Posts Tagged ‘arepa’

The Colombian Twin

December 20, 2010

I’ve heard it been said that everyone has a twin some where in the world.  I’m starting to believe it’s true.  We met Rick’s Colombian twin in Cali… he lived across the street from the house we stayed in.  His name is Juan Carlos and even without communicating very well, he and Rick were up to mischief from the get go.  They both love soccer.  They both think they are good at soccer… but Juan Carlos has videos to prove his story. 

We taught Juan Carlos and his kids how to play Ticket to Ride one evening.  Juan Carlos “helped” Larisa by illegally putting her trains on the board when no one noticed.  Later he got the Spanish/English dictionary and thumbed through it for some time before he came out with the accusation against the other players, “They are deceitful.”  See?  Rick in another body!   Larisa was winning for quite a while and he said it was because of his help.  When she ended up losing, he said she didn’t listen to him. 

Both Rick and Juan Carlos love Mexican/Colombian food.  The foods are so similar… the only difference is that the Mexicans use tortillas and the Colombians use arepas.  Juan Carlos hooked us up with some sumptuous food more than once…. SOOOO something Rick would do!  He also invited us to go with he and his wife to the neighborhood fiesta.  He tried to teach Rick to Salsa dance….. later he gave Rick a Salsa dancing video.  I guess his teaching skills require students with promise.

We didn’t just gain a daughter in Colombia.  We gained life-long friends (and cohorts.)

Table for Six, Please!

December 5, 2010

Today we sat down with the kids and planned the remainder of our stay in the Cauca Valley.  There were requests for paintball, the gold museum, an architectural tour, the zoo, handmade crafts shopping and a trip up into the mountains.  We are sort of on an every-other-day schedule, as the cleaning lady/cook comes on Monday-Wednesday-Friday and someone should be here at the villa.  The smaller trips of interest to only a few of us cultured family members can take place on cleaning days too.  We have another 11-12 days here in Cali and we want to see as much as possible without spending an arm and a leg… or wearing out the little muchacha.  Ok, enough logistics.

Tonight as my kids all hugged and kissed each other before Nora’s bedtime, I witnessed unconditional love that melted my heart.  Our two Canadian and one American kids have wholeheartedly accepted their little Colombian sister without as much as a hiccup.  My 17-year-old daughter is sharing a room and a bed with her new little sister and is loving it all!  So am I!  Nora picked first in the room… which meant all the shelves in the closet, the only nightstand and the best side of the bed.  Larisa hasn’t really been told what to do by a 7-year-old before, and she handled it beautifully.  I’ve heard her say several times, “Where is my favorite little Colombian?”  Awwww.

Adoption is such an amazing, heart-transforming adventure.  We have seen God’s hand in the orchestration of our family every day as more and more tidbits of Nora’s personality and talents surface.  It is remarkable that a little girl can grow up on a different continent and mesh so well with a family of five who barely even speak her language!  Her sense of humor is the best part of it all!  One day, like every other day, we were looking through the photo album I made for Nora of her new family, our house and relatives.  She looked at the picture of our piano and asked who played it.  We told her that we all did, except Dad.  She said, very matter-of-factly, “Así que la mamá es más inteligente que papá?”  (Oh, so mommy is more intelligent than daddy?)  Made me laugh. 

We are also totally enjoying the fact that Larisa and I speak and understand the most Spanish among our family (which isn’t saying a whole lot!) but everyone talks to Rick because he looks like he belongs here!  Rick can’t understand a lick of Spanish!  He has been in the swimming pool every day for a week and is darkening up to a golden bronze color.  :o)  A group of neighborhood boys have been playing soccer every day with Rick and our sons, Austin and Keeve.  One of the boys asked me in Rick’s absence, “Is Rick the father of Austin?”  and I overheard one boy ask Keeve, “Are you and Austin brothers?”  It makes me laugh.  I realized today, after EVERYONE in the mall stared at us with our blonde children, that they must assume that Rick married me with these three teenagers in tow… and then we had this cute little dark girl that looks like her Daddy!  One of the clowns at the petting zoo told Rick that he appears to be Colombian!

The first morning we were in this villa, I was up early making scrambled eggs and toast (and arepa, of course!) and I set the kitchen table before anyone was awake.  Later, my husband walked in and asked if I wasn’t eating with the family.  I ONLY SET FIVE PLACES!  Thank the good Lord Nora didn’t witness her mother forgetting her already!!!!  Aye, yi yi!  This is life changing in every way.  Thankfully there is enough love to take care of everyone!

Feeding the Colombian Princess

November 29, 2010

When I read the report of Nora’s eating habits and favorite foods I had to look up the names on google to find out what they were!  One was arepa… it’s a thick corn bread pancake that sometimes has soft white cheese in the center.  We had them for breakfast at the first hotel and they were quite tasty, if I do say so myself!  Then we found them in the grocery store yesterday and I bought them…. but I need to translate the cooking instructions.  We’ll get there, sweetheart!

Nora loves many foods that are “normal” to us: fried chicken, popcorn (those two were her first mommy-cooked meal!), banana, pineapple, chicken noodle soup, cheese balls (totally a Crosby deal right there!), milk, oranges, pasta and ice cream. But there are some habits that seem strange to us Americans: cold coffee, warm milk, dipping crackers in warm milk, eating pizza upside down from the crust forward, putting salt on limes and sucking the living day lights out of them, and (trying… asking everyone) to put sugar on sliced oranges.  “No, honey, that ain’t happening anymore!”  She likes sugar in coffee, milk, juice, strawberry juice, on oranges, bananas and pineapple.  That is one habit that will die-hard at our house.  And lime juice on bananas.  It’s not bad, but not my favorite.  She has tried but didn’t fully appreciate: Sprite, spaghetti sauce, toast, maple/brown sugar oatmeal and cheese.

Big Daddy bought ice cream for all of us today.  Well, except me.  I was busy trying to buy foods that I wasn’t recognizing.  Anyway, Nora talked about getting strawberry ice cream all the way to the shop.  She chose the strawberry ice cream cone, satisfied with her choice, until she saw this other white mystery popsicle.  We could not understand the Spanish description, but in her little mind it obviously outranked the strawberry cone.  We sat outside the shop in patio chairs thoroughly relishing the warm 82 degree weather and cloudy skies, eating our ice cream. Well, except me.  I did get a bite of Austin’s and finally Nora’s after much pleading.  Nora’s had these weird white squiggle things sticking out of the ice cream…. that grew longer with each lick.  Austin was grossed out by this… totally!  I finally inspected it and pulled one out.  Coconut!  That is when I asked if I could taste it.  Oh my word.  THE best ice cream I’ve ever tasted.  Next time, I’m getting the white mystery ice cream!