Traveling To Bolivia
It was Monday October 19, we woke up at 6am to shower and fit the last little bit of stuff into our already overstuffed suitcases. Once the car was packed, my aunt Kathy arrived to take the pallet to the shipping yard. We were not able to ship the pallet the previous Friday due to many unknown things popping up. So we decided to be at the shipping yard at 8am on Monday morning. We got there at 7:45 and had to wait, and wait and wait some more for someone to tell us where we could unload our pallet at. Finally around 8:15 Chris and his dad spoke with the person in charge and we were able to unload the pallet from my aunt's trailer and have it packed for shipping. God was very good to us.
At 8:30 on the dot, we left for Miami Florida praying for good traffic and good speed. With several stops for the children, lunch and dinner, we arrived in Miami just 12 hours after leaving Atlanta. We unloaded the van and placed all of our checked luggage and carry-on luggage on to 2 carts stacked very high plus the stroller. We pushed our stuff up to the Bolivian Airlines counter (which we couldn't have done so easily if it wasn't for Chris's Dad being there) and started checking in. Praise God for all of our checked bags being 22-23kgs (49-50lbs) which was the allotted amount for the bags. Then they checked our carry-on bags. Ouch they were 17kgs, 15kgs and 13.5kgs. They told us we were going to have to check all three bags at $100 per bag. Chris and I were shocked because the carry-on bag limit was 10kgs and no more and we both knew that the money we were taking to Bolivia with us was a very small amount but would help us get started down here. During all checking in, we told the man that we were moving to Bolivia to be missionaries and could not leave any of the stuff behind at this time. The kind gentleman behind the counter allowed us to take the smaller bag on the plane with us, but we would still have to pay for 2 more checked bags for $200 dollars. This happened to be a blessing to us as we had a long way to travel in all three airports that carrying two extra bags with us would have made life real difficult. Then we were getting our stuff together to head to the plane when another gal told us we had to check our third bag no questions. We didn't know what to do. Chris decided to reduce the weight of the 13.5kg bag down to the 10kgs allowed and we were able to take it with us praise God.
We went through security and made it to our plane in time to board our plane. Chris and Corey were seated in seats closer to the front of the plane and Cara and I were 15 seats back. Another blessing from God was that the plane was not very full since it was an 11pm flight. So we both had the entire middle rows to ourselves good enough for Corey and Chris to sleep and I got a little bit of sleep even though I had to hold Cara the whole time. We arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia about 5:30am on the 20th of October. We headed to immigration and needed to buy our tourist visas. We were told by our friends that Bolivia was now offering one month visas for $55 dollars and that we should try to get them. So with our very tired minds, we attempted to communicate in Spanish that we wanted the one month visas but they were not understanding and gave us the three month visas for $540 dollars total. We didn't really know what to do but pay it so we searched our pockets and our wallets for the money. We were blessed by my grandpa and grandma with some money for the kids so we had to use that to help buy the visas. By the time we made it through immigration and to our next plane we had to wait for approx 45 min. Not too bad I would say.
We boarded our next flight to La Paz, Bolivia. This was a very short flight approximately 45 min to an hour to fly landing at 13,000 feet in the city of La Paz. We gathered our stuff and deplaned. We started walking to baggage claim and began to feel very weak. Chris especially. We arrived at baggage claim, two gentleman helped us collect our bags and we headed to customs. God was very good to us, the gal who was there took our paper and passed us through without us having to show anyone our bags. Praise God. Once through customs we were headed to the lobby and saw our friend DJ Knott. I was very emotional at this point and just wanted to cry cause I was so tired and stressed about the travel. DJ found two taxies for us and all of our luggage, Jodi, his wife, arrived and we loaded up and headed to their apartment. We put the kids down for a nap and decided to take one ourselves after breakfast. That afternoon we met our new landlords, saw our apartment and moved in. see the pictures below for what our place looks like. We then headed back to DJ and Jodi's apartment for lunch before we went to bed early that evening in our new (used/borrowed) beds. Our landlords came by late that evening for signing the papers (DJ and Jodi came over for translating for us). Then Chris and I went back to bed.
