Our whirlwind trip to Bogota taught me something very important: It’s totally possible to do a whirlwind weekend trip to Bogota, which means you have no excuse not to come visit me there. That means that any excuse you have of “not being able to get much time off work” is now invalid… just to let you know. So as soon as we get there, I expect you to start scouring travel websites for good deals, book a flight, and come hang with us in Colombia for a couple days and let us show you around. Although you should probably let me get a couple months of survival Spanish under my belt, because it turns out that you absolutely MUST know Spanish to get around down there.
Which reminds me… we went to Bogota for several reasons, one of which was to choose a language school, and we did! We will be attending NuevaLengua Escuela de Espanol for the first 6 months (or more) of our 2-year stint in Colombia. Hopefully at the end of it, I’ll be able to have a decent conversation in Spanish. Nate and I are pretty motivated to work on the language, not only for ministry in Colombia, but also because we want to be able to communicate with our Spanish-speaking Colombian child(ren) when the adoption is complete. All that to say, I’m going to be a dedicated student (:
Another top priority for our quick trip was to get an idea of our future housing situation. We can’t make plans for a specific house yet, but we looked at lots of options and various parts of town, and we think we have figured out what will work best for our family (and the Kines). Hopefully that will help speed the process up when we move. It can sometimes take a while to secure housing in Bogota (lots of hoops to jump through), so we might have to stay with someone else on our team for a few weeks. We’ll see what happens when the time comes.
Speaking of the team, that was the other reason we went to Bogota… to meet the team and start getting to know them. We already know Gary Waldecker (and his wife, Phyllis), who has developed and is heading up this apprenticeship program we’re participating in. The actual Bogota team consists of the Boxes (team leader), the Harrells, the Bolings, and the Parsons. The Gutierrez family is also there doing the apprenticeship program (they just moved there a couple of weeks ago), and they will ultimately end up in Peru. There are also several more families on their way to Bogota to join the team (the Luptons and the Browns), and we will meet them this summer. It’s going to be a fun group, for sure.
So those were the goals – school, housing, team. It was a successful trip. God certainly answered each of the requests we laid before him.
As a bonus, I definitely feel much more prepared for the move. We were able to get an idea of the types of things we need to bring with us versus the things to buy when we get there. We got an idea of the climate and what type of clothes to pack. Spending time in the homes of our teammates helped us to get a feel for what life will be like for us when we get there. I feel like I’ve wrapped my head around it a little better now that I’ve seen the place.
But even better than feeling a little more prepared, now I feel EXCITED to hurry up and get there! I was excited before, but it was a vague, abstract excitement that had no specifics to it, because I didn’t really know much about the place and hadn’t met the team. But now that I’ve been there, visited the city, hung out with the team, I CANNOT WAIT to move.
(Although, don’t get me started talking about the things I’m going to miss when I leave…Goodbyes are hard.)
So now I’m unpacking from the Bogota trip while simultaneously packing for our next trip, which begins tomorrow. These two-day turnarounds between trips are the worst. I barely empty my suitcase before I’m filling it up again! So we’re out again tomorrow (going in two different directions- Nate’s headed to PA while I’m headed to FL), but we’ll be back soon. For like 4 days…then we leave again on another trip. Such is life when you’re support raising!