Thursday, February 06, 2014
January was kind of a stressful month, as we tried to figure out where and when Valerie will be starting Kindergarten (called Transición here), and I tried to figure out when it will work out to defend my dissertation. Both ends of the academic journey: she just beginning, I hoping to finish, both stressing me out of my mind. I think things are juuuust about settled... but I'm still holding my breath until I feel more absolutely certain about both things.
Meanwhile, Terry and I are back to work... and greatly appreciating more time with my parents who are staying in an apartment a block away from our house! It's been great.
The other day I made a list of the top ten things I like about Bogotá, that I thought I'd share with you:
10. The Transmilenio. People complain about it all the time but we love it. It helps that we live conveniently close to two different lines.
9. Parque Simón Bolivar. It's huge, it's green, it's peaceful. We love taking the kids there.
8. Monserrate. We can see the lovely white cathedral atop this mountain shining in the sunlight from our street, from the office, from pretty much everywhere we go.
7. Street art.
6. Speaking Spanish all the time (even if it is a much more formal version that what we're used to!) I love that the kids are learning Spanish!
5. The smell of eucalyptus as we walk past the university grounds near our house. I know it's not a native tree species, but I still find the smell really relaxing. Since it's been planted all over the Andes, it makes me feel connected to mountain cities I've lived in in Peru and Bolivia.
4. Small parks with playground equipment easily available in every neighborhood in the city. I don't think you can actually find a spot in a residential neighborhood that's more than 5 blocks from a park!
3. Our office building - it's an old and gracious home with hardwood floors and water damage (well, we don't love the water damage... !)
2. Our team/work community
1. Our church community
There are definitely a lot of things I DON'T love, like the human misery we see on a daily basis, the extreme differences between the rich and the poor, and our super-slow Internet service at home (Ok, that last one is a trivial martyrdom...) but on the whole I do feel like we're pretty well settled here. I still feel like a foreigner, but Bogotá no longer feels foreign to me. I wouldn't say it feels like home, really, but we feel at home, if that makes sense.