Cartagena, Columbia Tour
Well guys, I’m sitting at Gate H5 in Ft. Lauderdale waiting for my flight on Spirit. It’s always interesting trying to identify the clients on the tour as I am not the leader on this one. I know I will be joined by Ken, who has done this many times, so I am in good hands.
I’m spending my time working on my Spanish and temporarily trying to forget my Russian. I’m sure I will slip up more than once. We will arrive in Cartagena at 12:30 so plenty of time to get familiar with our surroundings. Today is Thursday and the socials will be held on Friday and Saturday nights. It is interesting as the ladies are only permitted to attend one or the other, so there will be a new group to meet on Saturday.
Also, I understand from the agenda that a strict protocol is followed. The ladies are seated at tables and the guys are required to move to a different table every twelve minutes! Since the office explains this to the ladies, the guys do not have to feel they are being rude. I am curious to see how this works.
Also, I understand dancing is very big here. Fortunately I worked on my Salsa and Meringue in the Dominican Republic in September, but I’m sure they are very advanced.
Well, at last we are here. What a beautiful city as you can see from the photos. Everyone is so friendly. As we walk down the street, we are often greeted. I assume they realize that we are not native to their country and want us to feel welcome.
The office is great. Of course, there is a manager and several girls who work there. Everyone speaks English, so there is no problem communicating. What I notice is that they really want to get to know me and what I am looking for. As I speak, I see them taking notes. What I learned is that they are attempting to identify ladies I might be interested in.
Even though there will be two socials with as many as 100 girls in each, I am free to select from other dates that may not be in attendance. Since Cartagena has about 1,000 available AFA profiles, this is a big benefit.
The food, music, and other cultural aspects are a real treat. After leaving the office I spend my time traveling around this beautiful seaside city and enjoying all that it has to offer.
I realize that all this activity plus the flight has worn me out, so I head back to my comfortable room and quickly fall asleep. The next day after a Columbian breakfast, I decide to travel to the “old city”. Cartagena has both the old and the new, which is where the office is located. The old city is very interesting. I saw ancient cannons and old buildings and churches. I cut my travels short to shower and prepare for my first social that night.
As I expected the beautiful girls were seated at numbered tables. We all were assigned a translator and went from table to table in an organized fashion. This activity was very pleasant. At the end of an hour or so, we all had met each of the ladies present. If one of the clients was interested in a lady, it was a simple matter to let your translator know and a date could be arranged.
Once this activity was complete, the music pumped up and everyone began to dance. What a great time! When the social concluded, many of the clients went out afterwards with a lady that interested them. However, on this occasion, I simply went out for a drink with a few of the guys as I was not especially interested in any of the ladies I met.
The next day, the office manager had several girls who were not at the social that she suggested I have a date with. I agreed and had a great time the rest of the day with several beautiful girls who were eager to show me their city.
Now it was Saturday and time for the second social. Remember, this was a completely new set of girls to meet. The process was the same and I circulated from table to table. I must admit that I was a bit disappointed that I had not met a girl that especially interested me. However, while I was sitting at the very last table. A girl and her friend arrived late. She sat next to me and I was delighted. We began to chat with the help of my translator and danced the rest of the evening. I asked her if she would like to meet the next day and she said yes.
Well, when we met the next day it was clear to me and my translator that we felt the same about each other. It was great. Although the manager had several dates lined up for me, I had to decline as I wanted to spend my time with Lina. Her picture is included.
Although this was a seven day tour, I spent the rest of the time with her. Normal AFA wisdom would say that I should have dated as many girls as possible, but we really enjoyed each other’s company. I wanted to know as much as possible about her and life in Columbia. She felt the same about myself and life in America.
However, all good things must come to an end. She accompanied me to the airport. It was sad to depart and she cried.
We are still friends on Skype and Facebook and communicate often. I must admit that there is a difference in our ages. For this reason it probably would not work, although this did not concern her.
Perhaps, I will have the opportunity to visit her again. We both would enjoy that.
What is the lesson for you? Nothing will happen unless you travel to the country of your choice. Letters are fine, but they will never take the place of meeting face to face as I learned. I have many friends who did this and met their one and only and are happily married.
So, make plans to get on a plane and travel to the country of your choice. You will not be sorry.