Nov 27th: Busride to La Vega

Our plan for today was simple. Take a taxi to the Caribe Tours bus station, buy four tickets to La Vega, and jump on the bus. Caribe Tours, from what we had found out before leaving, was a greyhound quality bus service and it turned out to be just that; including the broken toilet.

It was a bit funny, in an awkward sort of way, for us to realize that we were the only ones on the bus that had ANY luggage to stow below the bus and that our luggage pretty much filled one entire luggage compartment.

The bus ride we had heard was so cold you would need a sweater, unless you were Canadian. In fact, I think Nicole and the kids were glad to have their sweaters although I enjoyed the cool ride. Again the roads surprised us with their quality, the fact that there were a few overpasses, and the lack of sudden stops or jolting corners.

Ariana's Map

Ariana's Map

Ariana wouldn’t let me look away from the road. She said I had to “watch the road. I have to draw a map when we get there so that Grandma and Grampa can find our house”. Two hours later, me with a kinked neck, we stepped off the bus in La Vega, the one stop for which the driver announced the location over the Intercom. And yes, Ariana did make me draw a map as soon as we were at our home.

And there we found ouselves: at a fairly small building near an intersection in what looked like the middle of nowhere. Although we had called our TEARS hosts when we left, the bus ride turned out to be much shorter than they expected. I can’t think of how one could stand out any more than being the only ones who were pasty white, unloading more luggage than we could handle, who had a red head and a blonde child and then just hanging out at the bus station. Based on the number of taxi drivers who asked as if we wanted a ride I guess they noticed.

OUr TEARS hosts arrived and welcomed us warmly, gave us a few hours to unload our stuff and then invited us to their American thanksgiving dinner. We thouroughly enjoyed the dinner and meeting the other staff, of which almost half spoke some English. Our kids completely surprised us by immediatly joining the other younger kids, none of whom spoke any English, in doing whatever kids do while we spent a few hours relaxing with our new support network.

One comment should have drawn more attention though. Someone asked me “how did you find the noise in the barrio the first night?”. Well I didn’t know yet, but we were about to find out.

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