Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Summer 2008: Leaving Cochabamba and good bye to the immigration office

After Janaki had recovered in Cochabamba we met once again with CEDESPAR to try to coordinate possible collaboration between our organizations. We had spoken to our friends Duane and Marlene and the younger members of the group quite extensively, but this meeting was a bit more awkward because most of their board of directors were present, including several older members who we didn't know very well. We were left to explain our ideas to them regarding how CEDESPAR could possibly incorporate the BioSand filter into their work, and in all honesty, were greeted by a cool and skeptical reception. It seems that, at least for the time being, they do not feel that they really want to get involved with water issues in the communities in which they are involved. We found this quite understandable since they are also a new organization and, like us, can't do everything at once. Somewhat disapointed, Janaki and I left Cochabamba to spend a few weeks back with COBAGUAL in Ascension.

On the to Ascension we had to stop in Santa Cruz to pick up our extended tourist visas at the immigration office. Needless to say, given our experiences from our first trip to Bolivia, we were prepared for the worst... long delays, rude officials, etc. Luckily, perhaps because this time we were just tourists, we breezed through the process and picked up our passports without any problems. The only downer was that they confiscated our expired Bolivia citizenship cards which we had kept from the first trip as a reminder of all that the good people at the immigration office had put us through. From their it was a same-day ride on the good old Trans-Guarayos bus back to Ascension de Guarayos.

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