Sunday, November 30, 2008

My first official post

I realize how exciting a fresh blog post must least it is to me. So here I am, posting for the first time.

My day started at 4:44 AM when Sarah leaned over and asked if I could take Claire. Claire is still not sleeping through the night, but only seems to sleep two hours after the first nightly feeding. I put her on my chest and she squirmed but eventually we both fell back asleep. This worked until 5:46 (the clock is on my side of the bed) when my back got sore. So I put her between us and we all slept soundly until almost 8:00.

Sarah got herself some breakfast, I entertained Claire, and at 9:40 Claire & I were out the door for a stroller ride. Sunday morning in Cali is the most pedestrian and bike friendly time of the week. We found a new route up a slightly less steep hill to school, then came home another way. Claire fell asleep after 20 minutes, but was awake for the final 20. The temperature by this time was up into the 70s.

I've had two cups of coffee only this morning.

Thursday we traveled to Salento, a town about 5 hours away. About 5 hours is relative depending on the bus company, driver, and amount of passing that happens on blind curves or hills. Claire was perfect the whole way there and back.

We stayed at Hosteria Las Nubes (Hotel in the Clouds) again. Three trips to Salento, and we stay at the same place each time. I guess the reason for this is because it's run by a retired couple who fixed the place up a few years back. It's very colorful, and it doesn't attract the kind of clientele that the hostal might. We can go to bed early and sleep in late. Both the retired couple and their frisky dog adored Claire.

Salento is already at 6000 feet (Cali is 3300), so it gets cooler once the sun goes down. We brought layers for Claire. She slept some of the time in her stroller and some of the time in between Sarah & I. Our bed had half a dozen blankets on it, which made turning over difficult. It's almost (almost) shameful that 55 degrees seems chilly to me. Yet in my defense I have been experiencing summer weather since May 2007.

Friday I met up with Scott Carpenter and his girlfriend, Catie (Katy with a C). Scott's new to Bolivar this year, having worked in Guatemala for two years previously. Catie, still working in Guatemala, came to visit and will likely be at Bolivar next year. The three of us went horseback riding in the cloud forests nearby. We saw some magnificent scenery, rode up to 9600 feet, and saw several recent mudslides. We also crossed a river about eight times, except the third time Catie's horse slipped and she fell off into the water. I can't imagine that falling into cold mountain runoff can be pleasant, but Catie got back on and rode wet and cold the rest of the distance. She was extremely fortunate not to get hurt.

The mudslides, from heavy rains in mid-November, closed off some of the roads and trails. In the picture below, a eucalyptus tree fell across the road. Our driver told us it took a full day of guys cutting with chain saws to remove.

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