This morning we headed for the airport to take a plane the 25 minutes to Sucre. We were flying with TAM…the letters standing for Air Transport for the Military. I think it is one of the president’s initiatives to introduce more competition into air transport here in Bolivia.
We passed through security and the young guy asked to check my carry on which contained all the supplies for the Groups of Hope. I had forgotten a small pair of scissors I was using to prepare maple leaves for the last session yesterday, and once I took them out of the pencil case all was fine.
However, Gladys grabbed them and said…”No don’t give them to him, I’ll take them out and give them toEmigdio,” her husband who had brought us to the airport. She had already given me her boarding pass, but she disappeared back though security with the scissors in hand.
I waited for almost 5 minutes and was just about to ask permission to go and find her as I wasn’t sure she would be able to re-enter, when I saw her coming through once again.
She told me she forgot that her cell phone was in the basket on the conveyor belt, and her husband had already gone, so she hid the scissors in a plant out in the airport, and then told security that she had entered with the ‘gringa’ and he allowed her to enter again.
We both got laughing about it…the scissors hidden in a little garden, Gladys shouting for her husband in the parking lot and not finding him – all for a pair of scissors that cost about a dollar!
Then we got onto the plane…I have never been on a Hercules transport carrier in Canada, but I understand it is quite a noisey experience. This plane was not well insulated, and it felt like we were going to shake apart when we took off.
The air attendant was a soldier…and when he suggested that Gladys slide her bag under the seat, there was no hesitation. I had noticed on our other flights that she kept her bag at her feet and suggested that she put it under the seat for safety, but she had given me the Bolivian shrug…but not this time. Again we had a good laugh to ourselves.
The whole flight from gate to gate was 30 munites, so you can imagine how short the time in the air was! I was amazed to see the attendants serving drinks and giving us little snack boxes. I commented to Gladys that I was amazed that they would do that on such a short flight…she said any company that didn’t serve something on a flight – no matter how short – was considered stingy!
The seat pockets contained one plastic bag between the three of us sitting in #14 D,E,F. No safety info and no magazine…this was a no frills flight…except for the hurried snack. Our ears really popped when we started to come down…and the attendants rushed the cart to the front to stabalize it and then came back later and gave us the little snack boxes.
So we are here…in this beautiful city…from our hotel high on a hill we look over the city of red rooves and white walls. Tonight we are going to a cultural display that introduces one to all the cultural diversity of Bolivia…something I have never had the opportunity to attend, and neither has Gladys.
I just spoke to the woman who is going to organize the sessions, Friday and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 6 pm. Eight women will come by bus from Potosi to join us. thanks for your prayers that each woman who comes will be aware of God’s healing touch and leave with renewed hope.