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Archive for October, 2007

Warning about Bumbo

Since the debut of Jackson’s picture in his bumbo chair many of you have shared your concern with the recent warnings that have been released about bumbo’s. We promise to be cautious and to be aware of the warnings. It appears that the primary concern is children falling and hitting their head when placed in the bumbo on an elevated surface. We will say that many of you might not be aware that there are also warnings that are yet to be released that warn against wearing a bumbo on your head. The consequences are not yet known but follow up research is being conducted. ūüôā

Here is the link to the news story …and below is a picture from the private research we have conducted in recent months on an unsuspecting individual.

Do not try this at home!

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3 months old

Jackson has recovered from his first Bogota cold and is loving life. He rolled over a couple of weeks ago and that continues to be one of his main focuses in life. He is also starting to try to imitate faces and gets very excited when daddy comes home from work. Jackson had his well-checks this week at both the Embassy health unit and the local pediatrician. He is strong and healthy and both doctors commented on what a happy baby he is.¬† One doctor commented in response to Jackson being so long that “someone’s gotta be on that part of the graph”. Jackson was scoring at 4 months or so on the Denver Developmental Scales which made his mommy proud.¬† All that “indirect” speech and developmental therapy is paying off!

This week we tried his new Bumbo chair.¬† I have included the picture since it is one of our favorites! He isn’t quite coordinated enough to really use the bumbo but we enjoyed trying it.
First time in his Bumbo chair…looks like he is riding a bucking bronco…it was just that fun!

You can also see from his shirt that we entered the drooling phase!! Everyday it seems something new comes along. Thank goodness T. Berry Brazelton warns us as it’s coming.

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Most people in Bogota don’t have a car, so taxis are prevalent. And thankfully quite cheap. Because we don’t have our car yet and probably won’t for several more weeks.

While taxis are everywhere, that doesn’t necessarily mean we can take them. It’s our embassy’s policy that no employee or family member can hail a cab from the street. The reason for that is because it’s common for taxi driver’s to take Americans to all the ATMs in town and have them take out as much money as possible and then leave them on the curb with only a few bucks to get home. So what that means for us is anytime we want to go somewhere, we have to call a cab company. They find us a cab and give us the cab’s license plate number and a “code.” When the cab arrives, you tell the driver your code who radio’s his boss and the boss confirms it. That way if something happens to you, they know the driver who is responsible.

All of that sounds fine and good, but not only do you have to call when you leave your house, but you have to call when you want to come home. And the cabs don’t like passengers calling from cell phones because they know you could take another cab at a moment’s notice. So you have to ask your waiter, or store manager, or anyone else to call you a cab.

The most difficult part is when it rains. And it has rained here every day since we arrived. When it rains, the cabs have plenty of business and aren’t going to drive across town, skipping plenty of paying customers to pick you up.

Which leads me into a story from Friday night. We called a cab, which came promptly, even though it was raining. Went to dinner. Once dinner was over, we asked our waiter to call us a cab. 15 minutes later, no cab. So we asked them to call again. No cab. We talked to one of the valet parking guys, who “knew” people. We were promised a cab would come in 10 minutes. No cab. All the while, empty cabs are driving right past us and it’s raining. In the end, we waited for over an hour.

Speaking of modes of transportation, we saw the following outside our apartment on Saturday. Parking a horse on the street is very dangerous and quite a site to see. No wonder there are near accidents outside our apartment every single day. It was obvious they weren’t in the short-term parking because the owner left his steed plenty of grass.

By Seth

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A Day in the Life…

I guess when you live in a 3rd-world country, every day is exciting when compared to the US.  Bogota is a great city and very cosmopolitan.  If you read the NY Times article in the previous post, you know that Bogota has great restaurants, world-class art, etc.  But in so many ways, you can tell that Bogota is different.

Today was an eventful day for the Kolb family.¬† Let me set the scene by saying we live by a relatively busy road where cars are always speeding, passing each other, and blocking oncoming traffic because they were trying to pass but couldn’t.¬† Kristen says during the day that cars are always honking, sirens are going off, etc.¬† And we have picture windows in every room, so we have a bird’s-eye view of several blocks.¬† I got up this morning and was out in the kitchen getting breakfast when I heard a screach, yelp, and thump.¬† I hadn’t really ever heard any of those sounds in combination, so I looked out the window and saw a taxi in the middle of the road and a man crumpled on the ground.¬† Apparently, the taxi hit a pedestrian trying to cross the street.¬† So I ran and woke Kristen up and by the time we g0t back, we saw several people around the man who eventually got up and sat on the curb.¬† Several minutes later the cops showed up and several minutes after that, an ambulance arrived.¬† They didn’t put him on a stretcher or anything, they just took him to the ambulance.¬† It was quite surreal and terrifying.¬† Mainly because we walk next to that street almost every day.¬† And it’s obvious that pedestrians are risk takers as are the drivers.¬† We are definitely cautious when we’re walking and crossing streets, but this gave us a horrible reminder to always look both ways, at least twice.

Today we also got our air shipment (which was supposed to have come earlier this week…half of it arrived on Tues. and for a while we thought that Jackson’s 2 boxes had been “lost” in customs), which had a lot of our immediate necessities (that we couldn’t fit in our 12 pieces of luggage). ¬† The only two things that were broken were two pampered chef stoneware baking pans that Kristen uses almost everyday. We aren’t quite sure how very fragile things made it just fine and two very sturdy pans were broken into a zillion pieces.

