Luke's South American Diary
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March 1999

10 March 1999

Mere days after Colombia was finally re-certified by the US for its efforts against the drugs trade, and after high profile and amicable meetings between the Presidents of the two countries, Colombian guerrillas from the FARC murdered three Americans working as environmental and cultural researchers with the U'wa Indians in a remote corner of this battle-scarred country, and the strong words began all over again. Back in the world's bad books! For as long as these kind of events continue to occur, (and personally I do not see it ever changing), the country will always be a social pariah and an economic basket case (although maybe not to the extent of Ecuador, which is currently in the throes of yet another financial, political and social emergency).

30 March 1999 Back to top

Other than that I am hard-pressed to come up with anything much to report. Our move from Colombia to Canada is now a fact, probably around the end of May 1999, and we have been applying ourselves to some of the myriad and oh-so-tedious considerations which go with it, and with which I will most certainly not bore you good people.

Bearing in mind that I now hope to actually earn a little money from it some time in the future, I have spent much of my spare time recently in honing my web-building skills, and exploring and experimenting with various ideas I have. I have had so many problems with both of the free web-site hosts I have been using, that I am also seriously considering actually paying for the privilege (it would also be useful for when I set up in business), although the thought rankles a little.

Florida, USA (one more time!)
Oh, and before I forget, we also spent a couple of weeks in our second home, Florida. Flippant, yes, but we have now been so many times that it has ceased to be a novelty. As has now become an annual tradition, we met up with my sister Diana and family for a week in Orlando and a week on the Gulf coast. At least in Orlando, we miraculously managed to avoid Disney World almost completely (with the exception of the new Animal Kingdom - actually very well done, and like all the Disney parks quite enjoyable the first time round), and even managed to fit in some culture (Cirque du Soleil and Momix Dance Company - not exactly high-brow, but very enjoyable and undeniably culture). Down on the coast, we successfully combined some old favourites with a few new destinations. The weather was good, and we fell very lucky with an upgraded waterfront villa.

Elena, once again, had a great time with her cousins (now 10 and 8 years old),
Photo: Elena with a smile, Florida, USA. Mar 1999.
Elena with a smile, Florida, USA. Mar 1999.
and was able to keep up with them much better. She had her hair in bunches most of the time - at last it is long enough - and managed to look quite cute, even while trying out her new line in insults (reserved exclusively for her father, as are all her insults): "You lobster!", "You curtain!", and (my favourite) "You bottle of ink!". Where these things come from I have no idea! She continued to improve her underwater swimming skills, and insisted on practicing in the bath, with her head underwater and her bum sticking out above the soap-suds. She also impressed us with her antics on the monkey bars - she really is quite a physical little girl.

All in all, it was a successful, but not what you would call exhilarating, holiday.

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