Yet another apology

Here at the Renaud Empire, there has been no shortage of stories to tell the world at large. There has been, however, a shortage of time in which to write said stories. So, yet again, I am apologizing for a lack of updates here.

A few days ago we returned from a trip to San Antonio to visit family and relax. It was really wonderful. The weather was hot and dry, although we were thankful to see the parched land receive some rain while we were there. My Nan’s pool was loads of fun, and all three of the girls greatly enjoyed it.

Continue reading “Yet another apology”

A little word from Don Hector

The following was written by Yoli’s dad, Hector Zegarra Barron (in Spanish of course):

Visit, Vacation and Second Honeymoon

Thanks to my dear son-in-law Joshua and my firstborn daughter Yolange Z. de Renaud.

After a lot of paper work done by my daughter Lucila and a trip to the US Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, we got the long-awaited visa to be able to travel to this country in North America. We were finally able to depart in a beautiful American Airlines airplane, on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 9:15 a.m.

We arrived to Miami at 1 p.m. After Passport Control and Customs we had some problems finding the right gate. After solving those inconveniences and a 45 minute delay, we departed to St. Louis, Missouri at 9 p.m. and arrived to St. Louis around 11 p.m. Josh and Yolange were waiting for us. We got to their home and we rested from our trip.

First of all, I want to tell you about the change that my wife and I experienced: the U.S. is so advanced compared to third world countries in every way, cultural, political, economical, and above all technology.

To see modern roads, well organized traffic on the highways, orderly urban traffic, modern supermarkets, schools, universities, institutes; or the technological constructions like bridges, buildings, stadiums like the “Cardinals”, the Arch next to the beautiful Mississippi, zoos, botanical garden, museums, the Meramec Caverns, in summer, just what I saw in the State of Missouri — and I forgot the St. Louis Post Dispatch, where my son-in-law works, and the Anheuser Busch Brewery, car factories.

It would take too long to mention so many beautiful things we experienced, like the kind and hospitable treatment from people, especially from my dear daughter Yolange; my granddaughters Jadzia, Ludi, and Josie; my dear son-in-law Josh, without whom I would not be in this beautiful country; also the love from his parents Anita and Joe; and their son Justin, his wife and beautiful children. Neither do I want to forget the big and beautiful Grace Church; a country that believes in God will prosper.

Well, we are in the final days of our staying in this beautiful country and the good thing we have is the honor, my beloved wife and I, to spend the 4th of July here, the Independence of the U.S.A.

Still going

Despite our lack of blog posts this week, rest assured we are going full-bore. Together we have visited quite a few places this week, ranging from the Malcolm Martin Arch viewing platform in East St. Louis to a Cardinals baseball game to Meramec Caverns to St. James (where my brother Justin lives).

Also, Don Hector has helped me continue on with my bunk bed finishing project. I finally finished staining all the head boards, and Don Hector did most of the first coats of finish on the non-headboard pieces.

Photos/videos will be coming sometime soon, whenever we can find time. 🙂

This morning we will be off to the Anheuser-Busch brewery.

Getting ready for visitantes

We’ve spent the last week slowly making progress toward getting ready for the arrival of Yoli’s parents.

A few things we’ve accomplished:

  • clean sun room
  • make curtain rods and hang curtains in sun room
  • make tentative deal for a minivan

Of course we’ve been doing other stuff, too. Today we hit the farmer’s market and bought some peaches (and soy candles). Later I took Jadzia to the library for a presentation by the Butterfly House about ladybugs, which was very good.

Yoli also wrote up a 4-page step-by-step guide for her parents on how to traverse the airports and airplanes from Santa Cruz to Miami to St. Louis. We hope they make it with no problems. Thankfully speaking Spanish is not an obstacle in Miami, and in St. Louis all they have to do is follow the crowd to the baggage carousel.

Tuesday night will be here before we know it. Now all we have to do is clean the rest of the house.

Coming to America

Today was the culmination of a lot of work Yoli and I and her family have been doing in recent months: Yoli’s parents received tourist visas so that they can come to America!

This is not a particularly easy process for Bolivians. It requires paperwork, making an appointment online with the embassy, and traveling to La Paz. That trip is no trifle: it is an extremely long bus ride, and it is high in the altiplano. Since Yoli’s parents are older and because they live in Santa Cruz in the lowlands, we were very worried about altitude sickness.

They left Monday from Santa Cruz, and traveled first by bus to Cochabamba. Cochabamba is higher than Santa Cruz, but not so high as La Paz. They spent a day there sightseeing, in order to help their bodies acclimatize before continuing on.

They had to wake up early this morning (Thursday) in order to make sure they were at the embassy before the 8 a.m. appointment. I understand that Yoli’s dad was on his knees praying much of the night! We all had a very real fear that they would be denied the visa. After all, when it comes to the embassy, you are guilty of wanting to become an illegal immigrant unless you can prove otherwise. We have heard many horror stories.

When they got to the embassy at 7 a.m., there were already 10 people in front of them in line. Ah, the benefits of age: the embassy folks moved Yoli’s parents to the front of the line. Apparently they were treated well and not asked very many questions during the interview.

Anyway, this is exciting news. We aren’t 100% sure when the visas will take effect, but we should know in a few days. Our assumption is that we will be able to have Yoli’s parents visit beginning some time in June.