Saturday, December 02, 2006

Nuevos Amigos

This morning we woke up early and said goodbye to our friends from North Carolina. I felt bad for them, their flight to Colombia had been their first time on an airplane, and they were not looking forward to flying back home, especially with a new baby. We took some great pictures with them, including an adorable one of the two babies together. We showered, ate breakfast and hung around in the living room, played on the computer and basked in the baby’s adorableness. Oh, and we gave him a real bath today – thank goodness he liked it.

After lunch (an awesome frittata with artichokes and spicy sausage like a chorizo, we called cousins of our friend (the one who originally told us about FANA), to say hello. We made arrangements for them to come and pick us up at the hotel at 2:00. It was a little strange for us to be meeting people we never met, not to mention people that don’t really speak too much English. I was a little nervous about what would happen. E & A arrived with their 20 something (and gorgeous) daughter C who did most of the translating. We hit it off with them immediately. They came and sat for a few minutes and held the baby while we broke the ice. They even were nice enough to bring a gift for the baby. Then they offered to take us around the city to see a few things. We went to a HUGE shopping mall and walked around. Like home, the mall is filled with huge Christmas displays. The theme was all kinds of deer – antelope, gazelles, you name it. Huge stuffed ones were everywhere. The funny part was that all the children were playing in the fake snow – most of them have never seen snow in their lives. We bought some Colombian coffee from a place called (what else) Juan Valdez CafĂ© and sat out on an open air veranda that overlooked some of the city and the mountains. We sat and talked to each other about the differences between Bogota and New York City. There are many things that are exactly the same. After we became more comfortable with each other I tried to talk a little more Spanish to make it easier to communicate rather than have Carolina translate everything. I told E (in Spanish) that if she spoke slower I could probably understand her. So she started talking REALLY slow like I had brain damage “Teeeeeneeeemoooossss fruuuuuttaaa blaaaaannnnccaaaa” I started laughing hysterically and told her “not that slow”. She was trying to ask me if we have this very sweet white fruit in America that is very good here. No, no white fruit that I know of. So after that it got a little easier, they spoke bad English, we spoke bad Spanish and all was well. After the mall we walked around this small area outside that had a few craft booths. Nothing that caught my eye. There is one area that has a ton of bars, including the “Bogota Beer Company” gotta love it. Then we drove to the most beautiful park. It was just getting dark outside and C was telling us that at night it lights up with Christmas lights. No sooner had she said it then all the lights went on at once. It was totally amazing. Every tree was filled with these big ornaments glowing with light. There was a HUGE Christmas tree all lit up. It really was a beautiful sight. It made me a little homesick, because we know that we are missing the Christmas season at home. With the warm weather here it doesn’t really feel like Christmas. But it really did tonight.

After the park we drove around a while. You know I had to ask the question “Where can I buy yarn around here?” Yarn was a word they did not know. I tried to explain knitting with no luck. Finally C lit up and said “Yes! From the Sheep!” Yes woo hoo! In Spanish it is called las lanas, and she asked how to say it in English. It was hysterical listening to her practice the word wool, which came out more like wooooool. Anyway, you’d be happy to know that there is a store one block from our hotel. I looked in as we drove by and it seems to have all kinds of trimmings and things, not just a yarn store. I’ll have to check it out soon. We came back to the hotel just in time for the baby’s next feeding. A and E insist on spending more time with us to show us the city. They said that they feel bad that we “have no one” here. They are very proud of their city (rightfully so) and want to show us around. We are planning to go to a flea market tomorrow afternoon, we are told there are some good Colombian goods there to buy. Oh, and we told them that we wanted to buy a cross from Colombia for the baby’s room. A said that if we would like, he would paint us a wooden cross himself. How special is that? We feel bad taking up all of their time, but we do appreciate being able to get out and see things.

Apparently on Sunday’s here, they close down some of the main streets and open them up to pedestrians. We are told it is a good day to take a walk with the baby. Maybe we will do that in the morning. There is a big mall nearby (Colombians love their malls, they are huge and they are everywhere) and it is lit up for Christmas, so we will walk there one night. We were told that it is perfectly safe to walk in our area. We were surprised at how modern this city is. We were told it was very poor here, but it is not at all like that where we are. Like any city, there are poor sections, but there are very chic stores here, big designer names everywhere. We did see a lot of the same stores we have too, like Dunkin’ Donuts, Tony Roma’s ribs, L’Occitane, Nike, Tower Records (we bought a Colombian Christmas CD), and many others.

It’s about 8:30 pm and we are now in our room chilling out. Dinner was pork loin, rice and roasted eggplant, onions and tomatoes, with the sweetest watermelon you ever tasted for dessert. We went right to our room after dinner…this house can get pretty noisy from all the people coming in and out, and we need some quiet time. The boy is doing well …we left him with the maids while we were out and he did just fine. I remember thinking when we were out that it was weird that we had a child waiting for us back home. Weird. My throat continues to be a problem, I sound like a frog now. I eat cough drops like candy. I can’t get enough water in me (which means I always have to pee ) and my lips are always chapped. I seem to be the only person having a problem though. Probably my resistance was down from the crazy 5 days before we got here.

