the final days in Pereira were tough.  Pretty busy.  Traveling around and saying all the goodbyes.  Always tough.  Wanting to spend some quality time going out for dinner and visiting BUT still needing to do r last minute stuff and packs as well.  I don’t know what the deal is but our bags weigh a ton!  We haven’t really bought anything extra so I’m not sure what we are going to do.  We have some serious decisions to make about what comes home with us and what stays here.

Santiago started getting a cold on Thursday…which continued to get worse over the weekend.  His cough got a bit concerning on Saturday.  It became almost like a whooping cough followed by a gag.  So of course the cold medicine was started again.  We had an immigration appointment with a doctor already set up for Monday morning which on Sunday we were very happy we had.  Not fun watching him gag like that.  But I’m getting ahead of myself…Saturday (Nov 7) was our flight from pereira…Santiago’s first flight.  What would that bring?!  Uneventful!  He actually had fun in the beginning.  But then, he had a coughing fit and that led to gagging which had everyone on the flight looking at us. In the end, he fell asleep….see picture.  Poor little man.

Passed out...poor little man

Passed out…poor little man

Arrived to a rainy Bogota and were picked up by Claudia’s uncle/aunt Carlos and Marleny.  Took us to our hotel after a brief visit.  Hotel Plenitud.  Very nice hotel on the north side of Bogota.  We called it an early night since lil man was sick.  We decided to eat at the hotel restaurant.  Big mistake.  It was a very nice restaurant and we probably should have known better.  There was a dude in the middle of the place wearing a tux playing the piano!  They were offering a buffet that night.  But we really didn’t want to go out and find something else so we stayed.  Santiago was already very tired…and sick.  I want to get a plate for me and little fella.   I did manage to get some food in him but then the coughing/ gagging started.  Of course, people started staring.  Fortunately with the music, it did conceal us a bit.  But it was time for lil man to go to bed so I left with Santi.  Claudia and Nana stayed and finished their meals.  On the way out I told the waiter that Santi was since and we needed to leave and that my wife would get the bill.  And did she ever!  I know I was there and had a plate of food that I shared with my son…but I guess I would have liked to see a bit of compassion and not been charged for the full buffet for myself since I didn’t have much more than a portion of baked potato.  But no, I did pay nearly $50 for that potato!  Ouch!  I haven’t seen a bill that high for a meal before in Colombia.  That is the most we have spent here on a meal just for ourselves.  Our mistake, we should have gone out or called for delivery.  Picture:  Lil man at nice restaurant before melt down.

Pre-melt down

Pre-melt down

monday (Nov 9)

doctors appointment.  The purpose of this appointment was part of the embassy requirements.  honestly, there ant supposed to be much of an exam.  With Mariana, the doctor only asked us questions and reviewed the medical reports from other appointments.  But we took full advantage of his “Doctor-ness” and he did an real exam.  Prescribed some meds to fight our son’s upper respiratory infection that is going on.  A successful venture then if you ask me.  But, Claudia and I decided to divide and conquer after that.  One of us needed to go to the adoption agency, ICBF, to sign some papers.  I took sickie-poo and princess home.  At appointment waiting in the lobby.  Doesn’t really act sick does he?  Blurry pictures do not indicate bad photographer…only very hyper child movement.

He doesn't act sick

He doesn’t act sick

Note to adopting families:  if ICBF offers a driver for you to bring you to appointments, you might want to consider the real need for it.  A taxi ride to out appointment would have cost about 5000 pesos.  Then the follow on taxi ride probably about 10000 pesos then the ride home to the hotel, another 10000 pesos totaling 25000 appointments took about 4 hours total.  We were charged 25000 pesos/ hour for the driver who sat with us in the waiting areas surfing his smart phone.  Do the math, 100000 pesos for mostly waiting around for us to go to our next stop.  DONT DO IT.  I’m sure you can get addresses to show to taxi drivers.

Tuesday (Nov 10) – embassy appointment day

9:00 appointment today.  This part of the process has really improved since the last time.  Everything went very smoothly.  I think last time we had to wait in the embassy for around 4 hours?  some people wer less than thrilled about getting the visa…

Less than thrilled about visa

Less than thrilled about visa

This time I don’t think we were there for even an hour.  Granted, they took Santi’s passport and we had to come back at 2:00 but that certainly beats waiting around inside the embassy.  I went back at 2:00 and got the visa…

Done!  Ready to travel!

Done! Ready to travel!

while waiting for the visa, decided to stop by and see Flor.  She runs a little bed and breakfast close to the embassy.  Usually we stay with her when we come through town though this time it did not work out.  Sweetheart of a lady and a family friend.

A visit with our friend flor

A visit with our friend flor

Now, the fun begins again with the packing. Almost ready to travel!  We’ll be home soon.