Good Colombia DayPosted: October 7, 2012
Some days here are so frustrating; nothing works, nobody understands us, and we can’t get anything done. Those are bad Colombia days. Some days, things go really smoothly (or if not smoothly, at least challenging in a good way). People are kind, the weather is beautiful, there are break dancers in the street and I can’t imagine wanting to leave here. Those are good Colombia days. Yesterday was a Good Colombia Day.
It started with French toast and mangoes. Then we drove Ade, the boys’ babysitter, back home. She lives so far from our new house that it’s easier for her to stay over when she babysits. Andrew and I have gone out more in the last 2 months than we have in the previous 7 years. I love Colombia, and Ade, for that. Ade (pronounced Ah-day, and short for Adeyanera) is looking for a job as an Au Pair, but until she finds a US or Canadian family to host her, she can hang out with our Canadian/American family in Medellin. She is great with the boys and she brings them amazing craft projects and prints Hot Wheels and Spiderman coloring pages for them. She helps us with our Spanish, and we help with her English. Her goal is to be completely fluent so she can be a flight attendant for Emirates Airlines.
Anyway, we brought Ade home to Robledo, a neighborhood perched on the side of a mountain, and drove through parts of the city I hadn’t seen before. Her street is so narrow only one car can go down at a time. On old woman sits on a chair directing traffic with a stop/go sign that she flips around to indicate when it’s safe to pass. Apparently she’s there all day, seven days a week. She gets tips from the neighbors for her service.
Ade lives with her mom in an apartment next to a garden path and playground. It was great to meet her mom, who had a blast with Sam on the seesaw and was very kind and told me I looked young and skinny (love her). We played at the playground outside their house for a while then took a walk to a waterfall and the neighborhood church.
After Ade’s house we headed to an animal shelter in Robledo to find a kitten. Louise has been so distraught since Ruby died we thought another cat might help. Plus, we’ve grown accustomed to our crazy cat people identity and it’s too strange to go from 3 cats to 1. We ended up in the car for another 45 minutes or so trying to find the shelter. We played the ‘who can find something really crazy’ game to distract Aiden and Sam from their backseat teasing/screaming game. We found: a car that looked like a dragon, the stop sign lady again, a man on a scooter with a backpack full of Jesus(es?) on the cross, men standing on each others shoulders 3 people high juggling at a traffic light, and a stroller in a tree.
At the animal shelter there was only one kitten old enough to be adopted., so we didn’t have to make any tough choices. She was found alone on the street and they guessed she was 3 months old. Clearly she had to be a badass kitty to survive on the streets of Medellin. She clawed her way out of the cardboard box before we even left the shelter. Aiden decided to call her Coco, an homage to Colombia and his favorite beverages, limonada de coco and coco loco. Loco works too. We’ve had her for over 24 hours now and I can confirm that she is an insane Colombian street kitty. Louise hates her, but that’s another story.
We brought Coco home and got her situated in the boys’ room and played and read her some books.
Then we went to a party hosted by a Danish couple we recently met, who are great (are there any Danes who aren’t?). There were lots of kids there and the boys had a blast. Andrew met a microbiologist from New Jersey; he was pretty happy about that. And I talked politics and hippie parents with some ladies around a large plate of cheese. It was a good night, and a good Colombia day.