Welcome to the second day in what must be the hottest place in Colombia. During the entire night temperatures didn't drop below 35 degrees.
Kira got up with the first light - she hadn't slept anyways- and spent the next hour carrying bucket after bucket of water to the paddock so the horses could drink. Valentino was in a really bad state and could hardly stand up, let alone walk. We had a hard time understanding how he could have changed so quickly from the perfect riding horse to THIS. With all the worries about Valentino we completely went by the other horse problem we had noticed. Joel had always had a bald spot on his back , nothing to worry about. But obviously his sattle had been rubbing against it and the small spot had gotten bigger and opened. Over night the wound infected and an inflammation started. This didn't seem to bother Joel very much, but he certainly couldn't carry our luggage anymore. So that morning started with really bad news in a village where the incredible heat makes moving difficult and the next vet was 2 hours uphill. Marja spent hours on the phone with people who might help us. Luckily, there was Jorge who had accompanied us the day before. He is amazing with horses and helped us so much. He even had a mule he agreed to exchange against Joel. So while Kira looked at the mule and brought it to Jordan (a two hour ride in the heat-bah, but at least the mule didn't seem to mind) Marja did a workshop with the local school.
The entire school participated and we rebuilt the solar system together on the village plaza. After, we started discussing other planets and learning about exoplanets and even galaxies. Some of the children who observed the moon the night before with us also tried their best with our lunar puzzle. The highlight was the solar observation at the end. Thanks to the Coronado PST from Meade we could not only observe the tiny solar spots but also look at the plasma ejected from the Sun's surface. Thankfully the sun was a little bit more active this time than during our previous observations - which of course made sense with all this heat in Jordan ;)
It was a really great experience for the school, but also for us and we would have loved to stay another day, but for the health of the horses (and Kira;)) we still had to get out of there (too much heat- 40+ during the day and no wind). The best solution we could think of was to take a transporter in the evening which would bring us to the place of Leo's brother where the horses could be in a field and relax. The transporter ride is another very depressing story but to keep it short Valentino was so weak that only with the help of 5 people we got him on it.
Kira: The next two hours, I spent on the deck of the transporter holding onto Valentino with all my strength to keep him from falling while we drove on a really bad dirt road up out of the canyon....
Marja: Right now we are sitting in a transporter with the three horses in the back,the equipment and Kira. I'm in the front as my ankle is still not working and I can hardly walk, less support a horse in a shaking van. But I wish I was with Kira in the back. Every thunder of a hammering horse hoof trying to find balance in the van shaken by the stones of the unwinding road, echoes in my insides. I think I'm as tense as Valentinos legs. My mouth is dry. I'm trying to lean out of the window because the darkness of the fallen night does not allow me any longer to distinguish the hooves through the opaque window behind my seat. Leo still wears his sunglasses. It's never too dark to be cool right ;) It will be the last day that he is with us. I'm sure we will miss his eclectic personality a lot. Hooves again.please stop.why is this road so uneven and steep? i wish we would ride it up and not drive in this transporter.... but life is not always what you wish for. Now my only wish is that the horses will arrive safely and healthy. --and that we get them off there in one piece.
We finally arrived to Curiti and with a lot of patience and many helping hands we pretty much carried Valentino off the transporter. Here we are now, stuck in Curiti, waiting for him to get better. But at least it's not that hot any more;) = happy Kira and happy horses ...although the amount of mosquitos rose to a maximum...and they seem to love us with or without our anti-mosquito spray. You gotta love Colombia!:)