So, another day down. Time goes slowly here but we are trying to enjoy this place as much as we can. I want to be able to tell the boy about everything we saw. It´s difficult to post pics here,and I´m not even sure if I´m allowed yet. Coming soon, I promise.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're enjoying your time there.

I had a friend from Bucaramanga, Colombia. She moved to Bogota when she was in her 20s. I lost touch with her years ago, but I'm thinking of her so much as you describe the city. It's like a learning a piece of an old friend's life.

Keep enjoying your stay! And give your sweet little boy an extra hug from me.

Bezzie said...

Sounds like a gorgeous city. I had to chuckle though--I haven't seen a Tony Roma's in *years*! Glad to know they're still operational at least in other countries!

Have fun sightseeing with your little boy!

Ani said...

Sounds like you're having a wonderful time enjoying your son's birth country. Take lots of pics - can't wait to see them all!

Anonymous said...

How long will you all be there?

Sounds like you are having a great time. I doesn't surprise me that you found the yarn store already. And it's so close. Enjoy shopping.

Karin said...

Crepes &Wafles, crepes&Wafles, try that one try it and then tell me. And then have a walk at Maku (artesanias), there you can buy something to remind his hometown to your son...for later. And since you are there have a really good (huge and good) typical meal at Palo Carbon. Enjoy enjoy enjoy it. And thank you so much for sharing all of it.

MAMB said...

We can't wait to see photos! Thanks for the tour of Colombia from afar! Pretty cool. I wasn't sure how safe Colombia was so it is nice to hear that you are able to be out and about and safe. Enjoy your time there...how long are you staying? I've forgotten. 3 weeks?

Leo said...

If you are really into Juan Valdez and his refreshing beverage, head down to Armenia, coffee capital of Colombia. You will need a couple of days and if you have the chance to book your stay at a Countryside hotel then you're in for a real treat; fresh air, and a ravishing view of 'cafetales' everywhere.

Roxie said...

Blessings on you, dear. Keep pushing those fluids, but remember that coffee is a diuretic. Hot herb teas, if you can get them, would be safest. It's OK to spend a day or two just lying around the room, playing with the boy and resting.

Sharon G. said...

Man, you're making me crave my abuelita's cooking. lol.

I'm glad you're enjoying the beautiful city - it really is gorgeous. Thanks for posting about it and letting others know that Colombia is not a third-world country full of jungle and cocaine. ;)

I love Sebastian's name. How very awesome that you kept it.

wavybrains said...

Craft Fair? Have you found the yarn yet?? I mean, I know, the scrumptious baby is taking up all the brain power, but surely you brought the knitting along. The Winter Interweave has a section all about Andes yarn and traditions. Apparently in Peru, handknit caps for baby boys are a very important part of the culture. I wonder if Colombia has similar traditions? Anyway, if you think of it, look for some yarn for later--I bet it would be sweet to work up something for a later b-day for Sebastian out of yarn you purchased on this trip.

Stacey, Mike & Adrianna David said...

Steph,
I have had a sore throat since I arrived, yikes. I am heading home tomorrow, but Dh and the chicas will be here waiting for sentencia.
Glad to hear all is well with you and the new little one.

Stacey

-Jenny said...

Ohhhh pictures!!! Hurry up.

It sounds wonderful S. Just wonderful. I am soo happy for you and it seems like even though your throat is all funky you are doing well, having a good time and enjoying your baby boy.

Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

All the updates are awesome! Keep 'em coming when you can.

Ruth said...

I'm loving the updates. Can't wait to see pictures of you with your son. If you keep drinking lots of water (in that kind of weather I aim for about two litres a day - sorry don't know what that is in ounces) your kidneys will eventually settle down and you won't need to pee so much.

As for Christmas in the heat - welcome to my world :).

Hope all goes well over the next few days, it sounds like you have a dream child.

Beagle said...

Keep the updates coming and soak it all in. Every memory will be a wonderful story for your little guy some day!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see pictures. It sounds so exciting.
Kristin

MMrussianadoption said...

Sounds like you are having a blast. I can't wait to see pictures.

Anonymous said...

I'm just now catching up on blogs and I'm thrilled to see you have been blessed with a little boy. Wow, a lot can change in a few weeks!! Can't wait to see pictures!!

chou-chou said...

This is just so great - I can't wait to see pictures of Sebastian!

Sounds like you are having fun in Bogota...

Jenni said...

How wonderful that you guys have such great people to show you around their city! I love hearing all about Bogota and your experiences there. Do you feel like parents yet? For the first few weeks with Vika and Eamon, Jeff and I still felt a bit like we were "babysitting." That feeling passes quickly though!

Take care, and I can't wait to see pictures of you guys with Sebastian!

Anonymous said...

this is amazing - so glad you are updating us!

Erin said...

Exito has a small yarn shop outside. It's the big Exito on Simon Bolivar Blvd. My mom bought a bunch of yarn there and she knitted scarves for gifts.