Friday, July 27, 2012

Bye-Bye USA, Hello Bolivia!

It is a long journey to Bolivia, and for us it was especially long this time. Our missionary friends and co-workers, Tim and Kim Benner, drove us from McAllen to Brownsville at 5:00 AM on July 18th. I had told Jayden we would eat at McDonald's when we arrived at the airport. That was a big mistake, because Jayden doesn't forget promises! Little did I know that the Brownsville airport didn't have a McDonald's. It only had one restaurant and it was outside of the security checkpoint. Needless to say, my little guy was disappointed!

I continued to tell him that eventually we would find a McDonald's, but I had no idea how difficult it was going to be! We had a short layover in Houston, and although our flight got delayed, we weren't sure how long the delay was going to be and we needed to remain at our gate. There was no McDonald's in view. Again, Jayden was saddened.

We arrived in Miami, picked up our luggage, and headed out to wait for our hotel shuttle. We considered eating in the airport before heading to the hotel, but we knew that the hotel had a restaurant and were hoping there would be restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. We caught our hotel shuttle, checked into our 5th floor room, and headed downstairs to try to find some food. Would you believe there were NO restaurants besides the hotel restaurant within walking distance. Needless to say, the hotel restaurant was a far cry from McDonald's!

After a night in the hotel, my boy STILL had not forgotten about Mommy's promise to eat McDonalds. (Now, I was getting a tad bit nervous since I knew we wouldn't be finding a McDonald's in Bolivia!) We checked in at the Taca desk, checked our luggage, and decided to go ahead through security and find our gate, even though we were about 4 hours early to the airport. As we were going through security, I hear Jayden's voice cry out, "MCDONALD'S!" much to the amusement of the elderly gentleman who was checking our passports and tickets. He grinned and said, "My son always had a nose for french fries, too." I asked the kind man where McDonald's was and he pointed behind himself and said, "Right after you get through security, there is a McDonald's." Sure, enough. My son had already spotted the sign, hence the enthusiastic yell. I was praising the Lord I got to feed my son McDonald's! We were one happy pair! You can tell from Jayden's smile he was thrilled with his lunch.
 From Miami we had a 5+ hour flight to Lima, Peru. From there we had another 2+ hour flight to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The boys did not sleep much on the flight from Miami to Peru, but by the time we caught our last flight, they were both tuckered, as were Mommy and Daddy. We took Edson as a lap baby, so he was on our laps the whole way. Talk about a challenge with a toddler who never slows down! Thankfully we had 3 seats and he and Jayden were able to share a seat for part of the time.
 Both boys are small enough that at one point we had them both laying down in Jayden's seat with their heads on our laps. By the end of the trip, I was carrying a sleeping Edson and Gerson was carrying a sleeping Jayden. We were ALL exhausted.
 We were greeting in Santa Cruz by quite a welcoming committee! Gerson's mom and dad, pictured above, were there. In addition, both of his sisters came as well as his brother, sister-in-law, and our 2 nephews and niece! We weren't expecting EVERYONE to come since we arrived at 2 AM. That was sacrificial on their part! We were given plenty of hugs, and since Gerson's brother is a taxi driver, we had safe transportation back to the house.
We stayed up late talking. I think we finally went to sleep around 4 or 4:30. We slept a couple of hours and then the boys woke us up, ready to start the day. The boys were starving and wanted to eat breakfast. Thankfully, about that time a woman was walking by our gate selling fruit. Edson saw the bananas and started pointing, wanting to eat them. We called out to the lady and invited her into the yard. 
 We made her day by buying a large bunch of bananas for the boys, as well as some delicious strawberries. How I've missed the fresh Bolivian fruit!
So, eating fresh fruit was the beginning of our first day in Santa Cruz. The boys haven't stopped eating fruit since. We can't keep our kitchen stocked with enough bananas, grapes, strawberries, and papaya to keep the boys full! They are both eating super well and LOVING the Bolivian treats!


  1. What a fun post! I feel like I went with you - - - only I'm not so tired.

    I see you figured out how to load pictures!!! I'm happy.

  2. So glad you feel you went with us! :) Yes, we were tired. having you with us would have been fun! I just realized my look of annoyance in that last picture. I guess I was still tired and NOT amused Gerson was taking my photo. jejejeje!

    1. I'd say it was more a look of disbelief that he was taking the picture - - - or questioning. I don't see annoyance at all.

      I HAVE seen annoyance - - - but that isn't it. (And I've SHOWN annoyance a time or two myself too!)