07.10.2016 - 27.11.2016
Maya and I have had the opportunity to travel to Colombia in October once more to visit family. Maya is a great traveller and she behaved wonderfully our way there and coming back as well.
On most of the planes she was in love with the small TV screens and this distraction helped her to go to sleep, obviously after an hour or so of playing with the screens and the remote controls. I prepared a number of activities for the planes with craft materials, some toys, puzzles, bubbles, etc. and all of them worked really well. Plus Maya is such a sociable person and made friends on each plane.
This time we decided to make our arrival a surprise, so we told our family our flight came in on Saturday at night, but our arrival was actually Friday. I planned the surprise with my sister who invited everybody for lunch on Saturday and we were already there. It was beautiful to see the reactions of my family when they saw us. My sister with her two children - my niece and nephew, created a small performance and the ending was our entry. I enjoyed this surprise a lot, but I don’t know if anyone is going to believe us again when I say when we are coming for a visit, they may have learned from this experience.
From the first day, Maya really enjoyed the company of her cousins, Anny and Nicolas. It has been the major highlight of this trip seeing them play together. It is amazing to see how happy they are, and obviously how happy Maya is. She woke up every morning asking for them and before she went to bed we had to call the cousins to have a chat about the day. I was a little concerned she was going to miss her Dad, but he called her every day and sang good-night songs to her so she never had time to miss him, but she still misses her cousins because she cannot talk to them regularly or play with them anymore.
On a number of days we sent Maya to her cousin’s childcare. It was a great experience for her and also for me, and she had Anny and Nico there to look after her. Maya also kept asking about her teacher and her friends in New Zealand, because she missed spending time with them. I could not believe the difference in price for a day of childcare in Colombia which is equivalent to the price of one hour of childcare in New Zealand. I should bring Maya to Colombia more often. Hahaha.
Maya was always actively playing with her cousins and she loved showing them her dancing skills. Definitely the music and dancing classes in New Zealand paid off. It was so cute to see her dancing at the parties we went to and she didn’t have a problem with standing in the middle of the room and shaking her hips and making everybody laugh. I am very happy with these skills because I am 100% sure they come from her Latino-American genes hahaha. Actually the name of this blog comes from a person who saw Maya dancing at a party, and afterwards she told me “your daughter is a Seed of Love, Peace and Life”. What beautiful words.
Her vocabulary in Spanish has gone through the roof and her pronunciation has improved a lot. The last few weeks she was talking more and more each day, and almost only in Spanish. There are a number of words she continues to say in English like hot, push, here, and phone. I knew our family and friends in New Zealand would have a little problem understating her the first week or two after our return.
We were blessed to be able to be in Colombia for Halloween where this is an enormous tradition and a big celebration. This year the Halloween celebration took up the entire weekend from Friday to Monday, so Maya had the opportunity to wear a number of different costumes. Thanks to her aunty Mimin (my sister Jazmin), who thinks about everything ahead of time, she had already prepared Maya's main costume, and Maya looked absolutely gorgeous on the 31st of October. A lot of people wanted to take photos of her and alongside her, so she was a celebrity for a few hours, hahaha. Maya’s cousin Anny dressed up as Elsa and Maya was Anna from the movie Frozen. Both of them looked adorable, and Nicolas was very handsome as Kristoff. The three of them stole the show and it was a memorable day
For the last two weeks of our stay in South America Maya was with my family while I was working as a personal guide for a travel company in Chile and Peru. Just another exciting adventure in my life. I was very excited to go on this trip, but I knew I was going to miss my little one. I was sure she was going to have a wonderful time with my family and obviously with her cousins. In my next blog I will let you know how this amazing adventure went.
We definitely had a wonderful time with my family and visiting South America, and I feel blessed to have had this opportunity to be in Colombia and share a few weeks with my family. The time flew by very quickly, and too soon Maya and I had to pack our bags and make the return trip. It was always hard to leave my family, but we had my wonderful husband Simon waiting at home to greet us, and New Zealand is always a nice change of pace after how busy Colombia can be.