Señor Sol en Venezuela
Using the excuse of a honeymoon, we
took three weeks off our relativly new jobs to head down to
Venezuela. In true Gretchen and Matt style, our
honeymoon consisted of sunburn, stomach viruses, diarreah and lots of
bites. We're not the type to lay around, but in retrospect, we
might have wanted to plan a bit more, um, romantic? Anyway,
Señor Sol came along to be the weird quirk of Gretchen's
We decided instead of doing a bike adventure, we'd do some volunteer
work. One of our complaints of doing the bike journies is that we
don't stay in one place for very long and it would be nice to see how
citizines of the world live. Volunteering sounded like just the
thing! We found Peace Villiage Foundation on the web and after
some emails, signed ourselves up. The director, Manfred,
coordinated our journy from Caracas to Santa Elena.
After landing in Caracas we were met and taken to a near hotel for the
short night before getting on the plane to Puerto Ordaz the next
morning. That morning, another person picked us up in Puerto
Ordaz and showed us around before the all night bus ride to Santa Elena.
Here we are, stretching our legs in Parque La Llovizna, Puerto Ordaz.
After the 12hr bus ride, we arived in Santa Elena. We needed
another leg stretch, so decided
to follow the plastic-pipe house water supply into the jungle to
see what we were drinking. The pipes ended in a small pool in the
middle of the stream. We figured if the other western volunteers
hadn't been sick from this sketchy water supply, we'd be fine.
Señor Sol hanging in the jungle.
Our volunteer work was a mixed bag. Sometimes planting trees for
a reforestation effort. Sometimes fixing playground equipment for
a daycare center. Somtimes
working on a new kitchen for a native village. Señor Sol
hanging around on the palm frond roof of that kitchen.
Over the Chirstmas weekend we did a three day trek up to Cherikayen,
one of the local tepuis. The guide is probely still wondering why
that pale face women would pull out the stuffed yellow thing for
Befor heading back to the states, we took some time to see other parts
of Venezuela. Because of the New Year's holiday schedule closing
much of the counry, we were limited on where we could go, so spent the
extra time in cities. Here we are hanging out on the Río
in Ciudad Bolívar.
Other local intrests in Ciudad Bolívar.
We spent the last night in Caracas, a huge third world city. We
splurged for the 17th floor of the Hilton for our last two nights in