Bogota vs. Williston

Sam had to go to Bogota, Colombia for a training for his progression in the Keystone Nomad program. When he initially registered for this training, it was located in Rio de Janeiro. I planned to take Declan and go with him and we were very excited about it. But then a lot of people from Colombia signed up for the training so SLB decided it would be more cost effective to move the training instead of flying everyone to Brazil. It was disappointing because Bogota isn't really a safe destination for me and my baby (Rio probably isn't much better). So I stayed home and tried to make the best of the week in Williston, even though I was still coming off of the high from the World Series the week before. I requested that Sam take a ton of pictures on his trip and he took about 20.

While waiting in the terminal in Houston during his layover, he noticed he was the only white person in the own terminal. Colombia isn't really a vacation destination. The flight was six hours and he was super excited because he was fed dinner on the flight.

On Saturday in Bogota...
When they landed, he had to go through the port of entry then customs. After customs, he was stopped by a police officer asking him, in very broken English, if he had any money. He said that he have some but not much. Then Sam got patted down. He was afraid that he was already seeing corrupt cops in the airport but that wasn't the case. It is a security measure and they advise people to not carry around too much cash. After that, Sam went to find his driver. He was hoping to see someone holding a sign with his name on it but there was another SLB employee on the flight so the sign just said, "SLB." Bummer.

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It was already dark so there so he wasn't able to see a lot of the city on the drive to the hotel.

Meanwhile in Williston...
Despite being in the same time zone and Sam being long asleep, I stayed up until 2am watching HGTV and feeling lonely.

On Sunday in Bogota...
Sam wasn't able to go to church. It was all the way across the city and he wasn't allowed to take a cab. There were a few precautions he was told to observe: he was not allowed to walk around alone, if you walk outside of the hotel make sure you don't have your cell phone out, avoid wearing any jewelry, don't look like a tourist, don't talk to people you don't know, don't accept anything from people on the streets, don't go out after dark. Feeling safe yet?

After breakfast he went up to the roof to look around and got locked out on the roof. He knocked on the window and motioned someone from the pool to let him back in.

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Meanwhile in Williston...
I managed to make it through church with the boys because a nice girl held Declan throughout sacrament meeting. I went to dinner at Maggie's house because she is awesome and knows what it's like to not have a husband around for long periods of time since hers used to live in China. I went to bed a little earlier that night, 1am. I wasn't able to talk to Sam that day.

On Monday in Bogota...
Sam's training started on Monday. They did introductions and then the training got underway. The class consisted of two native English speakers while everyone else spoke Spanish or Portuguese but the class was taught in English.

After class was over, they went on a driving tour of the city. There is a large division of classes in Bogota; you are either really rich and live in the north part of town or really poor and live in the south. The north part of the city reminded him of Hong Kong, lots of hills and high rise apartment buildings. When they got to the southern part of town, the driver wouldn't go to one neighborhood even though he is a native Colombian. While driving around, they saw a party bus. You can rent the bus for a special occasion and drive around town. It's like bar hopping except you never have to be without alcohol.

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Meanwhile in Williston...
I went on a walk with Carissa, babysat Maggie's kids, cleaning out our toy box, and wore out three little boys.

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On Tuesday in Bogota...
The training went the usual 8am-6pm. Once it was done, he had a group presentation to prepare for so his group was working together until 9pm. He ate dinner at the hotel then went to bed.

Meanwhile in Williston...
I went to the park for playgroup and was the only one who showed up, then I had a Relief Society presidency meeting and met Nikki's new doggy.

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I was feeling a little lonely so I took the boys bowling so we could be around people. We were the only ones in the whole place.

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Edison picking up diseases.

I didn't get to talk to Sam again that day, although we did text. I fell asleep at 2:30am.

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On Wednesday in Bogota...
After the training, the group was scheduled to go out to dinner together. But there was a riot going on so dinner was canceled. Sam, Aaron, and Hernan (a native) decided to go to a soccer game instead. When the instructor heard that they were going, she plugged her ears. It was off the books.

They bought their tickets from a scalper and then went into the game. For dinner at the game they had lechona which is a popular Colombian dish. Eating lechona at a soccer game in Colombia is like eating a hot dog at a baseball game in the United States.

