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Everything's Gonna Be Alright

There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home.

How true those words are. I loved our trip to the States and will treasure memories for the rest of my life, but I'm happy, happy, happy to be back home. In Barranquilla.

I don't know what, why, where or how but I came back feeling more like I belong here  - and not just because of my house full of stuff. Or Sophia.

It might have something to do with having to pay taxes to get out of the country. 

When we arrived at the gate, the young lady working there automatically assumed that we were going home and told us to visit the Customs office to have our passports stamped so we would be exempt from taxes.

When we showed that lady our passports, she looked at them, handed them back and said something that neither one of us understood. We smiled, said gracias and left.

We got back in line and the same young woman was there and confused when she saw that we hadn't received the waiver stamp. After explaining to her that we live in Barranquilla, she took us to the Immigration office to make sure our passports were in order - which thankfully - they were. The gentleman there told us we had to pay taxes which was ok but we weren't prepared for it.

It was $36 each (it changes every month) and we had the money IF we mixed our Americano dolares and Colombian pesos. The problem was...they wanted payment in either / or. 

So...Jerry made a quick trip to the ATM's - all three of them - only to find out they were depleted of cash. 

Ruh Roh. 

It was midnight and them thar machines were empty.  


The airport is in a 'not so nice' part of town - well just outside of it - and we were a little freaked at the prospect of having to take a taxi to find an ATM.

We had a slight panic attack and of course I figured Jerry didn't know how to work the ATM so I went to try my cards which of course...didn't work.

Thankfully, Jerry is much more charming than I am and by the time I got back, there were a couple girls helping round up people with cash to trade for pesos (or maybe it was the other way around)- so we could complete the transaction. They told us that because we paid taxes to get out of the country we are now officially Colombian!


And Woo Hoo!

The next thing I knew we were taken to a small area in the back so that one of our suitcases could be searched. I'd told them it contained an electric pump for the air mattress and it got singled out. But...

It was rather enjoyable because they played with the souvenirs that we were taking to family and friends as they took them out of the suitcase. We had a couple lluvia instruments (which are rain sticks.) The lady searching said she used to play one in a band and they sound great with a Saxophone but you have to play them very slow. :) She then demonstrated for us. 

We also had guacharacas (also instruments) and of course they were also played with (by the man) (who was corrected by the woman). I wonder what all those people on the other side of the partition were thinking. 

They were able to give me the spelling of the instruments which was way cool.

And yes, we brought our air mattress because we paid for 3 suitcases going out and 4 coming back. I had one stuffed inside another and since they were mostly empty - so I could get stuff to bring back - like peanut butter - I figured why not. We only needed it for a couple nights thank Goodness because it sprung a leak (the same one Jerry fixed before we left) and we ended up with our elbows crunching on the tile floors the second morning.

Anyway, after being searched three times in three different places, (that is areas) (not on our bodies) (I know what you're thinking) we sat down to wait for the plane. Spirit has just begun flying in and out of Barranquilla this month (or last) but they do it in the middle of the night. We got on the plane at 2am and promptly fell asleep.

I have lots of pictures to show you but we're headed to a baptism early in the morning so I'm outta here.

Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite, and don't forget to turn out the light. And remember...

Everything's gonna be alright.


  1. Hi Annie, happy to know your trip was great. I love your phrase: everything's gonna be alright.
    I hope to see you soon. Shirlley


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