Salt Cathedral and tribal structure

It seems like the weather pattern is pretty consistent here. Clear in the early morning, then rain through the afternoon, followed by clear blue sky from around 2 onward. Bad news is we can't go biking around town in the morning. Good news is it'll clear up eventually... But not before the city's bike-friendly road closing ends today. :-/ After much debate on plan B, we decided to head out to the Salt Cathedral - an underground church thing inside of a salt mine somewhere about an hour off towards the east mountain part of Bogotá's suburb. The first cathedral was built back in the 1950s when salt mining was super dangerous. People would die every day on the job so they decided to build a church on site to help keep them working through faith-control. The cave collapsed one year due to poor engineering and destroyed the cathedral. The second cathedral was built to replace the first in the 1990s but this time around salt mining technology has improved so much that workers no longer die every day. Faith-controlling were no longer necessary. So they made a giant cave with cathedral theme to attract tourists instead. It was pretty. But some architectural decisions were quite blatantly obvious as to what the real purpose of this cathedral is. The mining part of the property is still very active so that bit was intriguing. We didn't do the mining tour tho. The rest of the day was split up between prepping for a surprise bday cake for senseshan, strolling around town, and playing geotagging. We also had a pretty fun dinner at Andrés DC, a famous resto-dance club combo. It's election night tonight so the whole country is dry -- by law no alcohol allowed on election day. Weird but makes total sense. Naturally, the dancing bit didnt happen. I went to get a sweet (and much needed) massage afterwards - a perfect little indulgence to a jam pack active vacay. We celebrated the bday back at our hotel suite, shared funny stories, looked at pictures, and chatted for a while. For a group of 9, this trip was super well organized, fun, and totally drama free. Usually when you have this many people rolling with very limited time in a different place you get a situation where scarcity drives individual to want to do different things. No way could everyone's interests align at all times for 5 days straight. It takes the right dynamic and the right personalities to make this work. I haven't gone on a group trip of this size outside of snowboarding trips before but these guys travel together constantly so it was really interesting to see behaviors that make a happy tribe in action. First you must have a fearless leader. One you trust completely. This isn't easy for most western friendships. The fearless leader must rule with compassion - always thinking of everyone's collective interest first, always accommodate individual needs, and never dictate through control but rather delegate through acknowledgement of individual's skills. Then you have the project manager - aka cat herders - to get things to happen. Again, trust is key, but more importantly, there was a significant amount of respect -- to truly just say ok whatever is the next move is the right move. The PM and the leader can be the same person, but not necessarily. It works better when the PM role rotates. The clowns are important roles in keeping hilarity alive throughout, but that's a given. Everyone else, aka the cats, not only carry extremely easy going personas, they must also enjoy compromises. Everyone was punctual. Everything we did had a clear and exact rendezvous point. Money was collected evenly into a pool so group activities can be shared easier without much hassle around who pays what. There were also a lot of pre planning involved, which made decision flow smoother when plan A doesnt work out. Solid execution.

The flight back the next morning was smooth and uneventful. It's hot in NYC. I guess summer is finally here. I miss home. Above all, I miss me-time: solo existence with the dog doing nothing in silence. It was quite surprising to learn how quiet I am in large groups and where my boundary is in socializing. I am loner at heart.


Till next time...

... via mobile.