Strange trips in Siloé
It’s always an adventure when I go to Siloé. Last Thursday, I went there to Nave and then found a motoratón (guy with a motorcycle who provides a “taxi” service for 75 cents.) to take me to the upper part of Siloé. This year, the guys I used to know haven’t been around. I’ve had to get to know new guys and just trust strangers to get me up to where I want to go. On this day, my ride up to the soccer field in Los Posos was a little shaky. Either something was wrong with the motorcycle or the driver. I couldn’t figure it out, but I was glad to get there safely. It wasn’t a smooth and fast ride like usual. It was fast, for sure, but seemed a little wobbly or something. I don’t know if the motorcycle had mechanical problems or what, but I felt a little uncomfortable on the way up. We made it okay and the guy was nice. So who knows! At the soccer field, there were several guys watching Pichi and the kids practice. I shook hands with them and we chatted awhile. I had brought a couple of my large, 30 x 45 cm sized photos to give to Pichi and Quiñones. The guys looked at the photos and liked them a lot. They were smoking marijuana and one guy was sniffing glue. He was trying to talk to me a lot, but I really couldn’t understand much of his brain addled speech. I took some photos of the practice session and later some group shots of the kids. I was a little wary around the guys, but I knew several of them. They all knew who I was, of course, and that I was a good friend of Pichi’s. I took a few photos of them looking at my photos. Again, I had no problems in Los Posos. Everyone considers me a friend and respects what I’m doing with my photography in Siloé. After practice, Pichi and I walked to Quiñones’s house to give him his photo. He liked it and I took a photo of him holding it. Then Pichi had to remind him to thank me for it. After he thanked me, before we left, he asked me for some money. Pichi and I laughed and said no, no, no. I think every time that I’ve seen him on the street, he’s always asked me for money. Some things never change! After going to Pichi’s home for coffee and bread and to talk awhile, he flagged me down a jeep when I was ready to leave before it got dark. It was late afternoon by the time I left his home in Lleras by the “jeep bus.” The driver roared down the steep roads like he was in a race. We got to the bottom safely, and then as we passed the area called La Nave a little later, all of a sudden, there was a huge noise and scraping sound and then the gas tank fell on the road. Gas was leaking everywhere. The driver tried to stand the tank up and prop it against the back bumper and keep more gas from running out. The other passengers and I had quickly hopped out and ran to the sidewalk. Luckily, there wasn’t an explosion or fire. In the photo, the driver’s washing his hands with water while a passenger checks to see where the bolt came loose that was holding the bracket under the tank. The woman passenger is just thinking that this is just lovely. The driver flagged down another little “bus” and we all got on and continued on to our destinations. The day was a little different than normal, but, as usual in my trips to Siloé, a total adventure.