So, we woke up this morning, and the three oldest family members were super-duper sick. We were miserable. Thankfully, today was Monday, and doctors were available to see us and check us out. Most of the morning was busy with getting medications and instructions not to take the children to the park for three hours, twice a day. We definitely get bored in these four walls, but today was the first no-park day since we met the kids.
While we are working hard not to raise our children in front of a TV, we thought given our state and the state of our oldest son, two movies would be OK for today. The oldest is sort of quarentined off in the corner room so the other kids don´t get what he has. There are big glass doors to the room that he is in, so it sort of looks like an exibit at the zoo. We try not to tap on the glass too much. In all seriousness, it is sad. The little guy definitely wants to play with his brothers and sisters, but we just can´t let him for another day or so.
The other big adventure for the day was TB tests for the four youngest kids. The oldest had to stay at home because he was on medication (besides, he needed his rest). This is another step in the get-kids-out-of-this-country-and-in-to-our-country process. All of them hated getting stuck with a needle, but none worst then the youngest boy, Mr. Cautious. He staight-up screamed his head off! There was a sign in the waiting room that said “Silencio” so I am sure everyone in there heard it. The other three, including baby girl, wimpered a little, but did pretty good. We go back in two days to check the results.
Speaking of Baby Girl, we´ve been affectionately calling her “Darth”, but I think “Little Turd” might fit better. She is a little turd, in more ways than one! First off, she´s been having some pretty ripe diapers, and even after we change her, she still stinks. Also, she is a bit defiant and does whatever she wants to do. If that wasn´t enough, when I corrected her today, she bit me too. She definitely got in major trouble over that one. It sort of dawned on us that, even though we just got her, we may be in the “terrible twos” that everyone tells us about. Terrible twos or not, that crap don´t fly around here! We love her to death, but she´s got to learn to listen to instructions (easy enough) and not bite people (something I thought I would only say about my dogs).
Tonight, after the chicos had gone to bed, Beth and I had McDonalds. My McAngus, McNuggets, and fries were McAmazing! It took me a while to find out where a McDonalds was, and in the process of asking the doorman at our apartment in my broken Spanish, I traced a gigantic ¨M¨ with my two index fingers before he understood what I wanted. Never has such a sweet nectar touched my lips. Don´t get me wrong, the Colombians eat well. We have tons of fruit, and we eat lots of rice, meat, and potatoes. I think the thing that really hit us was, it was a taste of home. Colombia is an amazing country, and we are learning to embrace it, but there is no place like home.
A few things that we have noticed about this strange place:
1. The kids call going number 1 in the bathroom “Chee-chee”. Don´t worry, number 2 is still called “Poo-poo”. While I am on the subject, they never flush or close the door either.
2. Colombians are germaphobes. I think one in every five people we see is wearing a surgical mask as a preventative measure.
3. When you greet someone in Colombia, it comes with a kiss on the cheek. Touch is not my love-language, so this is a little awkward for me. Beth confessed to me tonight that she really likes it and wants to bring it to Texas. That figures!
4. You know that game where kids try to see how close they can get their finger to your face alst the while saying “I´m not touching you, I´m not touching you”? Driving on the streets of Bogota is a little like that. Oh my goodness, you really shouldn´t stick anything out the window that you intend to keep. Three inches is not an uncommon gap for these guys. I sometimes wonder why they even bothered to paint lane stripes.
5. There is about 1,800 Colombian pecos to every dollar. Before I paid the rent this month, I was literally a millionare with the cash I had in our closet. Sometimes we like to “make it rain” with our 20,000 peco bills ($11).
6. Ironically, there is a lot of rain here.
7. They speak Spanish here. This includes this silly computer that underlines everything in red because it is spell checking in the wrong language! That may be the reason we are not better with our corrections.
8. Colombians are the most beautiful people I have ever seen. I think Chris Brown and Pitbull got that right in their song, “International Love”.
9. The closest thing to Walmart is “Tres Elepantes” (Three Elephants). Their slogan underneath their sign is “Bueno, Bonito, Borrato”. That tickled me a little bit becuase it means “Good, Pretty, and Cheap”.
10. Ketchup… excuse me… “Salsa de Tomate” on everything! It makes me sick, but it does get the kids eating their fruit. Yeah. That wasn´t a typo. They eat it with their fruit (mango, banana, pineapple, etc…).
I say all that to say, we miss home. Sometimes it is the little stuff, but we definitely take for granted the customs and the things with which we accessorize our life that provide so much comfort to us each day. Beth and I are trying to remind ourselves that this is sort of what the kids will feel when they come to our country. They are leaving behind so many things that are familiar to them. It could be something as simple as a smell or a favorite food. Overtime, I´m sure they will learn to embrace our culture as we are learning to embrace theirs, but it is a good reminder for us.
Thank you again for caring enough to read and hear about our adventures. We love the heck out of these kids, and can´t imagine life without them. I can´t wait to introduce them to all the people that have worked so hard to bring them home. Thanks again, and as always, we covet your prayers.
Sorry there are no pictures. We got lazy with the camera. We´ll try again tomorrow.
At the dinnermesa,