12.01.2012 - 14.01.2012 71 °F
Our first housing on this trip has been fantastic. We will not be staying in anything close to this again on this trip and perhaps never again in my life. It has been quite a treat. Amy and I have resided in our own wing of the Ambassador's residence, with office, bedroom, and bath it has been superbly comfortable. It took me a little reflection to figure out why the dynamic here is different than say an Islesboro summer 'cottage' with cooks and maids. The McKinley's do not hire or pay for the security (gated compound with constant perimeter patrol and some heavy weaponry at the gate), cooks, cleaners, gardeners, or house manager. Instead this is the residence provided to the Ambassador and his family by the United States in order to keep them safe, supported, and comfortable. The house and services are benefits to the demanding job for Mr. McKinley and an attempt to help ground the family in their relatively short time in a foreign place. Though Amy and I have been lucky to experience some of the perks of being the child of a diplomat we have also talked to Claire and her brother about the difficulties of moving from country to country throughout their lives. The McKinley's transient nature may not have allowed for many long term friends but it has given them amazing perspective and experience of the world (as well as proficiency in multiple languages). They have been very hospitable to us and we have learned much about Colombia and its capital (along with many recommendations for Peru and Bolivia).
Claire told us to call the kitchen and order whatever we wanted for breakfast (in Spanish of course). It was brought right to our room...amazing.
Beautiful and well maintained gardens and grounds. I got to kick a ball around the tennis court and get a little work out in. The altitude hits you very, very quickly.