Sunday, September 1, 2013

They came, they went - they made it to Bolivia

After a few months of waiting the moment finally arrive for Chris, Allison, Alex and Dexter. Their passport with visas were in hand - the travel arrangements had been made, it was time to board the plane for a herculean trip to their new post in Bolivia.
Traveling with a dog and a baby is not for the faint of heart, but they definitely lined up as many ducks as they could control and left their hotel in Virginia at 4 am. Dexter was checked in and they headed to the airport. There was a tiny bit of squabbling with airline personnel over luggage, but eventually they found a nice United woman who gave Alex her first set of wings.
They arrive in SFO at about 10:30 our time and had a layover until 7:30. Glenn and I had made a stop on the way to get them to pick up dry ice for their journey (traveling with milk). We picked them up and then went to retrieve Dexter who was joyful to see everyone.
The time gave us a while to enjoy our granddaughter and let the dog run around in Opa's yard. Oh we did have their last American meal for awhile at Max's near the airport. When it was time to go to the airport, Glenn dropped us curbside while he went to park the car. We made our way over to the LAN counter, Dexter was with us as on this airline there isn't separate place to go with the dog. It took awhile but eventually all was checked in and the dog was shuffled off for the two flights and many hours it would take to get to La Paz.
I have to admit when I saw them walk into the "secured" area of the airport it was with a real mix of emotion. I was happy for their grand adventure, but nervous for the dog, nervous for Alex and even a little nervous for Chris. This will be quite different from what they know here. But I also was thrilled knowing how exciting it all was for them. The adventures they will have, the people they will meet, the world they will explore will be priceless.
While waiting to take off, I got a couple of photos sent to me. The last one that will come from their cellphones from the US.
The boarding pass for Dexter saying he was on board and well..... made me smile. I was praying the same would be true when they landed in La Paz!
The flight I hear went well. Alex had a short bit of fussiness and slept the rest of the way. When they landed they were met by a colleague of Allison's and a van to transport all their bags. Trouble was only 2 of the 5 bags made it all the way from Virginia! Alex's clothes made it, but their underwear didn't - along with Allison's business clothes and coats. IT IS COLD in La Paz at times. It is 2 miles high.
They were taken to their home for the next 2 years, in a quite suburban neighborhood. It is three stories has a lovely yard and stunning view.
Now I wait for more and more pictures. They will be my lifeblood. My connection to them so far away.
When this picture arrived I was thrilled. Here is Alex wearing a hat that I picked up on a training walk in Fisherman's wharf. Look at those bright eyes.
So they are settling in, finding an emplaeada who will be a housekeeper, cook and occasional nanny. They are test driving cars to buy that will handle some of the rough roads. They are settling in. The bags supposedly have arrived or will shortly (at least they found them!) It sounds as if the embassy if a tight family with organized events and things to do. I think it will be amazing. Both Glenn and I are trying to work on our lung capacity for our trip in November. Because despite what people say.... there is nothing like hugging the people you love...NOTHING.

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