Guatapé

I had the opportunity to visit the Piedra del Peñol in Guatape for a few days and it was so beautiful! From sitting at a computer screen at home in Los Angeles to actually walking to the top of the rock was mind blowing. If you really want something bad enough in life you will find a way to make it happen and thats just what I did. I was told about this place from Rafi a friend of mine from back at home. It turns out that his friend is apart of the family that owns this rock. Yes, they really do own the rock. Here is a photo of me and two of the family members.

We stayed with the family for a few days and it was such a unique and memorable experience. When we got to Guatape we were invited over to one of the houses of the family. They were so kind and the little kids taught me some new games as well. Admist all of the fun something happened that really took me aback and shocked me. I was out in this area nearby their home and found a ton of cute puppies I played with all of them and as I was leaving one of the family members goes into some bushes nearby and pulls out this little puppy covered in mud. The puppy wasn’t moving and I thought that it might be dead. I quickly asked what happened and she responded saying that it was crushed and its back legs didn’t work. She put her with the other puppies and I stood there in shock. Everyone left and I went and spent 30 minutes sitting with her and doing anything I could to give her comfort. I couldn’t leave her there so I brought her back to the house and sat next to my Rafi. And what happened next will define my friendship with Rafi forever. I looked at him as he was holding her and said lets get her fixed up. He quickly responded without hesitation ok. No matter the cost we would do what it took to stop her suffering. The next morning we woke up early and drove an hour and half with “Kila” to a vet in a nearby city. I decided to name her Kila because since I got here everyone has been calling me Kilo. People in Colombia have a very hard time saying Kyle so over here it is Kile but for some reason Kilo came up and it stuck. So thats why I named her Kila.

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I made it to Colombia

I look out from my window seat and see beautiful green mountains and mountains for as far as I can see. Lucky for me i picked the left side window seat because just before landing the plane made a massive left turn and I was able to see most so much of the landscape before we landed. I get off the plane off the plane and make my way over to customs. At this point it starts to set in that Ill really have to start only speaking spanish. I get up to the customs agent and start talking to him in Spanish to my surprise the entire process was very easy. He asked me what I plan on doing in the country and how long ill be here for. I told him I am here as a photographer and will be here for about a month. After i get through customs one of my friends from back in Los Angeles was waiting outside for me. We get into a taxi and head over to his familys apartment and then go to a mall to eat some food. Later that day we ended up going to his friends house not to far away. This is where I am currently staying for a week. In Medellin they have “estradas” or class levels. So level 1 is pretty much the slums and level 5 is the upper end. I am fortunate enough to be staying in a level 5 area of the city.

Yesterday we went out to this cable car that goes up the mountains. Its very interesting out here. Usually back home the very wealthy homes are at the top of the mountains over looking the city but out here its the exact opposite from what i have seen and have been told. So on our way to the cable car we take a train. Before i get onto the train i take out my camera and take a couple photos. As i am doing so my friend tells me to be very careful and make sure i am holding my camera tight. It starts to set in that i need to be very careful out here in certain areas. The train comes and we all squish in to this train and you wouldnt believe how many people were in this train. We had to pretty much force our way into a small area of the train. I forgot to mention that I am also traveling with my friends daughter which you can see her in a few of my instagram stories. So, our stop is about 10 stops away and every single stop the doors open up. Maybe 1-2 people get out each time. Let me repeat that. 1-2 people get out each time. Then 10-15 people throw them selves in each time. It was a complete madhouse and I LOVED it haha. I mean i was holding onto my Iphone and wallet the entire time but it was seriously so funny.

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Off to Colombia 

I have had the most amazing week in Georgia with this family I met in the Florida Keys! I truly feel like I was welcomed into their family. We had so many amazing memories together and having to leave them today makes me super sad. I can not thank them enough for truly making me feel apart of their family.

I am now at the airport about to jump onto my plane to Colombia! I am super excited and a bit nervous. Ill put out another update as soon as I get settled in Colombia!

Key West meets southern hospitality

So I have been down in the Florida Keys, specifically Key West for the past week. I found myself in a strange situation with the person I went down there with but ended up meeting this beautiful family at the hotel I was staying at. They knew what was going on and offered me a spot in there room for the rest of the week. They are from Atlanta Georgia and they have got to be the sweetest family I have ever met. I have never known what southern hospitality was until I met them. We spent the week going out on jet skis, going out on catamarans and snorkeling together. We also made sure to spend a lot of time at the pool at the hotel. I hungout with Laura’s daughter Taylor a lot and shared many stories and laughs with her, we even had a little fun with color smoke grenades.

They ended up offering me a ride back to Fort Lauderdale. I am now in the car with them writing this update. About an hour ago we started talking about their home in Georgia and that I didnt have to go to Colombia for another week. The conversation eventually ended with me adding another spontaneous adventure for my journey. I am going to be joining them for the entire 14 hour car ride back to Atlanta Georgia.

You never know who you are going to meet in this world and how far a simple hello and a positive attitude will go. This story of how I met this family is a perfect example of that. I was at the elivator at the hotel and all it took was, “hello hows it going” to Shannon and Laura from Georgia. We talked for a couple minutes then went on with our day. Later that night while waiting for the shuttle back to the hotel I heard “Kyle from California” i turned around and it was Shannon and her family. We started talking even more and they told me about a snorkeling tour on a catemeran the next day. I instantly fell in love with the idea and said I would go!