Many have you asked if I would be taking dresses again next fall to Peru. Right now, I'm not sure. I did want you all to know that I knew I was in for a "job" of bringing and distributing the dresses, but I felt like I was up for the challenge. Every single thing that was donated to me, I brought.
This was all the items for donation. My personal bag was going to be carry on all the way. The week before I left I attended the Sisters Community church and briefly met the team that was going from there. They knew I had three bags and others were willing to check them under their name there would be no airline charges. Before we left I also let them know what was in the bags in case they were asked.
When we arrived in Bolivia everybody needed to have the bag they checked. Even though I grabbed all of my bags I had to find the person who checked that particular bag. We were told we would get to an area, show them our paperwork/passport and then would push a button, you would either get a green light or a red light, meaning your luggage would be searched. I got out relatively early, but almost everyone had an extra piece of luggage with lots of toys, clothing, soccer balls, school supplies. (there were about 45 of us arriving at the same time)
This is where we waited for our group to get through. Both of the other bags of mine were searched. I felt bad because it added stress to the other people I didn't really know. (this was on top of 1 1/2 days of travel too) I was very stressed!
Someone from the group had to bring a flyer back to the airport and let them now about the mega festival taking place and that we were here only to give out all of the things we brought- not sell them.
This was us once we finally made it through. We are on the upper level of this bus- I'm sure the lower level was packed with luggage.
We did not have a passenger door for the front seat. See the green bag? That is in the front. (with the dresses in it) but it had to go up the stairs, then passed to the driver to put in that seat every.single.trip!
In and out, in and out, in and out. If I knew the school was going to have 300 kids I wouldn't bring it in, but certainly didn't want to miss an opportunity either. I also kept quite a few in a back pack that I took with me everywhere.
The arthritis in my back is sore now that I'm in cold weather but in Santa Cruz de la Sierra the weather was warm and I felt great. It was a lot of work, though.
My opinion? All of that work was worth it, but I'm not yet committing to taking more than one bag next year.
Here's a reminder of why we did it: