Sabbath in Bogota and Returning on Sunday

Trip Start Oct 06, 2011
Trip End Oct 23, 2011

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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Sunday, October 23, 2011

We spent the Sabbath in Bogota. We had originally planned on heading home on Friday after the Feast, but since many of the brethren would be in Bogota for the Sabbath, we decided to stay as well. We had 44 at church.  Almost as many as at the Feast.  There were some family members of brethren who did not attend the Feast present at Sabbath services, so we were able to increase the number of people we met here.

Claudio gave the sermonette on being Ambassadors for God, and Scott talked about Doubting Thomas and having unconditional faith.  The two topics meshed very well together as one cannot be an Ambassador for God without having unconditional faith.

The members from Santa Rosa left from church for the bus terminal to catch the bus.  They have a 12 hour bus ride all night, then a 20 minutes taxi ride from the bus to the river, where they catch a chalupa (a flat boat with bench type seats).  They take this up the river for 2 hours to Santa Rosa.  One could fly, but the cost is approximately 5 times as much. 

A few of the members traveling to Cucuta usually have a 12 hour bus ride, but the road is inpassable because of a landslide. So they have to take a different route which is a 17 hour bus ride instead.  I have taken an 8 hour and a 10 hour bus ride at night.  These are about as comfortable as sittting in a padded diningroom chair for the same duration. 

We said good bye to all.  Many from Santa Rosa want us to come visit for Passover.  Well, that is not our decision, but I would be more than willing to come again.  The Colombian brethren are very warm and giving.  They love to have fun and to joke around.

We returned to the hotel.  We were planning on eating at the restaurant next door to the Hotel Emporium, but it was closed.  It is only open during the day and closes at 6 PM.  We did not want to eat at the hotel again.  The cook at the hotel recommended a restaurant nearby called "Crepes y Waffles."  He said it was elegant, but not expensive.  We thought we would try it, though we were sceptical.  We got a taxi and when we got there, it was like a cafeteria--not exactly what we wanted. 

Right next door was a TGIFriday's.  We walked over there.  It really wasn't what we wanted, but it was raining, night time, and our taxi driver had left, so we really had no other options.  It was loud in the restaurant.  We ended up ordering a steak and splitting it.  Nothing really sounded appealing, but we needed food.
When we were done, we asked them to call a taxi.  We got back to the hotel, and the desk clerk said Jesus had called twice.  Jesus came over shortly afterwards with Andres.  He planned on picking us up in the morning to take us to the airport.  We could take the hotel shuttle, but he insisted.  We finished packing, and headed to bed.  We were anxious to get home.

We were up at 4:30 AM to get ready to go.  Jesus and Andres were there to pick us up at 5:15.  There was very little traffic as it was Sunday and also very early in the morning.  When we were getting ready to check in, I asked the lady about the tax exemption for those in the country less than 30 days.  She sent us to window 19.  The man stamped a paper and included it with our passport—no tax!  I am glad I read about this on the internet. 

We got checked in and went to a Juan Valdez café—Colombia’s version of Starbucks.  We got a cappuchino.  Abraham showed up shortly afterwards to say good bye as well.

When we got on the plane, I had row of three seats all to myself.  I was tired, and as soon as we took off, I lay down on the three seats and went to sleep.  I am not one that can usually sleep on a plane, but I did today.  When we got to Miami we ate at TGIFriday’s.  It was nice to be back in America on home turf.

Another short flight to Charlotte and we were home.  Rusty and Maria picked us up.  We shared Feast stories.  They had an equally spiritual and uplifting Feast.  

God bless all of you who are still traveling home.  For those that have followed this blog, I have enjoyed sharing our experiences.  This Feast was awesome!  There are so many more things that happened and that we experienced that were not included, but I tried to share the most interesting parts of our Colombian adventure.

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Ken Murray on

Fantastic travel blog Gayle!
Really enjoyed being onboard for all of your interesting experiences.
Scott did a great job as God blessed him in delivering all those inspiring and encouraging messages.
Aren't our brethren so dedicated to God, to travel all those long distances and to put up with so much hardship.
Fancy you noticing the tax exemption. That was clever.
You deserved the spare 3 row seats on the plane to catch up on your beauty sleep.
One reason i like to be the very last person on a plane, is so i can take my pick of the rows with spare seats, so i can get a good snooze rest. Very helpful on long flights.

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