Healing through the Arts
My 10th day @ Sustainable Bolivia’s Casa Principal and I am FINALLY able to get back to the blog of the beginnings of my travels to warm & sunny Cochabamba. (Sorry, Folks snowed in back home!)
La Aventura empieza en serio (#4) The luxury of an actual meal on American Airlines international flight #922 to LaPaz is followed by restful sleep until our 5:00 a.m. arrival. I look forward to a day and night’s rest in Hotel Stannum.
Because my carry-on bag (relieved of the C-PAP machine that keeps me breathing through the night) was checked through @ DC to La Paz, I have two bags to retrieve before going through Bolivian Immigration. Tucking my newly-stamped passport into my purse, I decide that restroom facilities are more urgent that fitting the C-PAP back into the bag at the moment. Once on the other side of the immigration gate, I ring a bell to begin the money exchange that results in a wad of Bolivianos in denominations of 200, 100, 50, and 20 in my wallet.
“Uh, oh! Caray! Shit! ” My carry-on bag is not at my feet! I am positive that I took it with me into the restroom and that the suitcase was on floor to my left and the carry-on bag on my right when I started the money exchange. “Well, I guess the adventure really is beginning now!”
At least three men offer to help me find my bag. No one remembers seeing anyone take my bag, but it clearly it is gone. Reminding myself that my chemo-brain often tricks me, I peer through the window of the gateway door as one of my rescuers goes in search of Security. Led back to a chair on the the other side, I tell my tale, verifying that it is not in the restroom stall. As I await the next level of authority, I mentally run through what I especially did not want to lose by checking that bag in Miami — the C-PAP, 3 months worth of medicine, personal grooming items, a nightgown and change of underwear, what else?
Thank goodness for Mindfulness Meditation, as I concentrate only on the breath and once again come into THIS moment. If the stuff is gone, it’s gone and once I get to the hotel for some rest, I can figure out what to do in THAT moment.
All the other passengers in the vestibule, as well as the two security guards and a police officer to whom I tell my sad tale are genuinely supportive. None can understand how this could have happened.
At least my Spanish is fluent enough to get through this process. Suddenly, a woman dressed in some sort of uniform comes from the other side of the visa station, pulling behind her my beautiful little red bag. I can’t find the luggage claim tag given to me in D.C., but no one doubts that this is mine. The police officer gives me a tiny lecture about needing to be more careful. “Gracias, Sr. Policia.” And I am off to the next moment. (Which ends up being when the taxi driver has to turn back just 50 feet from where he uploaded me (and my bags!) to pick up his camera that he had left on the curb…..and as I discover that my left hearing aid popped out of my ear someplace between Miami & La Paz) I guess we both had our adventures today.