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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson



So far Bogota has been appointments and long lines. Too much waiting for teenaged boys. Our new friend, Annette, drives us all over this city of 7 million people. She is translator, organizer, and expert in all things.

It’s beautiful here. Bogota is nestled in the mountains, which makes it cool and green. This morning our appointment took us toward the mountains, and I soaked in the view. Tropical trees, green grass, and lush hills are a remarkable contrast to the snowy photo my mom posted on Facebook this morning.

This city is both old and new. Street vendors set up business on sidewalks outside the prestigious shopping mall across the street. Pristine buildings with manicured lawns reside in close proximity to walls of graffiti.

Our apartment is fascinating. The outdoor layout is brick courtyards and porticos, window boxes filled with flowers, and ivy growing on walls. At first we were intimidated by the vast maze of connecting walkways and identical buildings, but after a day we knew our way. Out the front gate to the mall and food, and down to the parking garage to meet Annette for appointments.

The boys are bored, but content. They’re looking forward to fun days ahead. The weekend is coming, and Monday is a holiday. King’s Day – the end of Christmas. So we’ll have three straight days to do what we like. We hope to connect with a friend of FANA – Jorge Rico, who will be our guide.

This morning the five of us sit together in relative silence. Kyle concentrates on work, Felipe and Jimmy on learning English. “Practice makes perfect” – Jimmy says out loud, and makes us smile. Felipe is learning, too, but is much less inclined to show off.

Luke’s days have been especially quiet, but he doesn’t complain. I think he’s enjoying the downtime before going back to school. The kitchen is stocked with Colombian coffee, so life is good.

Last night we gathered to read the Bible before going to bed. Felipe and Jimmy have Bibles with text in both Spanish and English, Christmas gifts from us to them. I asked Felipe to read Psalm 63:1-8, my favorite, and one I have memorized. They asked if we’ve read the Bible and lot, and we said yes. They seemed glad. Their foster mother loved the Bible, too.

We look forward to days with more conversation, and less charades. But for now, we make do. And it’s okay – one word common to both languages.

Just now, out of the silence, it’s Jimmy again. “You snooze, you lose.” Maybe not the most practical English phrase, but it’s something, and all of us laugh.

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