The Lights Of Medellin
Here in Medellin, Christmas seems to be all about the lights. They’re draped everywhere–on palm trees, pine trees, lampposts, doorways, highway signs, shop entrances, park benches…
Driving back into the city last night after our day in the mountains in El Retiro, it was like entering fairy land. Parque Poblado is ablaze with strings of white lights, and the river is lined with elaborate recreations of Christmas scenes (reindeer, elves, gingerbread houses) created from lights of every color.
I was last in Medellin a month ago, when crews were hard at work erecting the riverside displays. Now I see the fruits of their labor and understand why people come from around the region and, indeed, around the world for this city’s annual Christmas Festival of Lights. It’s something to see.
I’m in the city for just a few days this week to check in on the progress of our apartment renovation. There are further delays and more unexpected costs. In other words, everything is on track as anticipated.
The bad news is that it doesn’t seem the place will be ready in time for our Live and Invest in Colombia Conference taking place here in pretty Medellin in January. If it is, though, we plan to invite VIP attendees over for a drink.
The good news on the ground this week is that the work done to date in our apartment is what we were hoping for, and Carlos, our contractor, seems to have things under control. The place is a beehive of activity, with crews working in every room and on each terrace.
While they lay parquet inside and clay tiles outside, Carlos has been driving my assistant Marion (here with me as official translator) and me around in search of the remaining materials and fixtures required to finish the job. We spent most of yesterday in El Retiro with our cabinet-maker Gustavo. After two hours of reviewing drawings and redesigning window shutters, Gustavo pulled out a bottle of Medellin rum. The next two hours of further discussions were somehow less stressful.
On the way back to Medellin from Gustavo’s workshop, we stopped at a stand along the side of the road displaying Christmas crafts and bought two handmade wooden reindeer. We’ll put these at the front door of our office when we’re back in Panama City this Friday for our Christmas Open House. That’s how you’ll know where to find us if you’re in town and able to stop by for a glass of rum punch or eggnog. Look for the two green-scarfed reindeer out front.
Hope to see you there.