We cruised on the Norwegian Sun into Cartagena, Columbia on Easter Sunday. Dan and Berit met us on the pier with their air conditioned bus. I think there were 22 of us on the tour. Our cost for the tour was less than twenty-five dollars per person.
Being as so much was closed because of the Easter celebration we did not get to see some of the projects. We were driven through different status neighborhoods, seeing both the best and the worst of Cartagena. The economy and how it is handled were explained to us as we went.
We were delighted to visit and give out gifts (most provided by Dan & Berit) at the children's hospital. The staff is limited in this hospital so one parent stays with their child and basically lives in a chair beside the child's bed. Many of these parents bring their children often by boat and then hours on a bus to get to the hospital. The hospital is getting more funding now because of recent changes in the local government. There was much renovation going on with outdoor areas being spruced up for the families to get some welcome outdoor time. We prayed with a family who had just lost a child but were told by a Dr. that the mortality rate is much reduced and now rivals the death rate in the US.
Our second stop was at a nursing home for abandoned seniors. While there was a definite language barrier hugs and kisses as well as birthday cake made for a wonderful time.
We did have two translators Nick and Sandy (young people from the community) who spent the day with us and helped with questions. What caring kids they were.
Then we had an hour long walking tour of the walled city. We visited three catholic churches where we were given the opportunity to pray if we chose too.
All in all it was the best Easter Sunday I have ever spent and a wonderful way to realize just how blessed I am.
I wanted to say Thank you to Dan & Berit for giving up their Easter Sunday to brighten the lives of those we visited and all of us tourist folks. You are truly a wonderful couple.
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