Nearly a year ago, my wife and I made a BIG decision. One of those irrevocable, life-changing types of decisions. The last decision we made like this was to have children. This time we have children who are affected, too, which makes it all the more difficult. And only now is that decision, and all the planning that went with it, coming to fruition.
We were overwhelmed, stressed, out-of-kilter, frustrated… you name it. This, despite living in a fantastic community with wonderful friends, schools, services. Ideal, really. But we wanted to reboot and see if we couldn’t make another try at career, parenting, family, the whole lot.
So we uprooted our family and hopped several thousand miles south, to a new home in a place that was familiar to us, but was and is very foreign, too. We moved to Colombia. Cali, Colombia. More about Cali on other occasions. Suffice it to say, for now, that this is definitely not California, but we have family and other connections here that will help to make the transition easier.
We’ve been here now four weeks, just long enough to be outside the range of most normal vacations. Which means we’re really here. As if to seal this, all of our possessions finally arrived last week. After a seven-week journey from northern California.
We were “camping” in our house with only the bare essentials for a good three weeks. Beds, some dishes, a few plastic chairs. Kindles (finally got internet last week). A few toys and games. The dog. And really, it was enough. We didn’t really miss our things (which makes us wonder why we spent so much money shipping them down!). One of the reasons for our move was to reset our priorities, detach from things unnecessary, and to purge. In the end, we didn’t purge that much. Why did we bring our space heaters to the tropics? The coldest it ever gets here is in the high 60s. So not everything fit in the new house, which is about the same size as the old one, but not laid out the same. They never are. No, we didn’t purge as much as we could have, but now we definitely appreciate having our things, in great part because they infuse this new house with an essence of home. Of the familiar.
We wanted to disrupt our lives, make some big changes, yes, but we didn’t feel the need to throw the babe out with the bathwater, and thankfully, we’re able to keep many of the best parts of our former lifestyle. There’s still plenty that’s different, and this we’ll share. Through this blog, pictures, and stories. The quirks of life in Colombia from a grownup’s and a kid’s perspective as Sofia (8), Lukas (3), and their parents adapt (or re-adapt).
For now I’ll just say that they, we, are doing fine. Sofia pines for friends and “normal” tasting milk (it tastes funky here—to us, anyway). Lukas is happy to play with his sister and likes the milk just fine, but don’t try to feed him any of the funny tropical fruits that have here. Or any other culinary oddities that aren’t rice or spaghetti. And he still refuses to speak a word of Spanish, even though he understands every word. I miss real bread with some weight to it and normal tasting milk and/or half-and-half. I can’t believe this coffee drinking country doesn’t have half-and-half. Otherwise I’m excited to have opportunity to write a lot.
So here we go.