Thursday, March 20, 2014


A word foreigners quickly learn in Spanish is TRAMITES! This means paperwork, and it’s a continual way of life here.

It just so happens that Jake’s visa arrival and thus other document renewal, the boy’s new documents, ongoing Sophia paperwork, selling a car and buying a car, and preparing for our first big family road trip are all colliding in the same three week time period.

Our checklist:

Renew Jake’s residency visa (involving lots of paperwork and many trips to immigration to check on status): CHECK

Renew Jake’s Bolivian ID card: CHECK

Renew Jake’s Bolivian driver’s license (involves many steps at 3 different places): ALMOST done!

Jake obtain medical certificate for participation in the national triathlon: CHECK (he detailed the many steps for this on Facebook)

Obtain final court testimony of our adoption, helpful for travel: CHECK

Receive boy’s birth certificates in our names, as part of the adoption process:
Son #1: CHECK
Son #2: CHECK! (And how excited he is!!)
Son #3: PENDING (The court didn’t pay attention to where his BC was originally issued—another city should have been notified as to the adoption, not Cochabamba. Sigh.)

Go to lawyer’s office and then court to point out error with Son #3’s birth certificate: CHECK

Obtain Bolivian ID cards for the three boys:
Son #1: Hopefully tomorrow
Son #2: Hopefully tomorrow
Son #3: ???
Obtain Bolivian passports for the three boys so that we can have lots MORE paperwork and apply for US visas for a visit: PENDING

Jennifer request new Bolivian ID card because hers is so worn many do not want to accept it: PENDING

Return to US Consulate to request (again) Sophia’s social security number, because Jake signed her passport and I signed her social security application, and La Paz rejected the different signatures: CHECK (first appointment was canceled by the consulate, due to local protests, and changed to a week later)

Arrange details of sale of Jennifer’s car: CHECK

Transfer papers of Jennifer’s car: PENDING

Leave deposit for our new car with current owner so that it’s reserved for us: CHECK

Try 50 different ways to get enough money to Bolivia efficiently, for the purchase of the car, then open bank account to be able to receive a money wire and pick up in one visit to the bank: CHECK

Make deposit into Tarija hotel’s bank account for our reservation: CHECK

Call hotels in Sucre until I find an economical one, with parking for large vehicle, and a policy that allows children!: CHECK

Those who know Bolivia know how many hours of waiting and running around such tramites entail!!

Now that Sophia is back to eating every 3 hours (after a period of every 2), it’s easier, although I’m still amazed even after 5 months by how quickly every 3 hours rolls around!! With all the outings, she often has to fall asleep in our arms, which means shorter naps, or some pretty indignant screaming when we get home and try to put her in the crib to sleep. But we’re not complaining too much—at least she IS falling asleep in our arms, in noisy places, something that hasn’t often happened in the past.

Also in the works:

Jake has multiple triathlon meetings and paperwork (such as obtaining a letter from the triathlon club for his work)

We’ve set up a Magic Jack phone line, which means that for very low cost, we now have a Washington phone line hooked up to a phone at our house in Bolivia.

Once we have the new car, we’ll need to get it insured, among other things to make it trip ready!

In just a couple of months, I’ll have to start the process to renew my Bolivian driver’s license. When I first got it 5 years ago, this day seemed so far away…

And now we’ve just thrown in doctor’s appointments for checking two of our boys’ eyesight. (So far Samuel does need glasses, to be picked up tomorrow!)

Shew. No WONDER it’s been hectic and we fall into bed exhausted at night!! I’ve also had a lot of Casa de Amor work lately, plus all the housework/cooking again because our help quit a couple weeks ago. I've tried to keep up homeschooling with everything else...

Never a dull moment around here! :) 

Update, March 21:

Frustrating, longer-than-expected morning in SEGIP! Poor baby was anywhere from fussy to very fussy to screaming the last hour (of course right when our number was called and I needed the brothers to take over). Sigh.

Our goals, after paying at the bank, were for Jake to apply for his driver's license with his mountain of paperwork, and for us to request ID cards for 2 of the 3 boys.

I guess we had a successful morning by Bolivian standards, in that Michael proudly received his first carnet ever!

He's been clinging to it all day!

But for the other two, I have to go back to two government offices (one in Cochabamba, one in Quillacollo) to request proof that their former birth certificates have actually been canceled. I shouldn't need anything else other than what I already have, but SEGIP insists. Hopefully the "corte" will give it to me without help from a lawyer.

Then back to SEGIP, back to the long line for "administrative tramites", then finally the line for the ID cards! I don't think that all this will happen before our trip in 6 days... Two boys will just have to travel with their former names/ID cards.

As for Jake's license, I was worried when I saw that there was a contradiction on his background check from transit. Sure enough, SEGIP rejected it! Jake had to get back to school (we're lucky he even got the morning off), so he'll deal with that error this afternoon.

And so it continues! ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a list of things to do how do you keep it all straight? And I thought our list was long with paperwork stuff for eight people. We aren´t even in the same ballpark! I hope you are having a great time in Tarija this weekend.


Thank you for writing us!