Our last full day (Thursday) in Bolivia was meant to be a day of packing, tying up loose ends, and saying goodbye to family. It didn’t go as smoothly as we might have liked because of the rain.
In the morning I washed a bunch of clothes and hung them up to dry. But the rain made them take much longer to dry, so I couldn’t pack them that day. The rain also interfered with traffic. Every single bus we saw that day was packed like a can of sardines. Every time we tried to take a bus, they wouldn’t stop for us. They’d just keep on driving because they were too full to take on passengers. This definitely hampered our ability to move around and wasted time. We ended up taxing mostly taxis.
We did manage to buy a few last-minute things we needed, cleaned up the house, ate a nice lunch at Los Lomitos, and visited both Yoli’s parents, Boris and Eliza, and Lucy. The lunch was very nice, but as we finished eating the rain started up again. It poured and poured, preventing us from going across the street and down the block to a store. We ended up taking a taxi home. In the evening, we went on our last slough of errands. We drove into downtown in a taxi to pick up some photos from Relieve. It took forever with traffic totally snarled. Then we bought some coca tea for John and hurried out to Yoli’s dad’s place where we shared some chocolate mate with him and Lucy (thanks John!). After that we stopped by Boris’ place for a short goodbye with Yoli’s mom. By the time we finished the visits and arrived back at El El Jordán, it was much later than we had hoped to be home. We had to stay up for several more hours finishing packing and also visiting with Boris and Eliza who came by to pick up some stuff from us.
The wake up call on Friday came early – 6:30 a.m. We got to the airport, and got through with no problems. We had to talk the officials into letting us bring 10 packages of yogurt with us on the plane, but thank God they allowed it. Jadzia would have gone nuts if we hadn’t had yogurt. It’s the main thing she ate during my two weeks in Bolivia with her.
Jadzia did okay on the two plane trips. On the first one she was pretty active, and we tried to keep her occupied so she wouldn’t scream or fuss. She did a little bit, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
When we got to Miami, we had a few problems. First, a guy at the information desk sent us to the wrong gate for our flight. The way Miami works is that when you arrive from Bolivia, you are in a far-off D gate. You have to walk across the airport to customs and baggage claim. The info guy told us our St. Louis flight would be in gate D33. So we had to walk all the way back down to where we had arrived earlier. But then we got there and saw that in fact our flight was leaving from C7. So we had to walk across the airport again to get there. Ugh.
Jadzia was funny in the airport. She had fun playing with all the payphones (she loves phones). At one point she was walking around with her shirt pulled up showing people her umbligo (belly button), which is something we do with her at home not in public. We also like to point to our own belly buttons, which apparently inspired her to try lifting my shirt so she could point out my umbligo. This caused some old ladies to laugh a lot.
The other problem was that the flight to St. Louis was delayed a couple hours. Since we had been travelling all day, this obviously was not welcome news, but we endured. Jadzia was very difficult at the beginning of the flight once we got on the plane. She was very tired. Our row wasn’t empty, either. There was a guy next to me. So we moved to the back of the plane where there was an empty row and it was a bit darker. She was angry and screamed a lot at first, but soon she went to sleep. Thankfully she slept the entire flight. This was the best part of the entire day for me.
We made it back to St. Louis and were greeted by cold weather and rain! But it was nice to get back to my own house with my own bathroom and my own bedroom. No more electric showerheads for a while.
We weren’t able to do everything we wanted to do (we still haven’t visited the city of Cotoca together, though I did drive through it when I went on my fishing trip with my brothers in law), but it was a good trip, if exhausting.