While most of you who read this are sweating buckets in triple digit weather in the deep south, we five Buchanans have been enjoying 75 degree weather today with rain during rest time and bed time. Pretty much perfect! The climate in Medellin is phenomenal - doesn't get too hot nor cold, and when it rains it doesn't get very muggy because it usually only rains lightly for a brief amount of time. It is also gorgeous. The city itself is in a valley surrounded by green lush mountains, and unlike most large cities there are trees, flowers, and vegetation everywhere.
Here are some interesting tidbits about our location and what we have learned about Medellin. We are just about 3 blocks from Pablo Escobar's building, despite the fact that we are in one of the safest areas. He also owned a wildlife area that raised African animals, and we saw some hippos that were descendants of his hippos. People here don't wear shorts or flip-flops, so we stick out life sore thumbs. The people of this country are all gorgeous. Nobody wrinkles! Everyone has been incredibly kind to us gringos, and smile all the time. I hope their kindness and generosity rub off on me! Also, there are no straight roads! We have yet to see anything perpendicular, which is tough on this motion sick prone gal. However, Brent is the best and always volunteers to sit in the backseat with the munchkins.
Yesterday began our first full day as a family of five. We played a lot inside, went to the playground at our apartment, blew bubbles, and had a marvelous time. Brent is a fantastic boy father - such a natural. They play futbol, wrestle, and laugh. I have a lot to learn, but he is an incredible kid. Extremely affectionate, gives kisses freely, and smiles almost all day. Just like any other kiddo, he pouts when he doesn't get his way, and is really good at dictating for others to share without necessarily being willing himself to share.
After lunch at the apartment, it was time for the kiddos to take naps. The girls pitched their typical, "I don't want to take a nap" fit, and Samuel begged and begged not to sleep. All three kids had crashed within a couple minutes. We awoke them after a short nap to head to Raul's office to go over the plan with the judicial system and to answer any questions we might have. We brought a big bag of toys for the kids, and they all played beautifully. It is truly miraculous how they act like siblings already. Raul and his staff even provided the kids coffee (yes, all three love it!!), guava, and cookies. While there Brent and I signed over a power of attorney to our sweet lawyer, Blanca and went over the next several steps. Most of the steps require waiting and patience. Whew - that'll be difficult!
There was a play ground outside of the building we were in, and the kids were relieved to run around and play. We then walked to an Italian restaurant which was delicious! Or it was delicious to four of us - Samuel clearly doesn't like pizza or Italian. He chugged two glasses of milk and ate some yogurt at home.
Yesterday night was a little tough for Samuel. I laid down in bed with him and rubbed his back and tummy for a long time, but he kept tossing and turning. Once he was still, I left. Bless his heart, he cried so hard so I went back and he calmed down. It took awhile, but he finally fell asleep and slept until 7:30 this morning.
This morning we all slept in, got ready, and headed to the zoo. It was very different than the Montgomery, but we still enjoyed it. Brent and I were convinced a lot of the animals were sick since the ostriches, emus, and peacocks were missing a lot of feathers, and we all watched some lynx type animal vomit. The kids had a great time and ran the entire time. Samuel moves constantly all day long without tiring. He does not act at all like he has a heart condition. In fact, I was originally worried about it, but we rarely even think about it. God has been amazing in keeping him healthy and a normal, active, four year old boy. Praise the Lord!
We ate lunch at the zoo and had our first Colombian food experience! Delicious!!! The kids all had chorizo, french fries, and fresh juice. Brent had an array of meats and sausages, sweet plaintains, rice, and cheese filled arepa. I had bean, rice, chorizo, and plaintain soup. It was incredible!!! We also learned that toilet paper is not present in public bathrooms. You have to purchase a pack of toilet paper before you go in the bathroom, which is insanely bizarre. From now on, we will pack some in our bag before we leave the house.
As I type this, the kids have been in bed asleep for nearly an hour. They were worn out, and bedtime went marvelously tonight. Brent and I are exhausted, too, but thankful to God for our three beautiful, kind, amazing children!