The weekend was pretty uneventful. I went to a place called Lagunillas on Sunday with Espy and Alonso. It was a place without other Gringos, so I finally got a peek at the experience that I’d been wanting all along. Originally I had thought that everyone was staring at me as we drove throught the town to the little roadside restaurant (where my host parents eat every Sunday), until I realized that the family dog, Camila, was hanging out the window dressed in a white and red polka dot dress with a ribbon in her hair. That’s when I realized that it wasn’t the gringo they were staring at.

So I have no idea why they call it Lagunillas, but there was a nice little lagoon [Lagunilla = Little lagoon, singular] just off the center of the town and a meandering roundabout that circumscribed it. There must have been a bike manufacturer who presumably made a fortune in this town, as I saw two tandem bicycles passing on the lakeside drive as we ate our lunch. When we left town, I saw a triple seater. I couldn’t imagine coordinating that with my friends. They’d probably ride it all wobbly, just to try and throw each other off or something.

Anyway, we ate some boiled hen soup (direct translation) and some yuca (I think it’s a rutabega) and went on our way along the curvy mountain road to a gorgeous house off of a beat up dirt road a few miles away. It was owned and kept up by Espy’s sister-in-law. It had an open roof in the middle which was the source of the light which flooded the house and pandered to the lush plants in the middle of the house. The tile floor was exquisitley done, entirely shining like a gem in the open air. The woodwork was rich and dark, and all the furnishings comfortable and stoic. There was an open kitchen with a bar and marble countertops with inset burners, as well as a fruitbowl complete with rosemary sprig. It was something that will be emulated in Pottery Barn catalogues for years to come. The house had plenty of bedrooms, so she and Espy both made sure to tell me I was welcome to stop by with a group of friends the following weekend.

The sad realization here is that although I still have over two weeks in Merida and about a month left in South America, this is coming weekend will be my last full weekend. I’m still enjoying my time here, and I’m just now feeling like I’ve started to break out of my shell. Anyway, I should go grab some lunch and a nap before I get to hustling my bustle on studying. I have a final exam tomorrow morning, but after that I shouldn’t need to go to that class anymore, which will be a nice change for my workload. Anyway, no worries – I’ll be home soon.

I snapped this on the way out there. I really like it. To me, it sort of expresses some Venezuelan sentiment, but I’m not quite sure what it is just yet.