It's Go Time!
If you are reading this post, it means that I will shortly be on my way to Bolivia (or that I am already there)! I finally received my visa on December 29 and quickly started last minute preparations and booked my flights.
For those who haven't heard, I ran into unexpected complications while applying for a special purpose visa for Bolivia (the type of visa necessary for mission work in Bolivia). My passport and application spent a month and a half in Washington, D.C. for the embassy to tell me they didn't have anyone who could sign my visa. So my passport was sent back, and after some discussion with the director of the SLMs, we decided to do visa application round two in Houston. Luckily for me, the second application only took about two weeks to be approved and sent back.
Enter the next phase of questioning whether or not the timeline for my trip would encounter yet another setback. For those who haven't paid much attention to international travel in the past few months, many countries are now requiring a negative Covid test in order to enter. Bolivia is one of those countries. Now, I knew about that requirement at least a month or two in advance, but naïve little me may have done things in the wrong order. See, I didn't realize there was a difference between the rapid Covid tests and the PCR Covid test (which is the one I needed). The rapid tests gives you results in the same day, but the PCR test does not. I officially booked my flight for January 5th last Wednesday thinking that would be plenty of time to sort out last minutes details, including getting my Covid test. I quickly came to realize that my assumption was incorrect, especially since each testing site was closed at least on Friday for New Year. After spending a panicked 24 hours searching for a place that would be able to get my results to me in time, I ended up biting the bullet and paying out of pocket to go to a private company that guaranteed the results by Monday (the day before my flight).
And thanks be God, I received the results early this morning! (They were negative by the way.) So now I can officially say I am leaving for Bolivia bright and early tomorrow. My first flight leaves at 6:45 on the 5th and my last one lands at 8:15 on the 6th.
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me up to this point. I know they helped! If you can continue to pray for safe travels and for my adjustment to my mission, I would greatly appreciate it. Solo international travel is definitely out of my comfort zone.
I will try to take some picture to add to my website as soon as I have a chance.
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us! St. Christopher, pray for us! St. John Bosco, pray for us! St. Therese of Lisieux, pray for us!