7 February 1997
Back in the proverbial bosom of my family, life continues as uncertainly as usual. Just as the move to Colombia was confirmed beyond a doubt after the Buenos Aires conference, the possibility of a move to Madrid instead has been mooted, so we are back in limbo until the negotiating and decision-making gets under way. Either way we are not making any plans for a while. Meanwhile, bombs continue to go off with alarming regularity and alarming casualties in Colombia, Ecuador's wacky president has been unseated due to "mental incapacity", students riot as usual in Caracas and Mérida (it being February), and at least 2½ million Caraqueños take to the road for Carnaval (we, of course, are staying firmly put!) - life in South American also continues (as uncertainly) as usual.
Elena continues in a generally good mood - she can now recite her alphabet
Elena is also starting to play pretend games (pretending to be asleep, playing at tea-parties, that kind of thing). At Baby Gym she had become the grande dame of her age group, usually finishing everything before the rest are even half-way round, so she was promoted to the next age group three months early. We have been putting off sending her to kindergarten, partly because she seems so young to be bundling off to school, and partly because of our uncertainty as to how long we will be around in Caracas, but we may have to give it some more serious consideration soon.
She is also of course growing all the time, and now almost nothing is sacred. She can open and close all the doors (indeed she is obsessed my doors and keys at the moment), and will nonchalantly pick up a cup, amble over to the water dispenser and pour herself a drink (and sometimes remember to turn it off again!). It is quite funny to hear her bossing Maritza around in Spanish ("Maritza! Vente!"), although we will have to guard against a potential "princess mentality", as she can sometimes be quite cheeky even with us. On the plus side she has taken to waking up between 7am and 7.30am recently, which is particularly welcome at weekends.
Meanwhile, the weather continues unseasonably cold, windy, drizzly and miserable, in fact unseasonable for either of the seasons - it has been unsettlingly reminiscent of English weather for several weeks now!