May 17, 1999


Dear Mom and Dad,

Hi Mom and Dad. How are you doing? I'm fine. I'm in Colombia. You can get here by plane. It is very crowded here, the population is 37,418,290 right now. I think you should learn to speak Spanish because that is their main language. Most people here are Catholics.

The capital here is Bogota. It is very crowded. You can use the bus to get around but it is very crowded too. Taxis are less crowded and might be an easier way to get around.

The temperature here in Bogota is always about 57. You should bring wind breakers and longs pants. In Barranquilla another city is located right by the Caribbean the temperature averages 80 - 82 F, so don’t forget your shorts. The climate in Columbia is subtropical, so remember your raincoat. It gets colder when you go over to the Andes Mountains.

There are lots of museums in Bogota. They have flea markets and botanical gardens where you see the beautiful flowers. There are also soccer games and bullfights to see. You can also take a trek in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain, it is a great way to experience Colombia's mountains. At night you both can go to a disco club to dance!

Mostly you will have to eat chicken, pork, potato, rice, beans and soup. There is one dish made from of fried ants. Ew yuck, disgusting! NOT FOR ME! The fruit is the best. I could eat fruit all day! There is also coffee ground from Colombian coffee beans. Dad, that should really make you happy. They also have beer and wine.

You can stay here for about $20-$30 a day in comfortable hotels. You could spend more if you wanted. Don't bring too many fancy things or carry too much money around. You don't want to get robbed. The Colombians use pesos. When you are at the airport you can ask to exchange your US dollars for pesos.

You need to be very careful so you don't get sick. You can get altitude sickness, cholera, hepatitis A, B and D, malaria, rabies, tetanus and typhoid. That wouldn't be too nice now would it?

There are a few things you need to know about the customs. Don't put your elbows on that table. When you're visiting someone's home don't take seconds on the food, even if you're asked. That's rude!

I can't wait to see you guys! Have a nice flight.