When the stars align...
I still have more stories to share about Peru however I also want to update you on our current whereabouts. We are all experiencing the novelty of being in one place and the routine of going to school! We decided to spend a month in Medellin, Colombia to learn Spanish. We are staying in a lovely Airbnb in the Manilla/El Poblado neighborhood. Our place has great windows with lovely views of highrises and the surrounding green hills. We were all super excited about the fact that it has a washer and DRYER! Dryers are pretty rare in South America (as they were in Asia).
Our first night, Keegan, a pretty typical 17 year old teenager, was EAGER to do his laundry and revelled in folding his clothes and putting them away in a CLOSET! The idea of a closet has been quite elusive during the last 5 months. We have been on the go, and generally our clothes stayed in a suitcase.
It was interesting to see how much we craved routine after being nomads. John quickly found a gym where we could all workout. This has become an almost daily ritual for all of us. Our Smart Fit gym has also been an interesting place to interact with locals and observe cultural norms. I’ve seen more women here doing free weights and heavy lifting than back home. What’s more, they rock some amazingly revealing workout outfits.
My craving for routine got me started on a daily yoga and meditation practice. So far so good. Interestingly, I have found going to the grocery store overwhelming. So many decisions to make! Keegan is quite appreciative and loves having a fridge he can raid. My cooking can’t compete with the amazing restaurants in Medellin. We have a delicious selection of restaurants just a few minutes walk from “home”. The food is tasty and incredibly economical, especially while the US dollar is doing so well. It is often cheaper to eat out than to cook at home.
We all are really enjoying our Spanish classes at Toucan Spanish school. We are all at different levels. John is the most advanced of us, with his 4 years of high school Spanish, which was quite a few years ago. Keegan loves his teacher and said he learned more in his first week of class than the entire 2 years of Spanish at Los Gatos High School. I am at the very beginner level, however I can comprehend quite a bit of written Spanish. I seem to have unique challenges with pronunciation which John and Keegan find entertaining and, hopefully, endearing. The locals are wonderful! They are appreciative and encouraging of our Spanish speaking attempts.
Keegan is keen to go back home and finish up high school. So we have managed to enroll him in online classes at the local community college near our home in California. Many thanks to my dear friend Rebecca for waiting hours in line at the college and helping us navigate the system from afar. There is a chance that Keegan may be able to graduate with his 2020 high school class this June! Our place here has great wifi, so he has been able to keep up with the classes so far. I have quickly realized what a nice break I have had for the last 5 months from being the “homework police”.
Keegan’s desire to go back home, finish school and see his friends has aligned with the renters of our house ending their rental agreement and moving out into their new house. So John and I are heeding this message from the universe and ending our family journey a few months earlier than planned. It has been, and continues to be, an epic adventure together. Time has expanded. Each month has felt equivalent to a year of our normal existence. We have packed a lot of travelling and learning into these last 5 months. We have a few more weeks in Colombia to work on our Spanish before we land back home in March. We are looking forward to seeing friends and family, and especially our beloved furry family member, Rieta. But, until then, we are staying in the moment for this last month of adventure for the three of us.