A Very Long Day that We call Thur-Friday
The well anticipated day finally arrived. With excitement intermixed with a certain amount of apprehension, the Bolivia GO Team Nov2018 gathered at Blackhawk Church for prayer and send-off between 7:30 to 8:30 on Thursday AM. We fit nicely into 2 vehicles and traveled to O’Hare Airport enjoying some good bonding conversations en-route. Once at O’Hare we went through the usual airport “dance” shuffling vehicles, checking 15 bags, migrating through security etc. (you all know the routine). We were blessed with uneventful travels to Miami (aside from one member of our team who kept trying to lose her things but other team members kept coming to her rescue…) The day continued as we boarded the plane to Santa Cruz Bolivia at about 10:00 PM and all attempted to sleep for the 6 hour flight. Unfortunately very few were successful in having a continuous and restorative sleep so we arrived at Santa Cruz customs excited about our entrance to Bolivia but feeling quite exhausted (most of us agreed this was really a continuation of our Thursday). We patiently waited in customs in the VISA line for 30 min-1 hr-2 hrs+ (keeping with the longest day theme) but finally were overjoyed to meet up with our wonderful FH friend, Fabi who had been waiting patiently for us on the other side of security for just as long. We had quite a gap until our connecting flight to Sucre so we explored the nearly 90 degree Centro de Santa Cruz and ended up eating an absolutely delightful authentic Bolivian lunch. Some were so bold as to try the alligator. The day continued with a dash back to the airport and a truly impressive demonstration of efficiency as the Airlines agents checked in 13 individuals, 17 bags, got us through security and tucked us into the plane in only 20 minutes (US airline companies could learn a thing or two from this heroic effort). The pinnacle of our Thur-Friday blend was the celebratory welcome by a number of FH sponsored kids, FH staff and other friends at the Sucre airport. The kids raised their beautifully crafted banner, sang their hearts out (3 songs with lots of dancing and hand motions) then presented each of us with smiles, hugs and our own FH embroidered shirts. Needless to say tears of joy were shed. We then traveled 30 minutes to Sucre and continued our Thur-Friday with checking in to our Hostel, going shopping for sponsored families and then having dinner near the plaza square in Sucre at about 7:45 PM. By 8:30 that night (as a continuation of our 36 hour day) we huddled one last time for our longest (yet joyful) day. Everyone looked a bit weary but could sense the amazing things that God has in store for all of us (our team, FH staff, the kids and families of the Lajastambo community). Most people are now asleep and I will be soon… Please pray for health and regeneration for us as we start this exciting week.