Fabio is a painter. He also likes to write poems. He lives in a room in the basement of the house I live in. He’s been fixing up an old trashed room into a bedroom. Fabio paints every so often when he needs money. Then he sells the painting and has some money to live on. He is also a good cook and is always cooking interesting things. He also seems to try to talk as fast as he can. It’s a challenge for me to understand a lot of what he says. I’m getting better, though.
I’ve worked at the video shop a couple of days this week. Tomorrow, I’m going with a friend to a town about 30 minutes away to take photos for her. Then, Friday through Tuesday, I’ll be photographing in Bocas del Palo again. That will be interesting to spend so much time there. It will be a lot of work, but it will be fun. It will be like working on a documentary project.
Today was a difficult day for a friend of mine. It was the one year anniversary of the death of her former husband and her daughter’s father. They were married about 16 years before splitting up. He was living in New York when he got really sick and died. She has told me things about the marriage, bad things that happened. She was crying when she talked to me today, telling me what it was like to see where he was living and how alone he was. She had gone back to see him before he died since her daughter couldn’t get a visa. Another friend was confiding in me some about a person she loves who is leaving the country. She is sad and upset about it. People confide in me a lot here. Actually, they did in the states too, though. I think Colombians are very emotional people. And they can show any and all emotions within a period of a few minutes. They are very passionate. They touch people all the time when they are talking with them. This has been a little different for me, being of Swiss-German ancestry. I have walked places with a woman friend here and she will hold my hand or even put her arm around me. It is such a natural thing to do. I always kiss and hug my women friends here when we greet each other and when we say goodbye. With my male friends, we usually shake hands and often do either a half hug or complete hug, depending on the person and our friendship. I like this a lot. I think it’s a good practice to show people how you feel about them.