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.

Safe and sound

Here I am at the Seminario Teologico Hebron, and already it’s been a long day!

I arrived at Santa Cruz’s Viru Viru airport at 6 am (Bolivia time). My journey began at 10 am (CST) the previous day. There were a few curveballs during my connections (one flight was switched to a different plane and delayed almost 2 hours) but everything worked out okay and now I’m here.

Continue reading “Safe and sound”