Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tio's Menagerie


This morning I worked on videos while the kids watched Spanish Disney and the Dude and CC went to a cobbler to have his new sandal adjusted. The back strap kept sliding off. When they returned we loaded into the car, with Abuela – CC’s mom and drove just to the outskirts of town where her uncle, her father’s brother, lives.

As we left the city I noticed that several the hillsides near residences are terraced. The slope is so steep, definite a landslide risk. But each terrace has a cement trough along its length to help move the water down the hill without saturating the land.

CC’s uncle is a priest; he and his 2 sisters live in a breathtaking house built into the side of a hill. Abuelo has 5 siblings, 2 are deceased, and the remaining 3 live in this spectacular home. One of the sisters is developmentally disabled and remains in pre-speech toddler state. Once they were able, the brother and sister took her out of a living facility to live with them. The house has detailed wood paneled ceilings, stain glass sun lights and stain glass windows.

Tío (the priest uncle) has a small menagerie of animals. He has 3 dogs, a Collie, a yellow Lab and a black mutt. Three very loud parrots, a great big tortoise, and a cute monkey named Pépe. He raised Pépe and Freddy the tortoise from babyhood. I’m not sure about the other animals.

For lunch we had a very traditional Colombian meal called ????, or ‘tray’ translated. It consists of a large plate with different mounds of food, next to and on top of each other. There is rice, beans, fried plantains, assorted meats, arepas, sweet potato slices (baked) and cheese. It was good, but a challenge with the Little Dude. After that, as if it weren’t enough, we were served a refreshing milk soup/drink with cooked corn kernels and I’m not quite sure what else. It was very different than anything I’d eaten before, but I liked it. With the soup/drink came two sugared guava fruit jellies. Like a gummy candy. Then we had café and visited. There is something about Abuelo and Tio. The Little Dude just loves them! And they’ve been charmed by him as well.

CC’s phone began beeping; it was time to pick up the Dude’s sandals. So we said goodbye and left paradise.

Later, CC and I left the Dude and niños at home, watching a movie on Disney. We had some last minute errands to run. I got some more goodies for Little Mermaid’s class next year. CC was stocking up on Colombian brands of soap etc… to take home and use in the USA. We went to 3 different stores looking for her shampoo. Everywhere we went they only had the conditioner. What is weird, is they didn’t have ANY shampoo for her brand. ONLY the conditioners. When we got home her mom started calling places to see if they carried it. She must have called more than a dozen stores and NONE of them had it in stock. Very very strange…

We had a grilled chicken for dinner with potatoes and arepas. Almost an All-American meal! Some things are just universal.