If you're curious about how Colombian folk music sounds like, take a pick at this video. It's a beautiful song about going back home after many years: "El Regreso" - "The Return". Can't tell you how emotional I got when I listened to it back in Cali!
Ok, now let's get to the meat! =P
6. You really don’t need that 50pd packing allowance for your child!
I think I actually failed this test. I confess, I over packed for Garrick. And definitely, it was not necessary. Once over there, we discovered that just a 3 or 4 outfits were the handiest for most of the activities we planned, and those were the ones we kept on using. I admit it made a big difference to have access to laundry since we were staying with family. However, I think that I didn’t need that 3 week worth of outfits I took with me. Nor many toys, children can be entertained with just about anything. Interesting, how most of the time they rather play with the non-toy item or even a person, than a toy. So really, really, travel light!
|The oldest church of the city located at the area where the city was founded.|
|Mommy I'm comfy with this outfit, can I wear this tomorrow? I always look prettier than my background anyway! =P|
7. Pack light so that you can pack bunches of diapers!
I actually learned that diapers are a lot cheaper in the U.S. We actually brought a lot, but not enough. So we ended up having to buy diapers twice, for at least three times the price we pay for them here. Arggh! Lesson learned!
|That's right! Lite and easy is always better!|
|Thanks daddy, this Yummy "Salpicon" is just what I needed to fill my pamper up! =)|
3. Bumps and scratches are just part of the deal, not the end of the world
Maybe most of the veteran mommies out there already got over this one. But I actually had to cross this river while being there. Garrick’s first bloody boo-boo..arghhh, and it just happened while he was right next to me. You know how blood makes everything a lot more dramatic than what it really is. So this happened to be just a little cut on his lip, which he forgot right after enjoying a popsicle. It was funny to see him getting ready to go back and play in the very steps that he tripped on. All he wanted was to toddle as a good toddler and keep up with the rest of the children. So the lesson here is to expect small accidents and to not panic when little ones do their job: Play, run, stumble and fall. Oh, and they will! It was funny how right after the incident the seasoned mommies in the family surrounded me and calmed my heart by sharing their children’s first accident story. The good news is that I also learned that mouth wounds heal pretty quickly too! =)
|this is at my great school. I used to go down on thsi very slides as a child..here doing it with Garrick, 30sms years later!|
|Cousins goofing around..they could make a toy out of almost anything! =)|
4. Foreign germs may speak a different language but aren’t really any more harmful
I have to admit. I’m a recovering “germafobic”. So I actually had to work on this one a few months before leaving. Not only to apply it while traveling, but at home. Interesting to see how both dads over there and here celebrate their children’s first time eating a little bit of dirt! I know, Yikes! But it’s true. Men tend to be more relaxed regarding germs and dirt. But the fact of the matter is that unless you’re in a third world country where potable water and basic hygiene is not available, you shouldn’t be over concerned about this. As I said, babies grow overseas into healthy adults as well. And Infant mortality rate is not higher than that of the U.S in many other countries. Actually there is a current controversy regarding vaccinations in the U.S, and many of the comparative data comes from other countries where there are not compulsory vaccinations laws. However, most countries, and most people from developing countries follow regular vaccination schedules. If that gives you any relief. I learned to be a little more relaxed in that area and saved myself a lot of stress. I have to admit that I was especially careful while in the airports.
|Mom can you please take me to the laundry please. I am all "germed up"! :p|
|Exploring the local arts & crafts at a very traditional area in the city called "Loma de la Cruz"|
|Bet you can't see this type of lanscaping anywhere else! =)|
|♫ We are family! ♪♫|
|With my dad and sister in the little family country house..|
|Isn't the view gorgeous?|
5. Relax and Enjoy, you’re enriching your child’s life by exposing him to the world
I can’t tell enough of the enriching experience this trip was for our family. I can’t wait to start putting the pictures together on a special album and reminisce with Garrick. We live on a world with greater possibilities, but also that feels smaller by the power of the internet. Children now more than ever before grow to be aware of a globalized world. So giving them early exposure to different cultures and languages actually helps to spark their curiosity and desire to learn different things. I was completely delighted to hear Garrick repeating words in Spanish after his Spanish speaking cousins. It was truly music to my ears. He doesn’t get the same exposure here, though I am working on it. But I do encourage you if possible to look into bringing cultural diversity into your child’s world. And if your means allow for an overseas trip, go for it! I hope that some of these tips are helpful to you.
|Dancing to the beat of "Salsa" with my brother!|
|Our minute of fame! =)|
|Exploring a little timeless town out in the country..|
|Dave playing "Futbol" for first time..=)|
|Garrick speaking the language of the "Guacamayas"|
|At a museum of Colombian History..|
In closing, let me just share that it was very special to hug and to love face to face all those who my heart had just kept in its memory for so many years. I will never forget going down thru memory lane with my husband and son, both visiting for first time. I think that getting a firsthand view and taste of my roots & heritage united us more as a bicultural family. I know we will always treasure our first trip to Colombia together. Hope I get to hear about your traveling experiences too! Feel free to share any tips that you have picked up along the way!