In the midst of all this craziness, our friend Andres whom we met our second night here, introduced us to a private school his family helped found 30 years ago. We toured it, met the principal, teachers and some students. We were all getting excited about the possibility of Kaylee attending for a month or so to get some much needed kid-time as well as the opportunity to really learn some Spanish. All the paperwork was filled out and we were finalizing the details when the school was informed Kaylee would need an official student visa to attend, even as a visitor. So, just before leaving on the 5-day trek to The Lost City, we filed online for the student visa. Upon our return we had the email from Immigration stating everything appeared to be order, all we had to do was . . . go to Bogotá, all three of us, to get her passport stamped. Another ugh!! Bogotá is 600 miles away from Santa Marta, not a simple bus or cab ride. Bogotá was on our list of places to visit, so I guess this was our forced opportunity. After making one last ditch effort at the Santa Marta Immigration office and getting confirmation that, yes, we really did have to go to Bogotá, we made plane and Airbnb reservations for the next day. Off to Bogotá!
The next morning we navigated the big city by foot to the Immigration office, thinking we were arriving relatively early, 8:30. As we entered the room and saw the 100-200 chairs 80% occupied, we knew we were in for a wait. We picked up our number and waited. Three hours later we were called to sit down with an official who asked our purpose, studied our passports and asked, "Isn't the entry stamp you already have good enough?" Sheesh! We told him it was good enough for us, but evidently not the school system. After a quick discussion with a supervisor, he returned saying, yes, we really did need it. Whew! Glad we didn't fly to Bogotá for nothing! One more hour of waiting and ta-da, Colombian student visa!