I’m not a morning person. My ideal day would start at 10 am and end at 2 am the next morning. But once I’m awake, mornings aren’t so bad. In fact, I might even enjoy them.
Here in Colombia, I wake up at 5 am to the sounds of aguacate sellers, motorcycles and my resident chirping gecko. The sky is still painted a cool pink with high clouds coming off the coastline when I lace up my running shoes and let myself out the front gate.
I meet my co-volunteer, Amanda, at the park between our houses, where we fall into an easy jog, weaving between walkers and elderly Colombian men doing what appear to be calisthenics on the sidewalk. We’re usually the only females running, while the other women do any combination of power walking, strolling or walking their dogs. It’s the norm here to dress up to go out, whether to the grocery store or to walk your dog. One woman is there every morning, wearing heels and tights jeans, to chase her fluffy mascota. At the end of the park is a police station of sorts, where they line up their motorcycles and kick back in a little office with the game on tv. They shout, “good morning!” to us as we circle the park, .
I swear my overheated, sweaty body almost sizzles when the deliciously cold shower stream hits my face. This is the single most satisfying moment of my day. It’s incredible how much better the world looks when one is clean, dry and about to drink coffee.
Breakfast is papaya with eggs, bollo (a cornmeal tamal of sorts stuffed with meat) or boiled plantains. Simón, my best friend in Barranquilla who happens to have four legs and fluffy white fur, settles at my feet while I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez and sip the Colombian coffee.
If this is what mornings are like, I could become a morning person, after all.