For those preparing for Colombia, here’s my personal take on Zuetana. It is most definitely NOT the place for anyone adopting more than two small children. It is in a good part of town and is very safe. The social director does a good job of having activities for the children and organizing tour groups etc. But that didn’t make up for our needs as a family living here for six weeks.
What we didn’t like:
The rooms are very dark.
Our room didn’t have windows at all.
There was no outside play area (at the location we were at, there are four Zuetana locations).
The wall are paper thin for EVERYONE.
The toilets didn’t work.
The beds were soooo uncomfortable.
The lightbulbs were burned out.
There was nowhere for the children to run and play.
The wi-fi connection was terrible. Actually, Adam was the only one out of the three of us to get a semi-connection.
No hot water in the shower. (We actually heard the front desk worker tell another guest to take a shower in another room because only THAT room had hot water!)
What we did like:
The activities that were planned.
The communal living room had comfy leather couches.
The staff was very very very nice.
Anyway, that’s our take on the place for those who are wondering. Between Betty’s Place and Zuetana, I say it’s a toss-up. But I would have preferred Betty’s. She is soooo great, but she didn’t have room for our large family. And an apartment is better suited for the situation we are in. I really don’t feel like listening to screaming infants in the middle of the night. And I don’t want others to listen to my two littlest as they throw their nightly temper tantrums. Who wants to listen to someone else’s kid scream….especially when it affects your own sleep? So it’s better this way. Daniela and Juan P. can scream their heads off, and I can shut their bedroom doors and not worry about interrupting others’ sleep.
We only landed this apartment because of a friend here in Bogota. It is quite difficult to rent if you are a foreigner, and of course they are charging us more. But that’s okay–I would charge more too if someone only wanted to rent my place for six weeks. Of course, if you’re thinking of renting an apartment while here there are a few reputable online sites that cater to businessmen. We found a few, and even looked at one, but we felt better about staying in the part of town that we were already familiar with. We are close to everything here. If there’s anyone out there that is interested in an apartment option just email us and we can give you the websites. This particular apartment is three bedroom/ two bath with kitchen, dining, and living rooms. There is also a laundry room and maid’s quarters. So we are fairly comfortable. We are paying $2800/month, which is really expensive, but cheaper than Zuetana, the Radisson, and LaFontana.
So needless to say, we spent most of our second day together looking at apartments and deciding where to stay. We ended up at our friend, Cecelia’s, apartment while Adam drove across town to sign the lease agreement and pay for the place. Her complex is really nice with two playgrounds and a pool. As we entered the grounds, you know where the kids ran off to. They couldn’t believe that Cecilia had a pool at her house. They begged and begged to go swimming, but of course, we didn’t h ave anything with us. So I promised that when grandpa arrived that he and daddy would take them swimming. They are anxiously awaiting grandpa’s arrival. They also want him to take them on the giant slides at Jeno’s Pizza, which is just around the corner–you’ll see those pics on the next post.
Your expenses are unbelievable. I am glad you found a “home” that isn’t quite as spendy but must of all that fits your needs as as family.
Ezzy is beautiful. They all are.
Is Colombia really that expensive, or is it because you are “rich Americans?” You have four beautiful children. If I remember correctly from what Jaime said, their grandpa should be arriving any day now. These kids have so many experiences ahead of them that are completely new. It must be overwhelming for everyone! We continue to pray for you all.
What a pain!!! I am gald that you are settled a little better! Now you just need to keep the ketsup comming!
It was so great to talk to you guys! Carter was sure bummed about not talking to the kids! 🙂
I’m glad you guys are settled and happy.. You need a place that can accomidate you well especially being there so long! It was so great to see you on the skype and we are sad Brooklynn wasn’t there but we’ll have to try and do it again when she is hear I know she would love to see them! That picture is simply adorable and yes she has beautiful eyes for sure!!!
I so admire your dedication to sharing your journey, especially with those who may travel the same path to Colombia in the future. I love you all!
Her eyes are gorgeous! It is amazing how you can look into their eyes and you find the strength to do what is at hand. How could you not looking at those chocolate eyes! I am so sorry that everything has been an up hill battle and so expensive. A little late now, but we all should have started an adoption fund for you guys! This is getting beyond Crazy!!! Hang in there, soon you will all be home. Miss you guys!!!
I’m so glad you’ve decided to share all your experiences with those of us who can’t be there every step of the way. The kids are precious – sounds like you’ve got your hands full (and loving every moment, I’m sure).