Sunday, July 26, 2009

Presidential Palace and Plaza de Bolivar

We went down to the Plaza de Bolivar, with surrounding government buildings in the center of Bogota, twice last week. The first time was for a meeting with Dona Lina Moreno, first lady of Bogota and a great friend of the Church. The meeting was to talk with her and her assistant about a shipment of wheel chairs, which the Church has built in China and 1,250 of which are being donated to a foundation of the first lady. There is a presidential election next May and President Uribe is not eligible to run again. So the Church will have to develop new relationships. The photo above is of the entrance to the Palacio de Narino (or Casa de Narino), the residence of the President and his wife and the seat of executive branch government. Security was very tight and we were not able to take a camera to the meeting with the first lady.

A parade of military people in front of the Palacio de Narino. Narino was a famous general in the war of independence. Colombia won its independence from Spain in 1811.

The statue of Simon Bolivar, el gran libertador, in the center of the Plaza. Note the ever present pigeon on Bolivar's head.

All central plaza's have, as one of their central buildings, a grand Catholic cathedral.

Our second trip to the Plaza de Bolivar was to attend a ceremony in El Salon Eliptico del Congreso de la Republica where the Senate meets. The occasion was for the presentation of the "Orden del Congreso de Colombia en el grado de Caballero" to two noted medical doctors. We went as sort of representatives of the Church which has supported foundations where the medical doctors worked. The photo above is of a wall in the Senate chamber, showing, of course, the gran libertador.

Another view of the Senate chamber, very impressive.

A view of the chamber looking toward the back of the room.

In front of each seat are buttons to push for voting. The invitation to the event had a note at the bottom that dress was "Calle Oscuro" or street dark. This worked for men, all in dark suits. But some of the women wore dresses that they wouldn't necessarily wear in the street.

On another topic, we discovered a new fruit, called granadina, I think. The photo above shows the fruit before it's peeled. The photo below shows the peeled fruit with the delicious seeds which are very sweet and tender.


  1. What great pictures and what an amazing experience and that fruit looks really yummy!! Love, Kristy

  2. wow - impressive. You guys look great and the experience must have been so exciting!!! I just cant believe what amazing things you guys are doing. Love you - Julie

  3. I want you to take note that I am READING your blog. The pressure is immense! Great pictures and awesome experiences!

  4. These are great pictures. You both look very good looking and impressive. I think I've had that fruit in former Soviet Georgia and I loved it. It was addicting. I am glad you are having such a great time. We miss you but are proud of you.

  5. Loved the shot of the Senate -- post more!!!

    Love you!