Friday, October 3, 2014

Destination: Bogota

Tuesday was such an exciting day!  Officially becoming a family of five and having Samuel as our son was inexpressibly amazing.

And then, there was Wednesday.  The poor kids were starving for attention and were desperate to play with Mommy and Daddy, but Daddy had tons of work he had to get done and Mommy had to pack, do laundry, clean the grimy hand prints off the walls, and figure out what to do with the leftover groceries that we had.  We truly felt sorry for the munchkins, but all of those were necessary things, so the kids were given toys, books, movies, LeapPads, and the like for entertainment while we tried to take care of business.

Additionally, we had our walk-through to make sure we left the apartment in good condition.  We expected this to take about 15 minutes, but it was an hour and a half!  They counted every vase, piece of flatware, cup, plate, painting, towel, you name it.  The landlord was trying to sell the place, so we thought he would want to know what things weren't working well.  This included the dishwasher which worked so poorly it didn't dissolve the detergent, 3 eyes of the stove that wouldn't turn on, several areas where the electric wiring was done improperly causing lights to blow every time certain switches were flipped, and a frequent smell of sewage from two of the bathrooms.  The place actually was incredible nice, and these things did not affect our stay whatsoever, we just wanted them to know so they could fix it in the future for other potential tenants or buyers.  We did not expect our apartment to all of a sudden be filled with an electrician, dishwasher repairman, stove repairman, and an apprentice of some sort.  I am not sure why all of those things couldn't be tended at a later date.

Although every one of those men was quite kind, we were ready to get on with the day.  Right after they all left, our attorney came over.  Blanca is incredibly organized, and had everything laid out in individual folders for the different agencies we would visit in Bogota.  Basically, she made it where we don't have to do any thinking, she handled all the details for us.  She also went over a tentative schedule and what all would take place in Bogota.

We tried to take the kids out for a fun last night in Medellin to eat a fun meal, do some shopping, and let them have a good time playing.  Unfortunately, we were all exhausted and cranky, so we just settled for a fun meal at Crepes and Waffles.  It was yummy, and we all enjoyed it.  We also all enjoyed dessert there (duh, why wouldn't you get dessert at a restaurant with that name?!).  The kids all had mini Nutella waffles with ice cream and cool whip, and Brent and I split a crepe filled with strawberries and bananas and drenched in chocolate sauce with ice cream and whipped cream on the side.

This morning, we were up, dressed, packed, fed, and ready to go before 8.  Cristina and Reuben took us to the airport, and we started our airport time with some Dunkin Donuts.  I am pretty certain that any day that begins with donuts is destined to be a phenomenal day!  The kids were amazing in the airport and on the flight.  Alex has come a long way, and is actually becoming a joy to travel with.  The actual flight to Bogota was only 30 minutes, but it was a full morning of traveling altogether.

The Bogota airport is humongous with no trains or shuttles connecting the different areas.  The only transportation is by foot.  It was a good distance to baggage claim, but the kids did wonderfully!  Our new driver/ translator met us at the airport right outside of baggage claim, and we headed to our new apartment.

We had been spoiled by our penthouse in Medellin, and we only thought the kitchen there did not have much.  This kitchen here has next to nothing, but enough to survive for a week.  The biggest shock was that there isn't air conditioning or heat!  AC most definitely is not needed, but a heater would be fantastic.  Fortunately, we are within walking distance to a pharmacy, convenience store, grocery store, tons of restaurants, several shops, cupcake stands, and bakeries.  It is in a casual area of town with great prices, so we decided we would eat more meals out instead of struggle in the sparse kitchen we have.

We walked to a local restaurant for lunch.  It was extremely local: no menu, two options, one local juice drink, and very few workers.  It was actually delicious, and was about $13 for all five of us to eat. We then put the kids down for naps as it was already becoming late in the afternoon.

After the children slept, the kids and I went to the playground that is just outside out door while Brent got some work done.  It is amazing having a place to play that isn't on a steep incline, nor is a long walk from our apartment.  The kids love it!  The only downside is that Colombian playgrounds are a tad different than American ones.  The designers certainly don't have safety in mind.  For example, the entire playground is grass, except for areas where the kids could easily fall.  Those spots are bricked.  The bottom of the slide is brick, and the slide is extremely steep.  Thus, if a child goes faster than he or she intended (every single time), his or her hiney lands on brick.  Alex isn't accustomed to such a steep slide and did a forward roll off the side. Her only battle wound is a slightly bruised chin, but she doesn't ask to slide anymore.

Just to the side of the play equipment is a small soccer field/ basketball court.  Samuel loves it!  Evidently, playing soccer, or futbol, is in his DNA.  He is excellent!  He handles the ball so well, and can scream "GOAL!" louder than any other 30 pound munchkin.  Beside that is an area that has two bars and a set of rings.  Gymnastics loving Lilly Grace was thrilled, and does all of her tricks on the bar.

Once Brent was finished with work, we all walked to a pizza place for dinner.  We then crossed the street to go grocery shopping.  We didn't get much, but once we checked out we realized it was more than a decent amount to walk back with to the apartment.  The kids each carried a bag, and we safely made it all the way to our apartment unscathed with all groceries intact... until we entered the door.  I dropped the glass jar of instant coffee and made a mess of glass and coffee all over the kitchen floor.  Brent put the kids down and went out to get more coffee while I cleaned up the disaster I created.

We survived our first part day in Bogota.  It is a much different place than Medellin, but we are enjoying the experience.  Even more so, we are enjoying knowing we will be home soon.

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