Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The fun never stops! :)

I received a phone call on Friday from ABC International Ministries telling me about the political violence on Thursday. I had hoped things would quiet down over the weekend, but this morning I got this email from Angela at ABC IM -

"This just in from a conversation with Mario this morning: The situation from Cochabamba remains unchanged. The situation is still very tense, people against people. Right now Mario does not think this will be resolved quickly and believes it will be at least mid February before it will be safe to come. Mario and Iris continue the ministry at the House of Hope, but can't travel outside of the area right now. Missionaries (and maybe all people) are being told to not go into the streets. Kids are not going to school. As you read from the earlier email, supplies are not getting in to Cochabamba either, and the grocery stores are in low or no supply.

Mario will be in touch with you as time allows."

While I certainly didn't expect this whole thing to be easy, I didn't quite expect all this. I suppose no one really expected all this, though.

I'm continuing to pull together the last of what I need for my visa application in preparation. I need a ticket to Bolivia to actually apply, so I won't even be applying until things calm down and then I need a few weeks for the visa to process and get sent back, so if anyone feels like a roadtrip to Spokane, I'd be happy to have you!

I really can't complain all that much. My parents and I have been having a good time (at least that's what they tell me). I've been meeting several interesting people through my dad's work. He is involved (through his position as organizer at Spokane Alliance) with a CDC named Sustainable Works. They are focused on energy efficient retrofits for small commercial buildings, paying for them with a revolving loan fund and energy savings for owners and using the jobs as training in energy efficient construction for apprentices.

I'm also going on a cruise at the beginning of February with my best friend Carrie, and another one of our friends, Carrie. It's will be our last trip together for awhile. We had thought of going on a road trip given our extensive roadtripping history, but between everything else we're trying to plan right now and that roadtripping in February isn't the funnest (believe me, we've done it), we decided a quick, meal-inclusive trip to Mexico would be better for now.

Friends from high school Aubrey, Aaron and Casey, are also assisting in keeping me sane. All in all I'm stressed, concerned, grateful (yes, things could be MUCH worse) and hopeful.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Alright. First real post (in other words, I don't know what I'm doing).

New visa requirements for travel to Bolivia came out last week and I finally received the visa application yesterday which spelled out (sort of) what I needed to get. I've got my police record now, am headed in for an HIV test today and am still trying to figure out what a doctor's certificate is. The consul said the doctors would know, the doctors have no idea, so I'll be giving a call to my unfriendly local (Seattle) consul today to see if I can get any additional information on what he's requiring.

All of this seems somewhat humorous on top of everything else I've been through lately trying to legally get to and stay in Bolivia, but somehow I don't really feel like writing all the vexing details which add up to humor in the absurdity of their quantity.

I wanted to post something, however, because when you're in the middle of an experience, it all seems very normal (albeit stressful), so if I waited for something extraordinary to happen, I probably wouldn't write until after I returned home someday.