So you are wondering Bolivia?? What’s up with that right? Well, after a few days in Buenos Aires I had pretty much seen and done everything on the A list and then some. I had even been to some places twice. So in lew of staying on for a few more days with not much to do but to go to museums, so Bolivia looked like a good option. There seems to be a lot going on in this little country and I’m not sure when I would get the opportunity to go again, so why not, right? After booking the tickets it was discovered that one of the prerequisites for entry into BOlivia was proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination. So with the help of American Express’ Global assist, who gave me a list of hospitals in B.A. that could provide the vaccination, I asked the concierge at the hotel to call. Unfortunately the #1 choice – the British Hospital told her that they could not do it and referred us to a public facility. This did not inspire confidence, especially since they did not answer her calls. LUckily it was 6 blocks from the hotel. The office was in a non-descript little building with a very little sign that said “Fiebre de Amarillo” (Yellow Fever).
As I opened the door to a small room with 2 benches on each side there were 4 people waiting. There was someone talking to a man who seemed to be hiding behind a door. When he was done he gestured to us to do the same. So we did. I said to the man “Yellow Fever Vaccination?” He said “Si. Tarjeta identificaccion” So we handed him our passports. I asked him in spanish, how much time. He replied “10 years” I asked again, “how much time to wait” He gestured like it was a stupid question, so we sat and waited. About 5 minutes later, they called our names the woman asked only one question (if I was pregnant), administered the shots and that was it. We did not fill out any paperwork (it was done for us) and no money was collected nothing. She handed us our passports and certificate of vaccination, and said “Ciao”.
After arriving into Santa Cruz tonight I discovered that the Visa fee of $135 US Dollars was ONLY for Americans. Everyone else gets in free and no one asked for the proof of Yellow Fever vaccination either. After using the airport restroom it became clear to me that I am clearly back in the third world, and it feels exciting.
This is a video clip in the La Paz airport, I noted that the belt which brings up the luggage is actually missing, if you look way in the back of the frame you will notice that there are men manually bringing in the luggage and putting them on the belt!