More pics than you can shake a stick at

I was able to borrow a USB cable Saturday and worked on our trip photos later in the evening.

I had originally planned to update my previous blog entries with the photos that matched the stories. However it has taken too long to work on these photos (my Pismo PowerBook G3 is getting long in the tooth), so I’m just dumping them all into one big, new blog entry. I hope you enjoy.

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The kettle is whistling

Wednesday I was the first one awake in the morning. I went outside to look at the Traudi grounds, since all had been dark when we arrived the evening before.

Things were pretty much the same as they had been a few years ago when we were here for our friend Corina’s wedding. Jadzia was just a toddler that time.

I talked briefly with one of the worker ladies and asked if there was any breakfast. She said they could make some, and asked for how many. I told her for five, but that my family was still sleeping I thought she told me that when we would come over they would prepare something.

Anyway, after a while I got everyone up and we began to get dressed and what not. I asked Yoli to check with those ladies to make sure everything was kosher.

As it turned out, the breakfast was going to be pricey — and it was already set out for us. Oops.

Continue reading “The kettle is whistling”

The road to Samaipata goes ever on

To follow up on our posting about Monday, we had a really fun time at Yoli’s parents’ house. We visited with three of Yoli’s sisters and their children. Jadzia and Ludi and Josie played well with their cousins, and Don Hector delighted in showing off his cable television channels to me. Much mate and many little breads were consumed. Yoli also brought some springerle cookies for her family to try.

Tuesday we spent the morning eating breakfast and later Yoli ran some shopping errands while I watched the girls at El Jordán.

Continue reading “The road to Samaipata goes ever on”

Six Renauds. Three weeks in Bolivia.

I’m not even sure how to describe our travel experience. So I’ll just give you the highlights:

  • Two adults and four kids … four seats.
  • From Miami to Bolivia, Yoli and Joseph were seated 14 rows away from us.
  • This flight boarded on time, but departed 3 hours later than scheduled.
  • “Dinner” was served around 3 a.m.
  • Desperate for her to get some rest, I let Ludi keep sleeping on the floor of the airplane for a while after she fell down there.
  • The short flight from La Paz to Santa Cruz was a big improvement … until we were landing and Jadzia threw up all over herself.

The long delay, sitting in that airplane with no real idea of when we would be taking off … My frustration knows no words. The whole tenor of the flight probably would have been different if not for that awful way to kick it off.

But all things considered, our air travel turned out fairly well. When we landed in La Paz Monday morning, several passengers complimented me on the girls’ behavior. Even though I was frazzled having to deal with them as they came and went through sleep, hunger, etc, they did well overall. One guy even called me a “dedicated father” or something like that.

We had not been able to do all the legwork involved with getting Josie and Joseph Bolivian birth certificates, like the ones we got for Jadzia and Ludi a few years ago. So, while we knew we would probably have to fork over $270 to pay for visas for them, we hoped we might be able to get buy with regular birth certificates that showed Yoli’s birthplace as Bolivia.

Yoli gave it a good college try, but the wallet was still $270 lighter by the (long) time we cleared customs.

Because of her vomit incident, Jadzia followed us through Viru Viru airport wrapped in a red American Airlines blanket until we finally arrived at El Jordán and could get some new pants. It was such a surprise when it happened on the plane, right as we were landing. I don’t think she even knew what was going on.

Yoli’s sister Eliza picked us up at the airport. She was driving a very compact little white car. I was skeptical we could fit our 7 or 8 bags into it, plus ourselves. But we did!

We got to El Jordan, unpacked, ate a lunch of ramen noodle soup (chicken boullion flavor), and are now coming out of nap time. The memories of the bad stuff are fading as I enjoy the quiet and cool air.

We plan to see Don Hector and Doña Lucila this afternoon/evening. Tomorrow we head out Samaipata in the mountains. We’ll spend 3 nights there before heading back to Santa Cruz for pretty much the rest of the trip.