Today's 3pm trip to transito started much the same as yesterday's........no lawyer. And he PROMISED me yesterday he'd be on time today. Sigh.
BUT there was one big difference: this time I went with sister and brother S. (almost 5 years old) and A. (3 1/2) who l-o-v-e going out with me, and definitely make things more interesting. I sat them down on a bench outside and bought them fresh orange juice (cost: less than 30 cents), which they drank while chatting away, bringing a smile to more than one person within hearing range. S. experimented with using her hair clip in my hair (trying to remember if she is one of the kids recently discovered to be harboring lice??).
After 15 minutes I called the lawyer, because things were not looking good for me to get back to the Baby Home to pick up volunteer Denise, take her to CDA II to watch the kids there with volunteer Sarah, meet with Sarah about a few things, get the staff from there and bring them back to the office for a staff meeting…..all by 4:30 (and house II is not near anything!).
So anyway, he said give him 10 minutes. After 17, he arrived. We went to the 2nd floor and he did something in an office. Then he went outside to make yet another copy of my Bolivia ID. Then we went up to the third floor and proceeded to criss-cross it approximately 6 times. This made more interesting since I was a wide load, holding hands of kids on each side of me (both needing to go to the bathroom desperately but I had no idea where one would be and didn’t think the lawyer would like me cutting out to take them), and with at least 100 men in the middle room watching an instructional driving video. (Yeah, so, there’s barely a woman in this whole big building which I guess makes sense since few women here drive.)
I signed in 4 places
gave an electronic thumbprint
did old fashioned thumb prints (S. jokingly reprimanded me about the ink: “Tia Jenny, WHAT did you do to yourself?!” while A. defended me saying “The police did it to her, S.”)
got my picture made with A. squatting in front of me just out of view
showed my Bolivia ID to a few people
paid 100 Bolivianos ($14).
And ironically enough, although I brought both of my passports today (the old one with my visa and the new one that’s valid), no one mentioned it!
Twice while we waited, A. would say something like "Police have sticks. Those are for the kids." I had warned them before we left that we'd be seeing a lot of police, not their favorite people in the world, and they promised to not be afraid. They weren't but they weren't exactly getting near them either if they didn't have to.
I go back in the morning to get another picture taken, and it’s sounds like the whole thing might conclude in a day or two? What will I do with myself afterwards?!
Hm, I know.......begin the process to renew my Bolivian visa, because waiting in lines in drab government offices and shelling out so much cash is FUN!
Adios, Shana and Hillary - Thanks to Carla Booher for the blog! :) Wednesday night we had a "going away" party for two of our volunteers. Shana is from Texas and has been touring...
3 years ago