Holy buñuelos, Batman!!

Late breaking news from Yoli in Bolivia:

Apparently the campesinos are lifting their blockades until Oct. 15 to give the government and the opposition leaders time to negotiate. All the festivities for tomorrow’s Dia de Santa Cruz (24 de Septiembre) are back on.

You can read a bit more in this news brief from El Deber (but the translation isn’t great)

Anyway, upon hearing this news, she called the airport to see if her flight was still canceled. They told her that as far as they had heard, the flight was still on.

Then she called me. And then I called American Airlines. The person there insisted the flight was still canceled.

So I called Yoli back. We agreed that it was still worth it for her to drive to the airport tomorrow with the luggage and the girls on the chance that the flight would still leave.

After that I continued calling American. It took several calls before they finally told me that, yes, the flight was scheduled after all. Then we got Yoli and the girls switched back onto tomorrow’s flight (and there were some hand-wringing moments during that process).

Long story short: Yoli is returning home tomorrow after all. Hooray!

… nevermind

Things are heating up in Santa Cruz. So American Airlines has again canceled flights, right on the eve of Yoli’s departure. Obviously she is very disappointed about that. She had everything packed and had given away her extra food and everything in preparation for leaving.

Her flight has been rebooked for next Wednesday, so that means they’ll stay in Bolivia another week. Please pray that things will cool down and that they will be able to fly out of there on Wednesday as scheduled.

Heading home (hopefully)

Yoli is scheduled to leave Santa Cruz tomorrow morning and arrive in St. Louis around 10 p.m. As far as we know, everything is on track for this flight to take off.

We are concerned by the “siege” that is taking place around Santa Cruz. Basically various groups of supporters of the government have come down from Cochabamba and other places and are marching on the city. They have established blockades at the major roads out of Santa Cruz. Yoli says that some of them are miners with dynamite.

You can read more at MABB and Pronto

This is disappointing to Yoli, because Santa Cruz has generally been a more laid-back place than the western highland cities in Bolivia. These sort of city-strangling tactics are common there … but now it is happening to Santa Cruz, too.

Our hope is that American continues to fly out of Bolivia, so Yoli, Jadzia, and Ludi can get home. But also we hope that peace can come to Bolivia without these tactics and confrontations that lead to bloodshed.

The big girl

I had a nice chat with Yoli tonight. Here are some excerpts from that conversation:

The Alasitas Fair is opening tomorrow. I would like to go. Maybe I can get some crafts or aguayos, or something to decorate our home. But I’m not sure … the artisans from other parts of Bolivia haven’t come because of the blockades on the roads to Santa Cruz.

I hope I can find some puzzles or brain teasers at the fair, like the ones at the Science Center. But I’m not sure if I’ll find what I want. It is usually busy on weekends, so I might try going on Monday.

This morning, Ludi used the potty. So, Jadzia said she was old and big and didn’t need the little potty. She climbed up onto the toilet seat (without the adaptor) and was like that almost all day. But eventually, she told me she was going to use the adaptor. I was afraid she would fall inside.

The ironic thing is, Jadzia says she is big, but often she still wants us to help spoon-feed her.

Marco has been very nice to Jadzia. She likes to see him working and when he says “hi”, she comes back to report to me that he said “hi” to her. Everything he says, she comes back to me to report it.

The other day, he told her in a scary voice “Jadzia, soy un loboooooooooo” (Jadzia, I am a wolf).

Jadzia laughed loud and came to tell me, “Marco dice que está un lobo, está chistoso.” (Marco said that he is a wolf. He’s funny.)

Now when she sees him, she asks, “Marco está un lobo?” (she’s not using the correct verb, but you get the point)

Jadzia also gets excited when she sees Corina and keeps asking her what she’s doing.

She speaks Spanish almost all the time and even asks me to sing some songs in their Spanish version.

The girls

A quick update on Yoli’s situation: not too much has changed for her. Things remain relatively quiet in Santa Cruz. On the national and international level, there are some signs that the Bolivia crisis is cooling off.

With more time to spend in Bolivia, Yoli has begun teaching cross-stitch to some students at El Jordán.

She tells me that Ludi has been speaking some things rather clearly in Spanish: “No quiero” (I don’t want); “Dame” (Give me); “No toque mama” (don’t touch, mama); “Coma” (eat! (as a command)).

Because Jadzia has accumulated a couple of goody bags from various birthday parties, she is constantly asking for candy or cookies. In terms of real food, she seems to crave cornflakes and tacos.

Yoli says that Jadzia seems a bit bored and maybe ready to go home. Of course it doesn’t help that Yoli was telling her they would be going home in advance of Sunday’s flight … and then it was cancelled. So she had to explain that to Jadzia, who probably doesn’t really understand.

Yoli has interviewed her mom on tape for our family history project. She says that her mom surprised her, talking in great detail and sharing many memories from when she was young. There were stories that Yoli had not heard before.

Stuck in Santa Cruz

Yoli called American Airlines and got bad news this morning: her flight had been cancelled. She rescheduled for a flight that will leave Sept. 24. Basically, she’s going to be there 10 more days.

The rhetoric in Bolivia is not ratcheting down. It’s getting worse and worse, with president Evo Morales now calling the violence in the country a fascist coup attempt.

He has imposed martial law on the province of Pando, flown in troops to restore order, and declared Pando’s governor a wanted man, blaming him for the violence there. The death toll in Pando now has reached 28.

There’s a good story on how this is playing out for everyday people in Santa Cruz, which is where Yoli is staying.

I will try to provide more information as I get it. Please pray that Yoli and the girls and our friends and family will continue to be safe … and that flights will resume as soon as possible.

Yoli’s Friday

Yoli sent me the following update, which I am posting for her:

Well, I’m at Eliza’s today. Boris wanted to learn how to make a lemon pie. But it seemed to me he wasn’t that interested. I don’t know, maybe it’s just I’m so tired here. I can’t wait to go back home.

My mom cooked “Sabalo” fish, which was good. I made the lemon pie, with little help from Boris, but we haven’t eaten it yet. Jadzia and Ludi are napping, but Jadzia has a fever. I brought the video camera, so I hope I can film my mom later.

Things here in Santa Cruz, well in Bolivia don’t look good. I saw in the news today that all international flights are cancelled, at least till this weekend. But we’ll see what happens. I hope everything goes back to normal. What worries me is that one of Jadzia’s medicine might run out if we stay here longer.

Tonight my friend Dora should have her baby delivered by c-section. I’m going to call her home tomorrow and find out how she is and I’ll try to visit her.