We all had a good night last night – Leanne is feeling better and Andres slept well.
Magnolia picked us up around 9:30am to take us down to Chiquitines one last time – we had to pay them some money for the translations, courier costs, medical reports and such. We also took the opportunity to have Andres weighed – he now weighs 8.3kg, up from 7.7kg about 4 weeks ago. So at least we aren’t starving him – which it seems like we are on occasions when he insists on having a bottle every 3 hours rather than every 4 like he should be. We have been trying to introduce more solids into his diet to help him last longer between bottles, with limited success – he does like banana, but tends to get bored and lose focus after a while.
We paid the orphanage in US dollars, it is far easier to take some cash that we exchanged at home before the trip rather than trying to deal with very large sums of Colombian pesos which require three or more trips to an ATM over a period of days. The orphanage was okay with us paying in USD, but we did run into a slight problem – apparently they can have difficulty banking damaged notes, and one of the notes I gave them had been torn and taped back up. This note was given to me by our bank, so I figured it was legitimate and usable – but Magnolia confirmed that banks in Colombia are often reluctant to accept them. Fortunately I had additional funds back at the hotel, so I later arranged with one of the other families to drop off the money when they next visited (a crisp, unblemished note this time).
Our visit to Chiquitines was only brief and then Magnolia drove us to a nearby park which has a lake known for its Egret population and other birdlife. We wandered around the lake and parklands enjoying this little oasis of tranquility – with Magnolia pointing out interesting plants and features of the park. Apparently the kids from Chiquitines visit here frequently. Of course I didn’t have my good camera and long lens with me – the visit was a spur of the moment idea from Magnolia so we didn’t actually plan it.
One of the signs near the lake said we could find species of birds such as: Cormorant, Anhinga (Darter), Tanager, Moorhen, Grebe, Woodpeckers and six species of Herons. We saw one species of Heron that I could recognise, plus a Moorhen and what I think was a Woodpecker. We also saw a duck, some turtles, and a squirrel.
We got back to the hotel just before lunch and had a chance to say goodbye to the Canadian family who had been at the hotel since well before we arrived. We had a quiet afternoon.
We have settled on a new itinerary and asked Ricky to book the new flights for us – we are now scheduled to travel back to Bogota on Thursday, then a sidetrip to Cartagena on Monday, returning to Bogota on Saturday. On Sunday we resume our original itinerary, flying to Santiago, Chile and then home to Sydney on Thursday.