Pictures below as follows left to right:
Mt. ILLIMANI from our living room window, dining room off the living room (currently corey's play area), hallway off the living room, living room (taken from the hallway), First bedroom to the left heading down the hallway (where we keep all our clothes and other stuff) (it was too noisy to sleep in as the stairs are right there to the upstairs apartment), bathroom to the right (no shelving), Kitchen off to the left, Bedroom where we sleep (beds are off the the right of the picture.
Oh the Altitude So how are we doing with the altitude, remember I said that chris began to feel very weak, well he arrived in Bolivia with a head and chest cold, which limited his ability to take in air. By Tuesday evening he had a fever and was in bed with a headache and thinking he was going to die. I was doing alright, I was short of breath and every time I stood up I had the feeling like I was going to faint but otherwise I was able to get the kids ready for bed and asleep quickly. The kids were doing alright, Cara was sleeing a lot throughout the day and Corey was running around everywhere.
God's Blessings In Cochebamba The next day we got up, packed and headed to Cochebamba with DJ, Jodi and Manuel (who arrived early Wednesday AM). We had to meet the owners of Mano a Mano to get our work contract in order to get our residency visas which will allow us to stay in the country for 2 years instead of 3 months. The people there were very nice. We stayed at a mission house owned by a friend of DJ and Jodi's. Spent time visiting Mano a Mano another aviation mission group and just relaxing (kind of). God blessed this weekend greatly. We had several stressful points as we were trying to get our work contract. .
*First we had left our passports in La Paz and only took copies which we were going to need for the notary.
*Second the meeting with Mano a Mano was put off till Friday late morning due to the owner needing to go to a funeral Thursday when we had planned to meet.
*Thirdly, we had trouble getting a hold of the gal who is helping us with our visas, to find out what the contract needed to say
With Sabbath quickly approaching, it was looking more and more like we would be having to stay in Chochebamba through Monday or Tuesday rather then returning to La Paz on Sunday. But again I say God Blessed Greatly! He caused the notary to accept Chris's copied passport and his USA driver's license. Mano a Mano was willing to give Chris a work contract and the kids and I would come in under his contract which would save us approximately $300 dollars. And God allowed the gal to get out of her meeting early so she could get us the wording for the contract, we got all the paper work done by 6pm right at sunset on Friday allowing us to enjoy our Sabbath with a beautiful hike outside of Chochabamba and return home Sunday Morning.
Picture Below from our trip to Cochebamba (left to right): SDA Church at Adventist University in Cochebamba, Courtyard at University, Cochebamba from a hike that we took on Sabbath, The valley we hiked to, Chris and Corey found a Stream to walk in (the water was muy frio (very cold), Our friend Jodi holding Cara while I took some pictures.
Week 2: Setting up our Temporary home in La Paz This week has been spent shopping purchasing items for the home (we got a stove so we could cook at home) and other stuff so we don't have to go to the Knott's home for all of our meals. What an AMAZING GOD we serve. We entered Bolivia with $150 in our bank account and $122 in our pockets, God blessed us with some recent donations to allow us to begin getting our house set up. We still have items we need to purchase, like our bed, a refrigerator and a washing machine but we know without a doubt that God is taking care of us through you our supporters/family/friends.
Some things we have learned so far in the week and a half that we have been here: 1. IT IS COLD HERE!!! unless you are in the sunshine or hiking up and down hills, or carrying heavy loaded bags around the market. 2. You only wash your hands in cold water (which makes you colder) because they don't have water heaters here. 3. The shower will stay hot when you use very little water which means it could take you longer to shower or you could get fluctuating water so the water is cold/hot/cold/hot which will also take you longer to shower with oh and don't touch the shower head or you could get shocked since that is how the shower water is heated. 4. When you are told we are going to the market, it does not mean walmart... it means you are going outdoors to shop at several outdoor shops that sell the exact same thing to find the best deals. I'll share more on this experience in another update. 5. God will provide, protect and care for us when we are following his will. We look forward to heading out to the villages outside the cities to evaluate the needs out there in the next several weeks. I will be sharing more in the near future. Please continue to pray for us as we settle in and get use to our new surroundings and begin to build our Spanish vocabulary.
Much Love from the Eno family
Ps. We have had trouble getting internet access, so stick with us as we get this figured out and get back in contact with all of you via the great technology that we have these days.
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