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Introducing, Mario, our kids’ English teacher. We met him the morning after we arrived at our hotel–The Radisson. He is the one that gave us those great first impressions of the children’s learning abilities. Mario studied in London for two years and speaks very good English. We are so grateful to have found him. We are so glad we joined adoptColombia and other Colombian adoption yahoo groups. We were able to collect a wealth of information before traveling–like Mario’s contact info. We hope to pay it forward and pass on as much helpful information as we can. That is another reason I am obsessive about documenting this entire trip. If our experience can make the slightest difference in someone else’s future adoption travel then we are very happy!

We spent the rest of the day touring the different accommodations that we will choose from for the rest of our stay. If there are any PAP’s out there reading…it is absolutely OKAY to come here first and then make up your mind where you want to stay. We are so glad we did it this way. We met with Betty from Betty’s Place–she is a total gem–and she agrees completely that couples should make an informed decision. We appreciated her candor. Also, we toured Zuetana and drove by an apartment we found online. I wish we could stay at the Radisson the whole time, only because it has a pool, spa, and work-out room, but it is way too expensive. My mom was a trooper, we made her walk all over the city, and get in and out of squishy taxi cabs. And when I say squishy–I mean squishy:

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So I know you are all waiting for pictures of the kids–after all this is an adoption blog–but for now you will have to take in the sights of Bogota through our camera. Here are a few pics from our first full day in the city:

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Below, you can see the monster burger my mom couldn’t fit her mouth around. We stumbled on to a TGIFridays and decided to have dinner. $65.00 later (yes, that is US dollars for sandwiches and drinks) we decided we needed to find a cheaper dinner. Night one, in the LA airport we spent $55.00. Night two, we ordered room service because we were tired and disoriented, which ran us about $80.00. And then TGIF was night three. Granted, these figures are for three people, but still. Adam and I went to the supermarket late that night and bought some drinks and fruit for the hotel room so we didn’t have to buy the hotel Evian water for $8.00. Don’t worry, I’m keeping a running total on everything that I will post at the end of my stay. This trip is very different than backpacking through Europe or living in a village or even going to the beach for a week.

One more funny thing…the other picture below is just a random construction worker. I asked Adam if OSHA had approved the work site or the way he was leaning over the building with no harness–very scary, but very non-North American.

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