Is your commute challenging? Sister Anita Fearday rode 10 hours in six overcrowded vehicles through bumpy roads in Bolivia.

By Sister Anita Fearday, ASC

I recently traveled from my home base in La Paz, Bolivia to the village of Camata to help with 16 baptisms on the Feast of St. James, the town’s patron saint.

During the celebration, I heard a commotion outside the church. A driver had lost control of a mini-bus whose passengers included guests to the baptism.

The bus had tumbled 650 feet down a ravine, killing several people, and seriously injuring others. It was a miracle that anyone survived.

The following day, I lost my ride back home, and trusted that God would help me make the long return trip to La Paz.

It took only an hour to get to Charazani, a small town in Bolivia’s Andes Mountains. A bus came, but I decided it was too full.  A half hour later, another bus arrived just as full, so I decided to negotiate for a space on the bus floor and wiggled my way among 30 other people sitting on the floor.

The ride would take four hours over bumpy dirt roads, so I resigned myself to being jostled among this slice of humanity, with fruit and vegetables, and bags of this and that.

After all, it is the way many, if not most, people travel in Bolivia.

A kind young man, probably seeing my tuckered and disheveled appearance — although nobody looked too great — took pity on me and offered me his seat. I shared with him my food for the journey: an orange and a piece of bread.

I then wiggled into his seat next to a young mother, who was nursing her baby.  She had another small child who climbed onto my lap. Within a short time, both the child and I were in a sound sleep.

That night, after 10 hours of travel in six different vehicles of public transportation, I was delighted to sleep in my own bed.

And, I only paid $7 for my travel adventure. God is good!