Originally, the grand outline for K and I looked like this: drive around S America for 6 – 9 months, volunteer in Africa for 6 months, travel in S E Asia for 3 months. Then things changed.
Plan 2.0 was: drive around S America for 9 months, volunteer in Bolivia for 6 months, S E Asia for 3 months. Good plan. Then things changed.
After staying in one place – Sucre – for two months, we were both itching to get back to traveling in the Casa. Yes, we wanted to go to S E Asia after our stint in Sucre, but S E Asia would have meant backpacking, hostels / hotels, buses, etc., and neither of us were very enthusiastic about this mode of traveling. So, we started talking about where we could go with the Casa instead. The two options that rose to the top were: “old” Eastern Europe – starting in Istanbul (not Constantinople…) and ending somewhere around St Petersburg – or, surprisingly enough, traveling through the US.
For a couple of different reasons we decided to travel through the US. Some of the reasons were: I have started the process of looking for a job – don’t really need one yet, but I am pumped about working again, loved my previous job and want, almost need, something similar. And, while Karen had been doing good, I have been writing on a business book and traveling in the US makes contacting editors & agents straightforward. And, finally, neither of us have been to Alaska, and the US is a great and beautiful country.
Combining these reasons with some paperwork issues – my green card is expiring; the Casa could only stay 90 days in Bolivia, I can’t leave Bolivia and return (in order to get another “visa” for the Casa) without getting a real Bolivian visa; you are only allowed one entry per calendar year on a tourist visa – our choice was for me to ship the Casa to the US, for me to fly to the US, and for Karen to join the Casa and I once her commitment to Biblioworks was complete.
The outcome is: I am driving to Buenos Aires (2,400 kms) in order to ship the Casa home. Once the Casa has been dropped off, I will fly home, visit the US children while the Casa is underway, pick up the Casa, and then I will have to wait another two months before Karen shows up. It will be tough, but there are a few nice fly fishing spots I just may visit.
In the meantime, Karen will be hanging out in Sucre and working with Biblioworks. I admire what she is doing, and am proud that she is providing a different view of the world, via books, to the kids that she is working with. If she touches just one kid, changes the life of just one kid, she will have succeeded.