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Sunday, January 27, 2013

From the Driver's Seat

It's never dull driving a car around here.  I've lost some of my favorite photos of things I've seen along the roads, so I thought I'd better take some time to record what the drive is really like here in Bogota.

People selling fruit along the road.
People weed-wacking the grass.  Lawn mowers are not believed in here in Bogota.
People selling stuff.  They  have their timing down perfect.  The light turns red and they run down the row of cars throwing their stuff on your windshield or window then they run back and collect it before the light turns green.  I've seen lots of this stuff being bought while waiting for the light to turn.
Stop light performers.  They are amazingly talented and entertaining.  Several shows can be seen while trying to make it through just one light.
Pot holes.  I've gotten photos of much larger and deeper holes but can't find them.  The majority of  my energy driving is spent not hitting one of these suckers.
People pulling carts if they can't afford a horse.  This one was piled particularly high so it took a puller and a pusher.
Amazing Architecture
Beggers
Lottery tickets for sale
Dog walkers with large groups of dogs
I always wondered what inspired Dr. Seuss' book "Go Dog Go" .  Now I know! 
Horses pulling carts 
People selling things out of their car.  In this case fish.  Why not?
Alters to Mary
Lots of graffiti and people painting it!
Meat cooking
Poverty 
Soldiers
What I call an inverted pothole.  Gotta watch out for these suckers!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Applying to Schools

Today I began the process of applying to schools in Moscow.  Actually, we are only applying to one school.  The Anglo-American School of Moscow.  This school seems to have an excellent reputation everywhere I look.  Fortunately they accept students in priority of category and the US Embassy personnel are in the first category accepted.  In addition, it offers the IB program Maddie wants.  So I see no need to search further and spend endless masses of hours on more applications.
But applying to international schools is a bear of a job.  I've spent several  hours on this lovely afternoon staring at the computer screen and filling in blanks.   The forms are endless in size and amount.  My first frustration began with trying to open the forms to begin filling in the blanks.  No-can-do.  I tried every format possible, then called Damon over to wield his computer magic.   In the end we just copied and pasted into new documents.  The problem with this is that the order of questions changed and odd questions randomly appeared.  So then I had to do more cutting and pasting to get the questions, if not in the correct order, at least into a logical order.  AAS, you are not scoring points in your technology department.
After that I was bombarded with detailed questions regarding the last 5 years of education for each girl.  Questions on the English Language form went even further back requesting information such as "How many days of school did your daughter miss in preschool?"  She's in 10th grade now and I have no idea, or do I even care how many days she missed.
I was kind and filled in as many questions as I could, such as birth date and school  currently attending, on the teacher's forms.  I had a moment of pity at all the paper-work I will be sending their way.
I never was able to get the medical form cut and pasted into another document.  A complicated form of grid work.  Sadly, Chad being the medical person will have to deal with that one.
My head is now pounding and I'm exhausted.  I really don't think we filled out this much paper-work for Damon's college application.

- Kris