Arrived in Bogata, Columbia at 5:30 this morning to watch the sun rise as I was driven by Jorge who picked me up to take me to the hotel. The hotel is close the ridge of Mountains that are on the east side of the city. The conference, Museos Comundades y Reconciliacion [Museum Communities and Reconciliation]. Today the three of us that have arrived – Professor Ciraj Rossool from the History Department of University of the Western Cape, South Africa; Phil Gordon, manager of the Aboriginal Heritage Unit, Sydney, Australia; and yours truly – had a really good lunch in a small cafe on the corner of a cobble stone street. Great conversations over lunch discussing repatriation, working with various communities, communities from conflict, the history of Columbia and what Cristina and others hope to see happen and the role they are playing. I am learning constantly. Also seeing the similarities of much to do and little funding and few and fewer staff and yet the ideas and what is being accomplished is amazing. So nice with the diverse accents in the conversation mix.
We have had a beautiful blue sky and fluffy cloud day. I wandered some around the hotel this morning through a very manicured park. The city of 7 million people seems quite quite considering.
We also had a lovely tour in English of the Gold Museum full and I mean full of beautiful Pre-columbian gold artifacts. With my love of Peru and understanding of the shamanic traditions I was seeing many transition pieces of half man half bird or jaguar or frog or bat. Some pieces were very tine and others large but each had an amazing amount of detail.
The organizer of the conference is taking us to another part of the city for dinner this evening and we will be meeting more people tomorrow for a discussion among the panelist for the conference.
I am very honored to be representing the New York State Museum and the US. I met the women from the US Embassy funding this trip for me. Also over lunch got the questions about President Obama and what did I think……
must get ready for dinner.