We also now have cell phones, internet, and today we got DirecTV (which was supposed to have been installed yesterday) with some American programming.¬† We honestly haven’t seen any TV since we watched the season premiere of The Office on September 27th.¬†¬†¬† 3 full weeks without TV! We are holding our breath for Vonage which should be up and running sometime next week.

Really all we’re still waiting on is about 5,000 lbs of our other stuff, which we haven’t seen since Christmas of last year.¬† Oh, and our pillows finally came in the mail!¬† We forgot to put them in our air shipment, so our necks have been paying the price because of the flat pillows.

So, that’s a day in our life!

-Seth

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Article about Bogota

Seth’s sister and my sister-in-law, Claire, sent us this article about Bogota. (Thanks Claire!) Maybe it will make all of you want to come visit since things are so much better now! We live right near Zona G which is mentioned in the article.

Here is the link to the New York Times Article…

http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/02/12/travel/12bogota.html?emc=eta1

If the link doesn’t work the title of the article is “Bogota Is Not Just for the Brave Anymore” from Feb 12, 2006

Hasta Luego

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As God would have it…

After a lonely and challenging week and a half in Bogota we were anxious to find a church to attend this past Sunday. Jackson was sick but we had to get out of the apt so we decided to attempt at least part of a service. There is a English-speaking, non-denominational church 4 blocks from our apt that we had heard about and decided it would be the best option for that day (united church of bogota). Seth has a co-worker that attends there so we at least would recognize one face in the crowd. Seth’s co-worker, Adam, met us at the door and began introducing us to other people. One of the first people we met was a lady named Pam. She happened to be from Texas which gave her points with us.¬† As we talked to her more we learned that she and her husband are actually missionaries with MTW (Mission to the World, a mission agency of the Presbyterian Church in America) and that our church in Dallas, Park Cities Presbyterian is one of their biggest supporters. The church was having a vote that day to confirm her husband Rick as the pastor. We were blown away at the connections. When we got home from church we were jogging our memory because their name sounded so familiar to us. Seth checked his email box and low and behold over 3 months ago we received an email from someone at MTW that knew we were moving to Bogota. She told us about a couple who had lived in Bogota for years and would be returning for ministry around the time when we would be coming to Bogota.¬† It was them. How can it be that in this massive city that four blocks from our home we found like-minded people, English speaking, familiar with our church back home and from Texas???? We are pretty excited. We have no idea if this is exactly where we will end up during our time in Bogota but we are confident that God was using this to give us a much needed reminder that He knows us and that He knows exactly what we need, when we need it. I’m sure this won’t be the last reminder we need.¬† You can be praying for us as we work to plug in to the community of Christians and find out how we can serve.

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Jackson is 12 weeks old today! He has had such an eventful 12 weeks. Seth and I were talking last night about how not many babies can say at 12 weeks that they have flown on 2 planes, moved to a new continent, spent time in the ER is a strange country, and rolled over!!!

Jackson started getting a little cold a day or so after we arrived in Bogota. We had heard this might be common with the altitude changes. As the week went on Jackson was feeling worse and worse and eating less. By Sat night we took him to the ER because we were concerned that he might have pneumonia. Turns out that this is a “normal” Bogota cold with horrible congestion, diahrea and lethary. As of last night I was attempting to sleep upright with him because he was choking so much. He is getting stronger and starting to interact again like his old self.
We have all heard the phrase in this title before. The phrase “under the weather” has all new meaning here. The locals believe that if children are exposed to the elements they will get sick. Our portero, or security guard and doorman, gives me a lecture every time I take Jackson outside. He recommends that I buy Jackson a ski mask to wear to protect him…not only from the weather but from the pollution. Last week I took Jackson out for a 15 minute walk in the park. It was about 67 degrees outside and I had Jackson in long sleeves, a sweater, a little hat and the portero was insistent that it was far too cold to have a baby outside. He told me that Jackson was going to get sick from our walk. So, you can imagine Sat night when we went downstairs to have them call us a cab for the hospital he was just convinced that it was my fault that Jackson was sick. He peppered me with questions about how I was caring for Jackson including asking me if I was breastfeeding. Now when is it appropriate for the doorman to be giving breastfeeding and health advice? Where I come from that is totally inappropriate. We haven’t learned the phrase for “it’s none of your business” yet. It is high on the priority list for phrases to learn in Spanish! On one hand it is very kind that people take such time to be concerned about the welfare of our child but on the other it is at our expense. Yesterday morning there was a lady in the lobby when we left for church. She told me that Jackson needed a big winter coat…long sleeves, a thick jacket and a blanket bundled around him in his cozy baby carrier just would not do. It is going to be hard to break these folks of old wives tales. For those of you who also might believe that you can catch a cold by being cold…you might want to google old wives tales.

On to the big news with Jackson! On Friday night he rolled over from his back to his tummy for the first time! He has been close but has never quite gotten over until then. He was feeling pretty sick most of that day but had 20 minutes or so where he was playful and interactive. Seth and I were so excited that we started clapping and hollering excitedly, so much so that we scared Jackson. He was so confused about what had happened.

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