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Buena Ventura: The Good Adventure
Art And Poetry by Jim Nasium


We purchased our tickets at the Popayan station
after we turned in our bags, we boarded the bus
the bus would have to be full before we would leave
soon we'd head out of town on a nice paved road
the time spent waiting for the bus to fill passes quickly
watching children selling fruit, cheese and pan de dia outside
they reach up to the bus window with sad eyes
I buy everything they have to give to the other passengers

Once the bus was full we pulled out of Popayan Station
we had been on the paved road heading south for a few hours
the driver turned off the paved Pan American Highway and headed west
on a narrow dirt road, paved with potholes cut through jungle
near small huts and a cafe that was to be our first stop
it's eleven now the world stops here, after all it is time for siesta
we were all glad to get out and stretch our legs
visit the toilet and grab something to drink, and eat

After the driver took his mid day meal, and nap
some of us boarded a smaller bus to finish this journey
others, and a new driver going on to Pasto stayed on the newer bus
we who were headed to Buena Ventura went on this one
a older bus, with no glass in the side windows
the back half of it had been turned into a truck
the bus was full of people and loaded with cargo
now we were all ready to get going again

Slowly the half bus made it's way on the dirt road
narrow and muddy in places, paved with pot holes
slowly putting the miles to Buena Ventura behind us
made our journey a slow and exhausting one
what lay ahead for me would be worth this trip
worth the time spent sitting on this wooden seat in a windowless bus
the sea food on the docks there is beyond description
anything goes in that tiny lawless town only a few dare visit

Time passed slowly as we made our way west
I knew that soon we'd be out of this rain forest jungle
off this narrow muddy road and out of this bus
soon we'd see the small wooden building village
the market place in the center of town
the church that sits in front of the sea wall
that keeps back the Pacific Ocean
near the docks where fishermen tie their boats till morning

I dream of my hotel room and a soft bed
sleep would be a welcome change for me now
my days have been spent on a mission to destroy
brain cells with white powder and herbs
three days is just about long enough
there is no sense in going on any longer
it's time to stop, eat, bathe and sleep
so knowing that Buena Ventura lies ahead I smile
©2001 Jim Nasium

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