Silent night came on while Mary held the baby Jesus with Joseph, the angel Gabriel and padre Romero nearby
Nelcy and Alejandra loved their new shirts/dolls! We gave gifts to the kids from the mission, while Padre Romero and members of the congregation gave toys to the others. There were over 200 kids!
Santiago happy about his new shirt and dinosaur!
Feliz navidad de usme!
Christmas morning: I skyped my family during breakfast and while they opened their presents from Colombia. They were celebrating in Davis, WV and it almost felt like I was there with them!
Christmas night: Brittany and I went to the bus station and boarded our overnight bus to Cali, Colombia. We were in pretty comfortable seats, but we had to go up and down mountains so it wasn't the steadiest trip. The last time I took an overnight bus on Christmas was with my old soccer team, the vipers, to Florida for a soccer tournament. It brought back some great memories. :)
December 26 around 8am we arrived in Cali. A little bit sleep deprived, we found a taxi on the road (completely missing the huge line of 'official' taxis...oops) and took it to our hostel. Later that day we went to the Cabalgata, a big parade of 3,000 horses. It was a very cool parade and the horses were all doing 'dressage' (Brittany taught me that word...it means that the horses were doing advanced trotting/tricks). We were impressed.
December 27 we went to the 830am service at Trinity church. It was the first episcopal church built in Colombia and is beautiful. We met lots of people, including one man (Daniel) who gave us a quick tour of downtown Cali.
Then, Daniel took us to the bus station, where we took off for Padre Diego's finca, two hours away in Palmira. Padre Diego is the 11am priest at the cathedral and we have worked a lot with him recently. It was great to get away from the city and spend some time with his family. His kids and nephews loved showing Brittany and me the chickens, cows, huge pigs with their newborn babies, rabbits, etc... We even were able to share in his eldest daughter's birthday celebration and play a traditional Colombian game!
Our third (and last) day in Cali was spent with Daniel, the man from the church. He invited us over for lunch and then we went to the parade of 'cali vieja' (old cali). This parade was packed with people and there was lots of music and dancing. It was so much fun to see all of the different styles and costumes. After the parade, we ate cholados (traditional snow cones from Cali). Late afternoon, we left for the airport and made it back to Bogota.
Cali was a great trip, but way too short. We have a long list of things to do/see when we go back. There are a few missions there that we would like to get involved with. We are definitely going to plan a trip there this spring!
Feliz navidad de Bogota!