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Cartagena: Blanqui's House

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Visiting grandma’s was our goal for this trip. It’s a goal because she lives an hour away from the downtown area where we were staying. This is my sixth time going to Cartagena and it always feels familiar but slightly different each time. Grandma’s house had the biggest change!

This cute area is where we relaxed most of the day. A much needed break from the madness of city life. Pedro, our uncle, is the one who transformed the place. The backyard had raw concrete with fungus that would stain all over the floor. The choza (palm hut) was very small before and didn’t look as nice. Now it’s a lot brighter with the white walls and pops of color.

This cute area is where we relaxed most of the day. A much needed break from the madness of city life. Pedro, our uncle, is the one who transformed the place. The backyard had raw concrete with fungus that would stain all over the floor. The choza (palm hut) was very small before and didn’t look as nice. Now it’s a lot brighter with the white walls and pops of color.

You know how grandmas always get excited when you eat their food? She was smiling ear to ear seeing us eat and would tell us not to shy away from asking for more. Pedro loves to grill and taught us his chimichurri recipe. He said it’s parsley, cilantro, garlic, shallots, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. All chopped finely and measured by eye. For the fried plantains, my grandma cooked it in a red cola. Pretty weird and tasty. The soup my mom is eating is called mote de queso but I wasn’t a fan after trying it. It’s an old native dish found in the northern coast of Colombia.

You know how grandmas always get excited when you eat their food? She was smiling ear to ear seeing us eat and would tell us not to shy away from asking for more. Pedro loves to grill and taught us his chimichurri recipe. He said it’s parsley, cilantro, garlic, shallots, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. All chopped finely and measured by eye. For the fried plantains, my grandma cooked it in a red cola. Pretty weird and tasty. The soup my mom is eating is called mote de queso but I wasn’t a fan after trying it. It’s an old native dish found in the northern coast of Colombia.

Grandma’s kitchen has completely transformed. Before it was a safety hazard because the roof was made out of tin and could easily collapse with a bad storm. Now it has a concrete roof and tiles on the walls for easy cleaning. They play vallenato and ranchero music while they cook, never a silent kitchen.

Grandma’s kitchen has completely transformed. Before it was a safety hazard because the roof was made out of tin and could easily collapse with a bad storm. Now it has a concrete roof and tiles on the walls for easy cleaning. They play vallenato and ranchero music while they cook, never a silent kitchen.

I joked that my grandma now lives way better than I ever did in NYC!

I joked that my grandma now lives way better than I ever did in NYC!

My grandma’s phone book with her handwriting. My mom and I looked through when she wasn’t around and found her notes endearing. She dropped out of elementary school but we still admired her effort to spell. Her phone case is baby Eeyore and still uses her Christmas table cloth haha. You can see a glimpse of how funny she is. People ask her why she doesn’t look or act 84 and her answer is to walk everywhere you go, no excuses (unless there’s a dark cloud). She also cracks jokes at everything around her, never taking anything too seriously. She’s had a hard life raising 7 children (most of the time on her own) so my mom wishes her final years to be tranquil and problem free.

My grandma’s phone book with her handwriting. My mom and I looked through when she wasn’t around and found her notes endearing. She dropped out of elementary school but we still admired her effort to spell. Her phone case is baby Eeyore and still uses her Christmas table cloth haha. You can see a glimpse of how funny she is. People ask her why she doesn’t look or act 84 and her answer is to walk everywhere you go, no excuses (unless there’s a dark cloud). She also cracks jokes at everything around her, never taking anything too seriously. She’s had a hard life raising 7 children (most of the time on her own) so my mom wishes her final years to be tranquil and problem free.

This is the living room area where many parties had been held for over 40 years. That’s one of our aunts, Delcy, about to tell us something. In the past, this house only had fans to cool everyone. Basically blowing hot air around. The average temperature in Cartagena is about 85-90 degrees F. Very humid like Miami too. So imagine being inside with all that heat in humidity all day and night. It was pretty brutal! It made me feel so lazy and not want to do anything, which is very unlike me! Now she has “mini split” units in every room that actually blows cool air. She also finally got her windows sealed with glass, it was just a hole with blinds before! Her house has definitely improved.

This is the living room area where many parties had been held for over 40 years. That’s one of our aunts, Delcy, about to tell us something. In the past, this house only had fans to cool everyone. Basically blowing hot air around. The average temperature in Cartagena is about 85-90 degrees F. Very humid like Miami too. So imagine being inside with all that heat in humidity all day and night. It was pretty brutal! It made me feel so lazy and not want to do anything, which is very unlike me! Now she has “mini split” units in every room that actually blows cool air. She also finally got her windows sealed with glass, it was just a hole with blinds before! Her house has definitely improved.

Tatiana GancedoComment