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At the game there was a fan section that travels to all the games with the team. There is a leader to takes popular Colombian pop songs and changes the words to apply to the team or to taunt the other team. They have meetings before the games so everyone knows the words and then they sing for the entire game with very few repeats.

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Meanwhile in Williston...
I went to the library with Alyssa. Then I went to Walmart to return something. While standing in line, a lady dropped some change and Edison helped her pick it up so she let him keep a quarter. It was finally our turn and while I was talking to the employee, Edison fed the quarter to Declan. I was freaking out as I pulled him out of the stroller and tipped him over to get the quarter out. I am very grateful the lady didn't drop a dime or penny that would have been small enough to go down Declan's throat and then get lodged. I was scared and crying and looking like a total nut job. At least I was surrounded by my people, as the local nut jobs all congregate at Walmart. Later, I took Alex to his preschool open house to meet his teacher. That night, we got to talk to Sam while we ate dinner and he drove to the soccer game.

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On Thursday in Bogota...
After the training, they had their big group dinner at a fancy restaurant. Then a few of them went to Andres. It is a famous Colombian restaurant. It has four levels of bar but on each level there is a dance floor. On the walls there were random paintings of monsters and a large statue of Christ. There were actors walking around and guys with puppets on their hands. The club only offered two non-alcoholic drinks so Sam tried one of them. The natives tried to get Sam and the other American (Aaron) to go dancing. Aaron finally gave in but Sam didn't. He is still traumatized from my laughing fit after watching him dance at the SLB Christmas party.

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Sam and Elina

Meanwhile in Williston...
We went visiting teaching. Then we played at the splash pad with Nikki and Collin.

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That night we went to the Guns 'n' Hoses softball game. I had been missing baseball so it was great to be back at good ol' Aafedt stadium.

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The firemen were hilarious. When their first batter got on base, they ran out with chairs to let him sit down and take a break. They sprayed lots of runners with the fire hose and attacked the police officers with water balloons.

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The Guns ended up winning 4-1. After the game, all of the kids got to run the bases. Edison spent his time chasing Rosalie. I need to keep my eyes on those two.

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Sam texted me at 1am to say he was "home." Ugh. I didn't get to talk to Sam again that day and I went to sleep at 1am that night.

On Friday in Bogota...
Sam attended his final day of training and then went to the airport. His flight left at midnight but he got there several hours early. While waiting at the gate for his flight, he wondered why they weren't boarding yet and then discovered they had switched gates. He ran across the entire airport and walked up to the correct gate to hear them call his name to board. I would have been furious if he had missed his flight!

Meanwhile in Williston...
We did some more visiting teaching and got to play with a little turtle. Then we played at the park.
I took the boys to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. It was more for me than for them. Cooking for just myself is not very fun. I learned that Carissa is going to have a boy so I took her dessert at the hospital where she works and we got to see the babe in his ultrasound pictures.
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All week long, I had been fighting fruit flies in our kitchen. It was disgusting and they had appeared right when Sam left town and would not go away. I made traps and was able to eradicate our kitchen of fruit flies. Until I got more fruit and then some came back but not nearly the infestation we had before.

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On Saturday in midair...
Sam continued his red eye flight home. He landed at 1:30pm.

Meanwhile in Williston...
I wasn't in Williston. I took the boys to Alexander for the 65th Annual Old Settlers' Day parade. Alexander is 30 minutes away and is a really small city. The parade circled around twice and the boys got a boatload of candy. Alex has figured out that waving gets him candy at parades. Edison just stands around staring at his hands full of candy and tries to figure out how he can get even more without setting down what he's already holding. The parade was getting held up because old people kept approaching the "floats" to talk to the people they knew on them. It was so small-town and fun!

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We went to pick up our Bountiful Basket and Sam came to surprise the boys there.

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Alex was so excited that Sam had come home since he had been asking me since Tuesday, "When is Daddy coming home from Pocatello?" It's pretty cool that Pocatello stamps passports these days.

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Janelle said...

You are an amazing storyteller. Just sayin'.

Sarah said...

I am so impressed he took 20 pictures! I told Mike to take aton of pictures when he went to NYC and he took 3! One was of a greasy slice of pizza too :( hence why no one knows about Mike going to NYC

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