Colombia, My life

Another childhood home on Google Maps

From 1967 to 1970 we lived at the house on the right at this location in Robledo, overlooking Medellín. The house looked very different; it was a single story, and had a big front porch. The area to the left was a vacant lot, and there was no tower in the background. There was no tree blocking the view.
Our+house+Robledo (2)

Below is a view from around the bend to the right. The steps and alternate entrance were added at some point. I suspect those are the same mango trees that were there 45 years ago. My friend Murray and I frequently used one for a rocket, inspired by Tom Swift and Star Trek.
Lucas!-1 (2)
The neighbor’s house can be seen at the right; there is a captain’s walk on top of the house, and if you look close, you can see a man standing up there. Our grumpy neighbor in the 1960s was often up there, yelling for his son or grandson: “¡¡¡Luuuuucaaaas!!!” There was a time when he also yelled at my brother from up there, possibly because Danny and a friend had thrown a bunch of rocks through his windows.

When we lived here, there was no construction across the street. We had a spectacular view of the whole city. This family picture from 1969 or 1970, taken in the front yard, gives you a glimpse. You can probably tell which one I am:


12 thoughts on “Another childhood home on Google Maps

    • What is amazing to me is the ability to travel the world from my desk, especially to the jungle town where I lived until I was 7. We had no telephone, electricity, or running water there. We had to go to the post office to collect our mail. Some of the townspeople used to get mad during mail call because we got most of it, as if we were taking more than our share! In Medellín, we had the comforts of civilization, but it cost $3.00 a minute to call the US, and air travel was proportionately more expensive than now. One neighbor, another missionary, had a ham radio, and it was a big treat to talk with family in the US from time to time. Now I have half a dozen free ways to connect to Colombia in seconds without leaving my desk.

      • You’ve lived in so many interesting areas :-). It is amazing at the changes in technology since we were kids. I never dreamed of all these ways to communicate :-).

  1. You are having a trip down memory lane, Tim! How cool to see these photos! The houses/places we’ve lived hold so many memories!
    Did we all have a favorite tree?! I know I did! 🙂
    Did we all have a favorite TV show we acted out in play?! I know I did! 🙂
    Did we all have a grumpy neighbor?! I know I did! 😛
    What a wonderful photo of your family! 🙂
    I have four sisters and three brothers, so I can relate to your family! 🙂
    Who is the little guy with dark hair?! He’s a cutie!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    • The dark-haired guy is my brother Dan. That house was an idyllic place to live. We had that spectacular view, and a Canadian family with four boys moved in around the corner and provided best friends for both me and Danny. There was all kinds of open country to play in back in the 1960s, and our parents weren’t as concerned about our safety as we are about our own children’s. When I was 7-8 years old, we occasionally went cross-country from the Seminary, where our school was and where some of our friends lived, to our house, a distance of about 2 miles. When I was 7, Mom gave me bus fare and sent me into the city to visit another friend: “Get off the bus after you cross the bridge, go left four blocks, and turn right. His house is attached to the Wesleyan church.”

  2. In these intriguing desk-based explorations of yours, It’s very poignant how that which has changed dovetails so neatly with that which is still the same. Rather like the bicycle which is still the same bicycle even if over the years you have changed the tyres, the seat, the pedals, and the bell. Or the way a man is still the same man, even though he got bigger, stopped wearing glasses, and moved away.

    • Seeing that man on the captain’s walk was freaky. I could hear his voice. My sister tells me “our” house has been split into two, and the yard has been reduced since this picture was taken by an expansion of the main road. The house up the hill and around the corner where our best friends, a Canadian Mennonite family, lived, has been torn down and replaced by apartments, as have other houses of friends.

      The next neighborhood up the road consisted of unfinished cinder block houses built for poor people, back in the 1960s. Most people got ther electricity by hooking cables over the power lines so that the lines looked like spider webs. Kids used to come around begging, and the most popular line was, “A mi papá lo mató la luz,” “My dad was killed by electricity.” Now it’s a very nice middle-class neighborhood.

  3. Wow. Too bad Google can’t show us the past so we can compare then with now! Or maybe we don’t really want to see that.
    I’ll have to see if my old house is on GM. The last time I saw it all the trees from my youth were gone.

  4. It is both wonderful and hard to revisit an old home. My sister and I went to our old house in Bogota last year and it had become an office surrounded by apartments and higher buildings. We were fortunate it was still there as the old residential neighborhood is more commercial now and many of our friends’ homes were gone. We were happy to see the catholic school across the street and their extensive ground there as it preserved a block of green space.

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