Welcome to Armenia, Colombia!
Today marks the end of my sixth day in Armenia. Colombia. Jaqueline's family graciously has taken care of any need that I have had, including interpreting Spanish and teaching me about the practices, this is what people call home.
Our flight to Armenia via Spirit Airlines was uneventful. The second leg of the flight which departed Ft. Lauderdale was relaxing, as the Jet's interior air conditioning and comfortable seating provided a welcome relief to the hot, humid air that greeting us when we arrived in Florida.
Arriving in Armenia on July 3rd, we were greeted by family members at the airport. El Eden International Airport is a small and busy airport, the arrival of passengers aboard our Airbus 320 Jet proved a challenge for the three Customs officials that stood ready to process passengers. It took an hour or so to clear customs and pickup our bags, then it was off to a family members' Finca for a welcome lunch and relaxation.
The Finca was a short drive from the airport through the countryside. Along the way, we witnessed some of the beauty of Colombia's countryside-- the tropical flowers and mountains shrouded by low-hanging clouds that provide shade from the sun. Armenia is in Colombia's coffee triangle, which produces some of the finest coffee in the world. My first cup of the local Colombian coffee had me hooked. I drank my cup of native Colombian coffee black-- it was absolutely delicious!
As we made our way on the dirt road surrounded by palm trees and tropical flowers, we were greeted by security guards at the entrance of Ruben and Jimena's Finca. The guards was former members of Colombia's military. Now employed by the family, they guard the entrance to the farm around-the-clock.
It was evident that the guards were quite at home in the tropical forest where the Finca was situated. This was apparent when we left the Finca later that night, and were greeted by a guard that stepped out from the darkness of the jungle to open the gate for us to exit.
It's easy to understand how many people view the lush tropical mountain forests that surround this families' Finca as a paradise. As our SUV rolled-up to the family home, the rolling, green mountains and bright blue sky served as a beautiful backdrop for the red-brick and bamboo constructed country home.
Soon we would be receiving a warm welcome from family, some of which we had not seen for many years. As the smell of BBQ meat permeated the air, along with the sounds of forest birds, we would soon be feating among family in this beautiful paradise.