Archive for December 2011
It is once again that special time of the year where celebrations of peace and love take place and we are reminded of how important it is to get along as an universal race so the world will prosper for generations to come.
I had this great opportunity to visit my oldest son Ruy and his girlfriend Lisseth (what a sweetie) for the Xmas season in Medellin Colombia, and I felt it was quite appropriate to share this unique experience I had a few days ago, with all of you. This is all about ‘personal passion’ and quite an example of how our lives have a greater meaning when we allow ourselves to be driven byit.
Santiago Rojas, is a passionate man with a vision of such an unparalleled quality. In his own words “since I was little, the plans for this unique house have been always in my head. I never lay them on paper, only in my dreams – a place built with my own hands, with all kinds of little stones and numerous stories to tell.”
Literally, such a place has been built pebble by pebble. “From an early age it has been designed in my thoughts. I knew one day I would be doing this,” says the artist Santiago Rojas in his particular soft voice. And indeed he has!
A lot of recycling materials have been used in the making of this magical place. Anything from pebbles to clay, glass, pottery, wood, metal, etc. What strikes me the most is Santiago’s inventiveness and creativity in the re-use of such goods.
As we entered “la Casa,” we were greeted with a Xmas tree located in the center of the living room (image on the Xmas card) and on the right a Nativity scene welcomes anyone willing to tour. Immediately we knew we were about to experience a place made of dreams.
It is a very well planned and organized labyrinth, one that you can enter from the left or right. I remember vividly to tell my son Ruy and Diego (cousin of Santiago), “It gets crazier and crazier” as we explored the interior.
- A bedroom with 3 floors (mind you the floors are only approx. 7′x7′), with a very mini staircase connecting all the 3 levels. Level 1 is the bed, level 2 is the study and level 3, the library with a vista to the exterior.
- An atrium waterfall separates the bedroom from the kitchen and is opened to the skies, guarded by a statue of the Virgin Mary overlooking the bedroom window.
- A kitchen with the most intricate detail I’ve ever seen and just beside the main countertop, a small bedroom for their dog “Princesa”, a charming miniature pinscher.
- After going through a couple more rooms of equal interest, I went up a set of stairs that led into the master bedroom and as soon as I laid my eyes on it, my very first thoughts were … I want one of these. The bed is unbelievably warm, higher than the norm with a set of steps leading to it and nested within a very organic environment. In fact the entire room and house has that feel. Looking to your left you see an open concept shower, where you will be bathed by a waterfall.
- You fight with the idea of exiting this wonder bedroom as you just want to stay in and allow your mind to explore the countless stories that it will entertain. The door to the left takes you to a bridge-like path that connects both sides of the house while exposing the central atrium. As you negotiate this passage you come to a dining room that seems to be a set extracted from the “Robinson Crusoe” well known adventure novel.
And “La Casa de las Piedritas” continuously breathes just lke his builder. “it will be finished when I die” says the artist. When his wife Gloria asked him what he wanted for Xmas he replied with a simple smile, “Cement.”
Santiago is a wonderful man, eager to share his project with any stranger. Let me assure you that by the time you are through touring his place, you leave with a feeling you’ve just made a great friend extraordinarily quickly.
My experience in Colombia has been exceptional … I’ve been surrounded by beautiful and charming people with a great sense of community and with a heart as large as it comes.
I wish you all a GREAT Holiday Season and a New Year full of Joy, Health and Prosperity.