple of days.)

Sunday morning I flew to Bogota where I was very warmly welcomed by Hildo Ariel and family.

It is now Tuesday. I have been getting very good and individual instruction from Hildo. We are talking about our project plans. In September, Hildo will present the fifth annual Encuentro Internacional Maestros del Arpa in Bogota. We might create a tour for US harpists. Before then, Hildo's son Sergio Nicolas will come again to the US in July. After the September Encuentro event, I will act as baquiano (guide) for another student visiting the US, Wuilmer Lopez.

Today I went for a walk out on the main street where the Trans-Milenio runs. It is a rubber-tired transit system with dedicated lanes and raised stations. I went shopping at a big supermarket and at shops and stands on the street. I watched a garbage truck creep along while workers gathered trash accumulated on the curb. Much like a US operation, but the litter and garbage problem here is a lot worse than at home. 

More later, maybe, but it might not be till after I get home.