The Cats made me do it!
I did it again in Colombia. I wormed my way into someone’s home, but the cats made me do it.
They were in a doorway staking their ground.
After they scurried off, curiosity led me through the doorway as I followed two more cats into a large courtyard.
When I saw this beautiful face smiling at me, I knew I was in someone’s home.
“Hola,” I said, as I pointed to my camera to let them know I wanted to take pictures.
The smiling young boy beckoned me to come in. “Yo no habla Español,” I said, “Yo habla Ingles.” This was my standard introductory phrase while traveling in Colombia.
“No hay problema,” his father replied. “Por favor Ingrese.” I took a few steps forward and began photographing the rooster, the cat and a baby chick living in a litter-strewn courtyard.
The bicycle that leaned against the graffiti-covered wall also became my focus because, well, you know, I like bicycles, but in this case I didn’t want to be kicked out because I had a camera.
Then I peered into what looked like a dining room just off the courtyard. I was quite surprised by what I saw. The house was in shambles.
“Cuantos gatos aqui? How many cats here?” I asked, to which they replied in Spanish “twenty-eight.” As I took a photo of the kitten, I realized I was also standing on the edge of someone’s bedroom. But no one seemed to mind. I think they were curious about me. Where did this white woman with the camera come from?
When others appeared in the courtyard, I asked “Puedo tomar un retrato de familia?” because Google Translate says this means “May I take a family portrait?” The mother’s answer? “No hay problema.”
The father seemed to find my visit entertaining, so he suggested I follow him through the door where his wife was standing to see their bedroom. With the others looking on, he spread eagle on the mattress and gave a loud laugh when I suggested he reposition himself in a more appropriate position so I could take his picture.
“Me Ilamo Simon,” he said. “Me Ilamo PaMELa,” I replied.
Bill ArdisApril 11, 2019 at 2:36 am
Lovely, Pam! My takeaway: tho they’re living in what we’d call squalor; these folks were smiling, happy, welcoming, comfortable with this guest-with-camera attachment. Happiness is a choice. A splendid column, as always! (If I could emoji, I’d litter the line with li’l hearts!! )
Pam PerkinsApril 11, 2019 at 8:06 am
Bill, they were a hoot regardless of their living conditions. Happiness and love are what life’s about.
Carla newtonApril 11, 2019 at 3:44 am
As you did, I found the people so welcoming with their open door culture. Such a contrast to our high fences and gates.
Pam PerkinsApril 11, 2019 at 9:13 am
And I’m sure you are finding the same in Argentina. The Latin culture has much to be admired.
Anne-Marie LittenbergApril 11, 2019 at 3:59 am
Oh my word the face and smile of that boy!! These folks are so unaffected with you. Just great.
Pam PerkinsApril 11, 2019 at 9:11 am
They were so much fun, but then I’ve never been invited into someone’s home and not have them treat me
like I’m family. The Colombians are warm and gentle people, and yes, that boy’s face was almost angelic.
CandiceApril 11, 2019 at 6:50 am
Found this post to be of the happy/sad variety. Beautiful photos – as always. And the warmth, on all sides, was delightful. Hard to see the shots of their homes. Nice job of portraying many things, Pam.
CandiceApril 11, 2019 at 6:51 am
Found this post to be of the happy/sad variety. Beautiful photos – as always. And the warmth, on all sides, was delightful. Hard to see the shots of their home. Nice job of portraying many things, Pam.
Pam PerkinsApril 11, 2019 at 9:10 am
Thank you, Candice Glad you liked it. Colombia was one of my favorite trips, but then I always say that about the place I last visited.
Melinda M WilcoxApril 11, 2019 at 8:57 am
Love these, Pam!!
Pam PerkinsApril 11, 2019 at 9:06 am
Thank you, Mindy, This was so much fun to put together. Colombia is an amazing place to visit.
