Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Well I don’t know WHAT I was thinking when I wrote that CC’s brother was freakishly tall. Maybe he just looked that tall compared to the other small people waiting at the airport. But he is maybe 5’7 on a good day. Probably only 5’5”, really.


CC bought the Little Mermaid some cereal, b/c she’s not really into the whole Colombian breakfast thing. The rest of us ate large pancake size arepas with a Colombian cheese melted on top. Muy Bien! I’m not sure if the cheese is goat cheese or made with olive oil – but it reminds me a little of a very mild feta, not crumbly though.

Once we are all showered and dressed we headed downtown. It was sort of a wet day, so we didn’t do a lot of sight seeing, but we did hit a downtown mall! The Dude finally found some sandals. He’s been wearing the same Teva’s for 8 years and they are barely staying together! The Little Mermaid got some super cute shoes for escuela and at a girly store called YoYo one of the retailers spoke perfect ingles. So we had some fun there. Little Mermaid got a cute white jean skirt with sparkly studs on it and a darling pink/orange plaid jumper. I finally bought something for myself – some turquoise plaid canvas shoes. I love them, they are slip-on flats.

The Little Mermaid was starving, so we headed to the food court. It was dominated by the oh so Colombian pizza, hotdogs, and hamburgers. Little Mermaid ate pizza, I found an empanada (not a good one) and then we headed home.

The main meal in Colombia is lunch. Breakfast is pretty light. Lunch is huge and dinner is nearly non-existent. I kind of like this philosophy.

For lunch we had the Colombian version of Roast Beef Stew, Sancocho. YUMMY! They also made a guava juice drink. Pretty good – though not my favourite beverage.

The Little Dude took a nap (before lunch) and after lunch the Dude and I joined him. The Little Mermaid watched Disney in Spanish.

After our siesta we came downstairs to find CC in the living room visiting with a friend and former co-worker. Her English is perfect. Even a US accent – slightly Californian. I asked her if she’d ever studied abroad and she said no! She learned it all from school and TV! WOW!

We all piled into CC’s car and went to a beautiful shopping center in Manizales. It is built into a mountain so the views from the windows were amazing! First we hit a Juan Valdez out door coffee shop. Juan Valdez is branded like Starbucks in Colombia. And the coffee is, obviously, top notch! I was able to get on the Juan Valdez wireless system and publish yesterday’s blog. Though it proved too slow for pictures.

After our coffee break we walked to the mall for SHOPPING! First we hit a grocery store. CC’s mom needed some things and the Little Dude needed butt crème, I needed hair conditioner and the Little Mermaid needed detangle spray. We walked the multilevel mall and the Dude finally found a pair of jeans, the Little Dude got a pair of cute sufer dude shorts and I bought a cool black/grey shirt. At the top of the mall is a cinema and play area for kids. The Little Mermaid jumped until just couldn’t jump anymore on the netted trampoline. And the dudes shot basketball hoops and played a race car video game. By this time the sun had set. And we began to meander down to the ground floor. We made one more stop at a book store. The Little Mermaid got a Barbie movie – Mariposa – in espanol and a Strawberry Shortcake colouring book and story book. The colouring book is pretty cool. It has tracing paper between all the pages so you can trace the image and have 2 to colour! MUY BIEN!

We came home, happy and exhausted. After a small snack of sandwiches, we hit the sack.

The other day I asked CC to let me cook with her so I could learn the recipes for the food we’ve been eating. She smiled and told me that she doesn’t cook. Doesn’t cook! Over the weekend when her sister in law and los ninos were visiting another woman magically appeared in the kitchen. I asked CC who she was and it turns out that she is her brother’s family’s housekeeper/ nanny. On Monday, after CC’s brother’s family returned to their town another woman mysteriously appeared. Again I asked CC who she was, and she is her parent’s housekeeper! She prepares all the meals, keeps the house and does laundry.

Each morning I make our beds and make sure all of our things are picked up. Well, after our adventures on Monday when we returned to our rooms, I noticed the beds had been re-made. I guess I didn’t do it right! LOL! I have to say, it is nice not having to cook. CC’s sister-in-law was able to focus all her attention on her children and family. The housekeepers are sort of like part of the family. We all help out, clearing the table, setting the table, but sometimes, the help we offer (ie: making the beds) is not that effective.


This morning CC was able to get a dentist appointment. A couple of teeth had been bothering her and she wanted to get it checked out. The Dudes and I ate Migas for breakfast with hot chocolate – I figured out what that magical fragranced taste to the chocolate was. Panela water! Panela is a sugar brick that is used in a variety of ways. It reminds me of molasses. For the hot chocolate, panela is dissolved in water as the water simmers on the stove. I don’t know the ratios yet, but YOU KNOW I’m going to find out.

The Little Mermaid slept in, which is a good thing. While the Dudes and I visited with Senor Tortuga, Abuelo, CC’s father, came down stairs and went out for his morning constitutional. Every day he goes for a long walk. I don’t know if he has a destination, or just exercises. The Little Dude and Abuelo have a special bond. They just love each other! Well, The Little Dude didn’t get to Abuelo before he was out the door and by the time I figured out how to open the door (yes it IS that complicated) Abeulo had disappeared down the street. I had to deal with a minor breakdown at that point. But breakfast was served and disaster was averted.

I observed the most precious moment between the Little Dude and Abuelo. Last night Abuelo was standing on the front stoop looking out at the night. I was bringing the Little Dude to everyone for good night kisses before I took him to bed. When we got to Abuelo, he leaned close to the Little Dude and whispered something in Spanish to him. Immediately the Little Dude opened his arms to Abuelo and he took him from me. My Spanish is not great, but I was able to figure out that Abuelo was showing the Little Dude how to say good night to the day and welcome the night. After several minutes of cuddling and talking, Abuelo gave him back to me and we went upstairs to bed.