Selcouth (adj.) – Origin: English – Definition: Unfamiliar, rare, strange, and yet marvelous.
2010-2012 I worked in Venezuela. It was my first posting and my experiences there, changed my life. In fairness, every place that I have lived outside of the U.S. has changed my life. However, Venezuela has left a selcouth impression on my soul. The people and their love of their country. The beauty and the rare opportunities that were made available to me during my time there. I took a short trip to the Catatumbo river near Lake Maracaibo.
What causes Catatumbo Lightning in Venezuela?
Catatumbo lightning is an atmospheric phenomenon in Venezuela. It occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo. It originates from a mass of storm clouds over nearby mountains, and occurs during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day and up to 280 times per hour.
I did not have a good enough camera to capture the lightning show. So the above picture is a stock photo on Catatumbo. Even that does not capture how amazing and cool that was.
Even more amazing was the floating houses near where we stayed. Like my own children rode bikes in our neighborhood, these kids had tubs, boat/cars and would paddle to their friend’s houses. The people were amazing and friendly. I was amazed at the color, the beauty, the smiles of the children and adults. It was truly my favorite place to work and live in my current job.
It’s a place I will never forget. I hope that one day Venezuela will be returned to the people who love and miss their country. I frequently think of Venezuela and my time there and I usually have a bittersweet feeling of happiness that I could have been there when I was mixed with sadness that it does not appear to be a place I will be able to revisit any time soon.
Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering. ~Paulo Coelho