Yesterday we woke up early, dropped the kids off at Brent's brother's house to get spoiled by their awesome aunt and uncle, and headed to DC.
I'm going to give specific details for other families that might have to visit this particular consulate:
There is on street parking so bring quarters for the meters. There is also a parking garage a block away, but it was pricey. We found a street spot thankfully!
The Consulate is located in a business office building.*** We signed in in the lobby and went to the 10th floor for the Consulate office. When you get off the elevator, turn left and follow around to the back of the hall. It's the last door of the hallway.
The Consular office is VERY small and stuffy- so I'm thankful we didn't bring the kids. We handed the ladies at the desk our paperwork. They then informed us that it takes 3 business days to process the visas! For us that would be the day before we are leaving! I told them we just couldn't do that so they said we could come back on Friday. They are only open to the public from 9am to 12noon Monday through Friday. So Brent is going to head back tomorrow to pick them up. We are praying everything is correct and there are no snags!
As I mentioned before, it seems no one could get through on their phone lines. Well, there was a sign in Spanish that, from what I could piece together with my limited vocabulary, said their phone system was messed up and sorry for the inconvenience. So that explains things! Hopefully that'll be fixed soon!
We met another adoptive dad who was waiting to pick his visas up. They are adopting two older children from Bogota and left today! I'm hoping we can get in touch with them when we get to Bogota.
We were only in the Consulate for about 15 minutes, but the other adoptive dad said that on Monday he waited 3 hours to turn in his paperwork. It was the first day back to work after Semana Santa so everything was backed up. Just be aware if you are trying to get a visa after a holiday!
Hopefully some of this will help any of you adoptive families that need to go to the DC Consulate.
**(Note: You want the Colombian Consulate, NOT the Colombian Embassy. I never even knew there was a difference! )
I had Arroz Con Pollo- Chicken with rice. It reminded me of Chinese Chicken fried rice, only the spices are a little different. It came with little yellow potatoes that were delicious.
Brent ordered Baneja Paisa. This dish is the most traditional meal served in Medellin- our kids' city. It is kind of like a sampler of food. Very yummy. (We sampled each other's food!) I loved the red beans and the fried plantain was wonderful. I'd had plantain before and didn't like it, so I was pleasantly surprised how good this was. I do have to comment that Brent let me unknowingly try the fried thick bacon looking thing. Only after I commented that I didn't care for it did he inform me that it was fried pig intestines! EWWWW!
We also brought home several packages of frozen, homemade arepas, a package of Guava paste that you are supposed to slice and eat with cheese, and a homemade block of chocolate to make Colombian hot chocolate. They put a piece of cheese in the hot chocolate and let it melt, then drink it. Chocolate and Cheese. My two favorites. It should be delicious!