Here we are in Bolivia after two and half years of being away. I knew we had arrived in South America when we landed in Lima, Peru and were told we had to go through security after getting off the plane to catch our connection to Santa Cruz. I´m used to not having to go through security if just catching a connection, so both Gerson and I were startled when we were directed to a LONG line of people waiting to go through security. We thought we had less than an hour until our connecting plane left, and by looking at the long line in front of us, we thought we´d be spending the night there in the airport. However, thanks to our two little guys, we were given preference and ushed to the front of the line where we, once again, went through the whole drill of removing our shoes, belts, watches, etc. Were we ever relieved to get through that!
Our next adventure was to find Gate 18, which according to our flight attendant was where we would find our connecting flight to Santa Cruz. We got there, out of breathe after hurrying through security and carrying both kids plus all our carry on baggage, only to find out that it WAS NOT our gate. Once again, panic set in. Time was flying by and according to our boarding passes, the flight was about to leave. We found a arrival and departure board and looked up our flight. Hallelujah! It was just a few gates down at Gate 26 and it was going to be leaving an hour later than we had thought!
Once we arrived at the correct gate, I left the kids with Gerson and headed to the bathroom. Remember, the last airport in which I had been was Miami. The restrooms there are plenitful and spacious. There is an abundance of stalls in each restroom and rarely is there a long line because the women can go to another restroom down the same cooridor and use one of its 30 stalls. Basically, the wait is SHORT: Not to be in Peru. There were only 3 stalls in the only women´s restroom I found. One stall was locked, although no one was in it. The other two stalls were full and there was a waiting line. I was also reminded of what continent I was on when I read in Spanish, ¨Please do not throw the toilet paper into the toilet.¨Yup. We´d arrived in South America! ¨ To be honest, it made my heart happy!
We made our connection to Santa Cruz without further problems. We were blessed, however, to meet a lovely lady from Tarija, Bolivia while waiting to board our last flight. In the course of our conversation, she learned we were evanglical (Christian) missionaries. She beamed and replied, ¨Then we speak the same language!¨ What a joy to find a fellow Christian travelling with us! Her husband owns a hotel in Tarija and she invited us to come and have coffee with her when we visit Tarija next week.
How did the kids do? They were amazing! (I wish I could download the pictures onto this blog that we took of them during our trip, but I´m at an internet cafe and it would be a little tricky. Hopefully, we´ll get internet access in the house where we are staying tomorrow. Time will tell. We are staying with Gerson´s family and they just moved last week to a different house. They haven´t had time to get the internet installed. That was on our list to do today, but grocery shopping was more important! ;) )
Back to the kids . . . they were troopers! The first day they didn´t cry at all and enjoyed both flights. We stayed in a hotel in Miami, which ended up beimg a fantastic way to break up the trip. The second day of travel was a bit harder. The flights were longer and the kids were worn out from the previous day´s excitement and schedule. There was some crying and some rough moments. but considering we spent 12 hours ON planes and it took us just under 48 hours from the time we left our house on Wednesday morning to when we landed in Santa Cruz on Friday morning, I´d say they did super well!
The funniest thing that happened with the kids was when Jayden looked out the window as we were landing on one of our flights and yelled out, ¨Look, ants!! A LOT of ants!¨ I looked out the window and saw a LOT of CARS!!! Gerson and I laughed and laughed! It was a joy to see things from his three year old point of view.
Thanks for all your prayers. I have so much more I want to share with you, but at this point it´s going to have to wait. I need to go back ¨home¨ and have ¨tecito¨ (light supper) with my family. We love you all and appreciate your prayers more than you know. Gerson has already preached once and is scheduled to preach 2 more times in the coming weeks. I´ll keep the updates coming as much as possible. I will also try to have photos uploaded soon.