We made it back to Bolivia, safe and sound! I´m sorry for not updating sooner, as I know that some have been waiting to hear about our "re-entry" but...to say we hit the ground running would be an understatement!
We had a few more adventures, though, before heading south. :)
We were able to get together one last time with our dear friends the Forness family. We wanted to make sure they knew how much we appreciated the the fact that they loaned us their car for the duration of our stay...
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
We got to watch Keri in her end of the year a cappella show, which was so much fun...
They were amazing!!
We also had a fabulous dinner with Tia Teresa and Tio John at their house...
Very fun Ladybug Game
Full tummies and happy hearts
The morning of our flight home, Deysi saw me stripping the beds after we had gotten up and started to cry...I think it had really hit home that we were leaving. She had been so great about understanding that we couldn´t take everything with us and that some of the special gifts people had given her would stay at my parents´ house until our next trip, but somehow seeing her sheets go into the laundry basket was a little too hard. :(
But once we had gotten over that little hump, she faced the rest of the day with her usual sunny attitude. :)
At the Philly airport with ALL the bags!
Our flights were pleasantly uneventful. We met a very nice woman on the flight from Philly to Miami who took us to the fancy lounge where the first class passengers can relax between flights (she was a member and was allowed to have "guests")--an unexpected but very nice blessing! It was much more comfortable then just sitting at the gate (we had a looooong layover, just in case the Philly flight was delayed) and, besides, they had free cookies. :)
We slept almost the whole flight from Miami to La Paz...I woke up briefly when they served dinner (at 11pm!! why do they do that?!) but other than that we had a peaceful night. The flight from La Paz to Santa Cruz was a little bumpy but we arrived in one piece. We managed to get all our heavy suitcases back, with nothing lost (!) or refused entry (!!) and when we walked out the doors into the main part of the Santa Cruz airport, there were a few of the sisters and four of Deysi´s classmates waiting for us! She walked right up to them and they were chattering the whole way home, telling them about the airplane and reminding us all to wear seatbelts. :)
We didn´t see each other too much that first weekend (she was at the Hogar and I was trying to dig my way through the suitcases back at Casa Santa Clara), but I went to her school on Monday and spoke with her teacher and visited a bit. Deysi had gotten right back into the swing of things, apparently, and her teacher was thrilled to have her back. I recently talked to the tutor that works with her age group at the Hogar and she confirmed that Deysi is in fact READING and seems to be up to speed, if not ahead, of her classmates! Hooray! Everyone comments on how happy, talkative and animated she is.
We didn´t see too much of one another this past week, as we had all sorts of things going on...like a visit with Dr. Ferry and his group of doctors, nurses and volunteers:
Dinner with Dr. Ferry´s group at Laura Vicuña (college students home)
Visit to the Hogar (Deysi is the third from the back on the left)
Stefi, Ofelia, Carmen, Ruby, Deysi and Rosa
Serving ice cream (I had just realized that I had dropped a little blob of ice cream on one of the kid´s heads...oops!)
More ice cream...
...and more ice cream!
Overall, we´re both doing well, happy to be home and loving seeing everyone. Missing everyone back in the States, too. So grateful for such a blessed trip and for all the moments and experiences that we were gifted with while away.
"Welcome, dear Mother Anita to your sweet Home."
And it is sweet...and home.