Amanda Dorough | The Beautiful Journey

Drawing Bolivia to a Close

Leave a comment

I’ve been home for a week now. I have to admit it still feels pretty surreal to me. There were moments during my last week in Bolivia when I wondered if I’d made the right decision. While my life in America is far from perfect, sitting here, in my bedroom, bundled up in sweats and blankets, I know I’m in the right place and I feel blessed.

Getting home was no easy task. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more stressful travel experience in my life, but at the same time God’s provision really had a chance to shine through. Getting out of Bolivia itself was a miracle. I spent 40 minutes arguing with the immigration guy over my visa. Technically I had overstayed my one month visa, however I began the extension process as soon as I arrived in the country. It was due to Bolivia’s lack of governmental organization and efficiency that 2.5 months later I still hadn’t been granted my extension. I tried to explain this to the guy (in Spanish to boot!) but he still wouldn’t budge, it was $123 fee or nothing. Oye vey!

And then there were the flight delays. My first flight from Cochabamba to Santa Cruz was delayed, although it didn’t matter much since I already had a 14 hour layover at the airport, but then, when I checked into my flight to Miami the next morning I was informed that it was delayed as well. We touched down on American soil at the exact same time my flight to Seattle left. It looked like I would be spending the night in Miami, and I wasn’t excited.

But, here’s the point where things started looking up. I made my way through customs and to the American Airlines customer service counter to get a hotel voucher for the night. When my turn came I went up to the counter, explained to the agent that I’d already been rebooked onto another flight while I was in Bolivia. She asked where I was going and when I told her Seattle she said “wait just a second, I may have something…” There was a flight leaving for Seattle via Dallas at 6:55 and I managed to score the very last seat on it (sorry standby folks!). Only issue was it was already 6:15, I needed to hustle, and I needed to call my mom! So I went in search of a pay phone (I know, I know, old school but I thought I would be living in Bolivia for 10 months so I cancelled my cell service). I went up to a TSA agent to ask if she knew where pay phones were. She got a confused look on her face, pulled out her iPhone and said I could use it. PTL! (Praise the Lord!) Next, getting through security proved to be quite a task, the line was long, as in like an hour long, an hour that I didn’t have. So I walked up to the agent guarding the priority line, I asked her how long it would take because I didn’t have much time, showed her my ticket, and she waved me through. PTL!

I made it to my flight on time, but like both my flights before, it was also delayed. Again stress began to build up inside of me. I saw my 50 minute layover in Dallas shrink more and more, and once again I wondered if I would make it to Seattle in time. So I did the only logical thing I could do in the situation. I prayed that my Seattle flight would be delayed. I just needed 20 minutes, please God delay the flight by 20 minutes.

We landed in Dallas with 10 minutes until my take-off time and a gate on the opposite side of the airport. I ran to the train and then home alone style through the airport to hopefully make it before the gate closed. I didn’t care if my bags made it, I just needed to be on that plane.

I reached gate A21 completely out of breath, and go figure, the flight was delayed… by 20 minutes. Thank You Jesus!

So, in the end I made it home at 1am on Christmas Eve. It was such a blessing to be able to spend Christmas with my family this year, and honestly, it’s a blessing to be able to experience winter. After having summer for the last 12 months this change in weather is welcome.

So this brings to a close the Bolivia chapter in the story of my life, but of course I couldn’t finish out this story without a few more picture from my last few weeks in South America….

This is what rainy season looks like in downtown Cochabamba.  There were some points where I was wading through water midway up my calf.  Yikes!

IMG_0940

I decorated the cafe a bit for Christmas.  Feliz Navidad!

IMG_1088

I joined the Christmas Choir at my church.  Nobody will be calling us for a recording contract anytime soon, but we didn’t do to bad!  We would sing a song and then there was a drama that went along with it.  It was actually pretty cool!

IMG_0980

And of course I couldn’t wrap up my time in Bolivia without more pictures from Casa De Amor 1 🙂

Boy did those kids love their Christmas tree!

IMG_3996

Sweet little F (I can’t share their real names).  I love her smile!

IMG_3977Spending time with my precious N.  I miss holding her so much!

IMG_3983

And then there’s G, the little trouble maker.

IMG_4000 Little A has so much personality.  It think she’s going to be a great leader one day.

IMG_1040

Spending playtime with spunky little R.

IMG_1049One of my favorite pictures of Katie with P.

IMG_1059

Playtime at the Casa!

IMG_1073

When the rains came, these little white flowers started popping up in the front yard every morning… they were gone by afternoon.  Weird.

IMG_1135

View of the waiting room in the Hospital.  If you look hard enough you can just catch a tiny glimpse of the cafe in the bottom right corner.

IMG_0993

And then, on my final day at the Hospital I walked outside and the place was overrun with children, hundreds of them, it was a Christmas Festival at the Hospital!

IMG_1122And for a final picture I had to give you all a look at the native Quechua woman and how they carry their babies 🙂

IMG_1113

So there we go, the end of the Bolivian era.  It’s hard to beleive that 2013 is already upon us.  I’m super excited for this coming year because I feel like some big things are coming, and with that there will be some big changes around the blog, but more one that later!

Advertisements

Author: Manda

Hello! I'm a lover of Life, travel, Jesus and all things colorful! Follow my blog at www.amandadorough.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s