Spontaneous Vacation

Travel Log: Monday, October 27, 2008

7:05 AM, Cochabamba, Bolivia

We leave tonight. The nicest bus only departs for Santa Cruz from Cochabamba at 21:30 so that is the one we will be on. It arrives the next morning at 8:00. Go ahead, do the math. With stops along the way it turns out to be roughly a 13 hour ride. Most of that time the children will be sleeping; I am bringing some stuff to do for the few hours when they wake up.

I imagine that my posts this week will be sporadic and uncharacteristic in size. The theme for this vacation is: spontaneity.

It was just shy of three weeks ago when Alvaro, the leader of the Cochabamba bowling association announced that a team of about 15 members was going to be sponsored to compete in Santa Cruz and that DaRonn was invited. Spontaneous sponsorship is splendid! I immediately told him I wanted to go. We looked things over an decided to go with the momentum and plan to take our kids.

With a bit more anticipation we would have been able to take everyone by air (an hour long flight). The next best thing is a huge bus called a “bus cama” (translation: bed bus). The seats are large and lay back. If you get the seats nearest to the front there is less likelihood of nausea due to a bouncy bus filled with economic travelers. DaRonn went to the station to buy the tickets yesterday afternoon. He was told that the soonest you could buy the tickets is the day of your trip at 9:00 am (translation: between 10:00 and 10:30 am). In a few hours from now he will go down and hope that we can get the seats we want. Spontaneity folks! It is unavoidable. I choose an excited attitude. Watch… I am just so excited about this spontaneous adventure! That was good for this list-lover-chart-sweetheart wasn’t it? (Affirmation welcome.)

Growing up I used to have my bags packed two weeks in advance. I have become more flexible over the years.The bags are down from storage but they are still empty. Packing is on the list for today but you better believe that I have a list of 31 categorized items that will be going into those bags, yes siree!

I actually have 5 alliterated lists going right. They are all on one piece of paper in columns for quick reference. Each point has a little box by it. You don’t know how thrilling it is to see that I already have a good percentage of those boxes marked off. It is my corner of control amidst a spontieity saturated situation. My lists are titled: To Pack, To Pay, To Purchase, To Plan or Arrange, and To Play (YEAH!). That final list includes 19 ideas for things to do while we are in Santa Cruz. Trust me, I am fully aware that there is a possibility that none of those get checked off. That is ok, because I have tricked myself. That list only has dark dots by the items so that the check boxes don’t torture me. No boxes = no pressure for checking it off = less tendency for an emotional breakdown. Repeat after me… I am just so excited about this spontaneous adventure!


Spontaneous snippage took place Saturday night. Timothy needed to have his head buzzed. After I got done with him Tyler was game so I gave him his first hair cut as he sat on his papa’s lap. He looks so grown up now! DaRonn was so inspired by my snipping skills that he sat in my chair next. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor because no-one (and I mean no-one) has been allowed to cut his hair for him since he was 15. He has always done it himself. He coached me through it and taught me how to: fade, shape, change guards, comb out, move the clippers in the right direction and cut at the right angle. It was fun to do it together.

Yesterday (Sunday) I did the girls hair. We decided on cornrows for easier care throughout the week. Before I have just done rows of tiny french briads. I knew I was doing it wrong. So I watched some YouTube tutorials. I was still confused. But then about half way through Raimy’s head my fingers figured it out. Cornrows are actually lots easier than french braids. Instead of alternating from side to side when new hair is introduced to the stitch you gather hair across the whole next section and add it to the third strand being folded in to the middle. The trick is keeping your work tight and close to the scalp. The braid then flips itself over and looks inside out. Very cute! I am so proud of myself. Between my two girls I did 26 braids and it took three hours total. Might explain the sore hand and wrist muscles today but I am very happy with the outcome.

Including my hair cut last Tuesday the Washington’s heads are ready for a great vacation.

So you are up to speed with the preparations for the trip. Now I am off to shop, pack, deliver guinea pigs and earn myself many more little check marks.


12 thoughts on “Spontaneous Vacation

  1. I hope you have a great *spontaneous* vacation. :)

    And I’m happy to have you along on the journey of spontaneity.

    Lists? What are lists? Oh yeah. I made one once. I wonder where I put it?


  2. LOL. Wow! are you a J! I am so not. Your lists are very impressive, and I am exceedingly impressed at your spontaneity. Well done! (Now I need to exercise my weakest link and actually make and check off things to do today. :) )

  3. OH I just can’t wait to see a picture of all that beautiful hair!! You may need a spontaneous Professional picture to boot! At least every hair is in place!

    Have great fun going with the flow…ebb and flow, ebb and flow! Smile! I’m sure you’ll have great stories to tell of your adventures!

    Big hugs!

  4. I’m so proud of you for finding your way to “cope” with the spontaneous way of life here. You have to find what works for you within your context and you do that beautifully! Have a great trip… you guys should be just about to Santa Cruz right now, enjoy and take lots of pics for us all to see!

  5. @ALL MY DEAR FRIENDS – Thanks so much for the great comments! I got a new post up about our bus ride and first day of vacation. I am off to work on pics… Oh, Annie, what is a “J”? Ok, see y’all soon!

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