Saturday, August 2, 2008


It is Saturday night and I am sitting here enjoying the fact that we didn't travel this weekend. This is the first time in three weeks that we have been home on the week end. I will give you a description of the Duitama trip later but first some of the excitement of the night.
Darwin and I decided to go out to dinner to night, expecting that when we stepped out the door we would be met with the usual hussel and bussel. Our block is full of people until about 8:30 or 9:00 every night. Then it slows a little but there are still lots of people about. Tonight we left our appartment about 5:30 and it was dead outside. There was hardly anybody on the street. Earlier today we walked to a huge mall (see the mall pictures below) and there were plenty of people but tonight it was really quite. Since we haven't been here for very many saturday nights we will have to find out what it is with no activity on Saturday. We walked about 4 blocks to the World Trade Center which has about 30 resturants on the ground floor and a great park out back. We only found 1 resurant open. At least it was a good one. "Crepes and Waffles" It is a chain here and is a great place to eat. It wasn't crowded when we got there but the place livened up after a short time. A couple of family groups came in and several couples and the place was doing fine. They brought out a birthday cake for one of the children at the tables behind us and we were supprised to hear "Happy Birthday" sung in English (with a spanish accent). Shortly after the cake, while we were finishing off our desert, the place erupted with people screaming and I looked up and saw what I thought was a bird that had flown in the open doors and was flying around in the resturant. It turned out to be a bat and it decided that under the table where Darwin and I were sitting was where it wanted to land. I removed myself rather hastyly from the table but Darwin sat there quietly watching it on the floor and not really sure what to do. He decided to get up and get out of the way since we were done by that time and we moved over a little ways to wait for the bill while one of the waitresses went over to our table to check out the thing. About then it flew again and hit the woman sitting with the birthday party in the back. She jumped up and by then the whole resturant was trying to get out of the way. I moved outside because one of the things they told us in the MTC was "protect yourself from Bats". In many foriegn countries the percentage of bats that have rabies is quite high. I didn't feel like a trip to the hospital. I watched from outside as the kitchen staff and waitresses got out a large sheet of plactic and managed to down the creature. I did get a close enough look when it went under our table. It was black and red and about the size of my hand laying on the floor. In the air it looked like about the size of a sparrow. Like I said, never a dull moment, even on a quite night in this city.

The next three pictures are the outskirts of Bogota and the country side just outside the city. The two below that are the view from one of the windows in the building we have our office in. A little difference in terms of population density.

Fields and landscapes on our way to Duitama. This was a beautiful drive. It reminded me of Montana. Remember Bogota is at 8,800 ft and we went up. -it is usually about a 3 hour drive, it took us 6. There was lots of construction and we stopped to visit the battlefield of the battle that won Colombia it's independence from Spain. Miguel was so excited to show us. It was an emotional experience for him. You can tell that he loves his country and it's history and he is proud to be a Colobiano.

The Battle Field. This is a place that is talked about in 5 countries, Colombia, Venesuala, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. This region was once called greater Colombia but all 5 countries were given their independence when Simon Bolivar and his commanders won on this battle field. In one of the pictures Miguel is charging over the bridge. The river was much larger during the original battle as was the bridge and it was wooden then. But he did the charge non the less.

Below are some pictures of Duitama. There is a district here with several Branches and at least 2 chapels. This is a little town high in the Andes.

Max and Grayson. They are our mascotts and have gone with us everywhere. Max is a little rambuncious and drools a lot. Grayson is stoic and tries to keep Max under control. They are quite the pair. I think Max got fleas in Mexico so he has had to have a bath.

Sharing a treat after church

Hot water heating system. It does not work well in this area even though it workds quite well in other areas because it is not sunny much of the time. Most of the time it is overcast and they can not get enough hot water to fill the font.

Lunch on the way home.


benandkiki said...

I'm so sorry about your fleas. That has to be miserable. Ben said in the MTC they gave him some stuff to spray on their beds if they got fleas. He said it worked great, maybe you can find something like that to help. Ben says he feels for you though, he had fleas all the time in Chile. Kate and I are so excited that he is coming home in 5 days. Poor Kate has been walking around today after she talked to him on the phone saying "daddy, daddy". She keeps going to the door and knocking on it waiting for him to come home. Poor thing. I had the same idea about Ben tackling those bushes myself. love ya both.

The Uvalde Kid said...

The Colombia & Venezuela Mission reunion will be on April 2, 2010 in Lehi, Utah. For more information contact Bill Stewart e-mail