Remember a long time ago when I told you about all my great peeps in Medellin? Well I have more peeps to tell you about! Our peeps are one of the great things about living here. We have met so many nice people. Here are some of our favorites.
This is Bryan. Bryan is one of our transportation dudes. His car is comfy, with all seat belts working, it has A/C, it’s a super smooth ride and – the best part according to the niñas – bluetooth audio. They quickly learned how to connect their phones to the car audio system and when they pull up at the house after school they are usually jamming. God Bless Bryan and his patience for modern music. He also has a lot of patience for my endless Spanish Nattering while I’m in the car.
This is Camilo, he’s the orthodontist that we saw every month for both Haley and Zoe. He seems to make a living by doing dentistry but it’s been pretty clear to us that he’d rather be a chef. Every time we go to the dentist we come home with some homemade food item. So far it’s been bread, sausages, cookies and chocolate cake. We get into long discussions about food after the dental work is over, or sometimes even while he’s working on us. Insert eye roll from niñas. Total cost for Zoe’s braces? $400 USD. Medellin is a great place for dental tourism.
This is Leonardo. Leo is the brother of Taxi Driver Extraordinaire John Freddy, who shuttled me and Mary and Margaret around when they visited. John Freddy used to be my school transportation guy but he decided it would be better to earn a living in USD so he moved his family to the USA to work there. When he moved, Leonardo took over the morning transportation to school. Leonardo is super friendly and he sends me daily messages wishing me a day filled with blessings and good energy when he tells me he’s arrived. He’s very reliable and we love him!
This is Jason. He is the hardest working Colombian I know. He is one of the maintenance guys who works in our apartment building. He’s always washing something or draining something or doing something. When Jamie arrived I told her his name was Bernadino. But when she introduced herself he said his name was Jason. Not really sure how I got that one so wrong. You can always count on Jason for a really friendly greeting every morning. He likes to know how I slept last night. I’m good, Jason.
This is Julian, the ukulele / guitar / music theory teacher for the kids on the 11th floor. He comes every Monday and does lessons with Zoe, Coco and Cameron. He seems to love the kids and how enthusiastic they are. He’s always on time and really friendly, and speaks perfect English. If you’re reading this and looking for a music teacher in Medellin, contact me and I’ll put you in touch with Julian! Music lessons came to under $15 an hour. Julian invited us to hear him play a few times but when he told us his gig starts at 9:30 at night, Jamie and I said we were busy. It’s too awkward to show up at a bar in pajamas.
This is Camila, Zoe’s singing teacher. We go to her house weekly for Zoe’s singing lesson, and this is the teacher who coached Zoe while writing the song for Haley. Camila is an adorable young thing and speaks English perfectly. Zoe could easily do these lessons in Spanish but it’s nice to have English as an option. Camila has two dogs that accompany Zoe during her lesson, which is value added for Zoe. Camila’s mom made Zoe’s dress for her Clausura performance and frequently tailors other items for us too. Cost per class was a good deal under $15/hr.
This is Dr Luz. She’s the doctor to the expats. Everyone knows Dr Luz! She comes to your house, speaks perfect English and will also give you follow-up advice via Whatsapp. If you’re reading this and need a doc in Medellin, contact her here. $30 USD for a home visit was her rate when we lived in Medellin.
This is Vladi, he does our hair. If Dr. Luz is the doc to the expats, Vladi is the stylist to the expats. He does every gringas‘ hair that I know of, including all the girls on the 11th floor. He’s fun to talk to. He’s the one who told me that beauty transactions should always be done in your native language, just like medical. I agree! It was also nice that he was within walking distance to our house so Beauty Appointments were easy and convenient. Here’s the deets on how to contact him.
This is Alejo, he’s my Spanish teacher-turned friend, also Colombian Cultural Advisor and Patient Listener. I started working with him in July thinking I would just have class for a few months, but I could not stop! Alejo is really easy to talk to and he has a rock-star level of English in case we need to discuss some finer aspects of the Spanish language. I got to know his girlfriend Katie too. Alejo and Katie plan to travel soon so I look forward to the day I can meet up with them for lunch in another country. Alejo does advanced-level Spanish class. We paid under $30 for a 90-minute class.
This is Jose. He is a lawyer from Venezuela who opened up a health food store nearby. He provides me with my gluten-free bread. My friend Mitch recently did an interview with him. He and his wife fled Venezuela a few years ago in hopes of starting over in Colombia. He says it’s been a hard year, opening up a new store, but he has a lot of expat clients who value his healthy options. You can always count on him for a smile and fantastic customer service.
Leaving the Peeps
With all those peeps, you can see how it will be very hard to leave them all when we depart Medellin. It’s one of the best parts of staying for so long. And Medellin seems to invite the friendliness among service providers more than many other countries we’ve been to. I am friends with most of these peeps on Facebook so I’m hoping someday, somehow, we’ll connect again. Until then, if any of you fabulous LJT fans go to Medellin, please look these guys up and give them a big hug from the gringa.