Don’t go on a cruise there, but travel throughout the country. It has everything, including
Cecilia MenardApril 11, 2019 at 9:29 am
Pam, I have missed your mailing. This is the first since since 2017, or that is what my retained works of your writings thinks. I see below your recent blogs posts. I shall slide down there and indulge in a mass reading after lunch. Much love to you and Bruce.
Pam PerkinsApril 11, 2019 at 3:00 pm
You are so lovely. Thank you, dear friend.
Jacquelyn BrownApril 11, 2019 at 11:45 am
Amazing glimpse into another way of life.
Pam PerkinsApril 11, 2019 at 3:00 pm
AndrewApril 11, 2019 at 12:52 pm
Pam, this is wonderful. You have given us another delightful view into the life of another culture. Yes, we know you like bicycles. They led you in a roundabout way to what you’re doing now. So glad to see how much your camera and curiosity have brought into your life and into ours. This has been a treat!
Pam PerkinsApril 11, 2019 at 3:13 pm
Andrew, You really know how to put a smile on my face. Thank you. Such a nice response to receive from you. Yes, I’m having a lot of fun with my camera. My world is like the universe. There is so much to see and wonder about and still so much more to explore. Going to Iceland this summer and Ivory Coast in January.
LuRhe StrebApril 11, 2019 at 2:33 pm
Another brave travel story from you, Pam! Was Bruce with you? Jerry would NOT let me go into a home without him. I would be brave/crazy enough to do this, however, so I am with you on this one! Nice story!
Pam PerkinsApril 11, 2019 at 3:04 pm
Gutsy is my middle name. I tried to get Bruce to come into the courtyard, but he wouldn’t. He said he didn’t feel comfortable. I was having a hissy fit because this family was so nonchalant about having us take pictures there, and Bruce was finding it difficult. Finally he did come in, but didn’t stay long. His loss. These experiences just confirm what I was taught to believe. There’s good in everyone. It’s all about your approach.
Pelin GuvenApril 11, 2019 at 4:01 pm
Pam, this serie is a killer! Amazing captures full of stories….I LOVE it! You should go back and spend more time with them. Surely an award winner.
Yasmin KhafagyApril 12, 2019 at 10:02 am
I m speechless how you captured real beauty real smiles real people so true so natural I love thier smiles !
Thier ease to have you inside thier very little lives with happiness no shame or you know how you feel when your coach for example is old or something !! It’s pure beauty thank you Pam ! You did great ❤️
Pam PerkinsApril 15, 2019 at 3:15 pm
Hi Yasmin, You flatter me, and I love it. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments on my story. I made it into a small Shutterfly book! Compliments from an artist as such as yourself mean a lot. kiss-kiss.
Phyllis WhitingApril 15, 2019 at 2:53 pm
This is first post from you that I’ve seen in quite a while. And trust it won’t be my last! You keep getting better and better.
I’ve been to Columbia as part of a cruise and would have liked seeing much more, but my travel is mostly limited to cruises, except for NY and Hawaii.
I returned recently from Danube River Cruise with Claudia and we really enjoyed it.
Next is Cuba in early February. But will be in NY in June, Vegas in early September to see Elton John, and later that month to Ashland, love to you and Bruce
Pam PerkinsApril 15, 2019 at 3:17 pm
Hi Phyl, Thank you so much for your nice comments. I’ve fallen into the photography abyss and having a lot of fun. Glad you are still traveling, no matter what mode. Love to you and George.
Susan P GuttermanApril 23, 2019 at 12:59 pm
Captivating photos, Pam! You are “gutsy”. I’m so excited that we got to meet today and can’t wait to share photography experiences with you.
Pam PerkinsApril 23, 2019 at 8:56 pm
Susan, Glad you enjoyed the story, and yes, I’m looking forward to sharing photography experiences with you too.
Linda LucidoApril 25, 2019 at 5:46 am
Thank you Pam. You are truly talented and kind. You see the beauty in all and remind us that money does not make us happy; love does. You have an amazing eye for photography and an amazing spirit for life. Lin Lucido