Well, after a week in the US for some work meetings, I’m back in Argentina.
I’ll open this up with the biggest disappointment: Tesla’s still in the US. I’m finding that bringing a pet down here is an experiment in how many things can go wrong at once. In order to get the bunny down here, the following steps need to be taken:
- Find a USDA approved vet. Neither the USDA or APHIS actually have a list of these people, or at least won’t tell you over the phone. So just start calling vets, asking for their recommendations, and hoping to find one.
- Make an appointment no more than 10 days in advance with your USDA approved vet. Bring several copies of the APHIS 7001 sheet, and any other paperwork you can find that might help you out and may or may not be needed by Argentina.
- Try to arrange an appointment with the USDA state vet in Harrisburg, because you are either overnighting the forms your vet filled out and hoping they’re right, or personally bringing them to the state vet. Pro Tip: they don’t respond to voice mails.
- No more than 14 days before you leave, book your Delta Cargo flight. Read their instructions carefully, because you can’t allow your pet to have any fruits, veggies, or agricultural products (including hay) in the carrier. The carrier itself has to be bolted together, with a water bottle and bowl that can be filled from the outside, with stickers that say “live animal” and all identifying information on the owners (addresses in both countries, phones in both countries, and feeding instructions).
Needless to say, this did not include having to spend hours trying to get information out of the USDA, APHIS, the US embassy in Buenos Aires, and the Argentinian embassy in DC. None of which were incredibly helpful.
Ultimately, I had the vet appointment, and all of the accessories for bunny. But–the state USDA vet never bothered to get back to me, then Delta decided to run planes on the ATL-EZE route that do not include a pressurized part of the cargo area for animals. Finally–the nail in the coffin–the newest edition of the TACT newsletter–which is all about air transport rules–has an explicit rule change for Argentina, which bans all live rabbits and hares and their associated products from entering the country. Because those diabolical bunnies are clearly plotting an invasion.
So, that was incredibly disappointing, but thankfully both Winks and Tesla seem very happy with my family in the states. (THANK YOU ALL AGAIN FOR TAKING CARE OF THEM!)
However… we did get two suitcases full of goodies for down here:
- XBOX One and games
- Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Crushed Red Pepper, Garlic Powder
- Colored Sharpies
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs
- Peanut Butter
- iPhone (unlocked and ready for a global plan… we are still forced to use our US phones only in emergencies without our DNIs)
- Long-sleeved shirts and jackets for me!
We still don’t have our household goods down here, and it’s questionable if they will ever show up, so we were getting a little desperate. I had thoughtfully packed most of my winter wardrobe in there, thinking that by the time it was winter, it would be here. So much for that–but a good excuse to go shopping.
We’ve been trying to eat healthier down here–two months of hotel food has taken its toll. Thankfully, the fruits and veggies here are very inexpensive!
I’m hoping to be better about updating this–but we’re most likely going to a 7 day a week schedule for a bit at work–which means I don’t have anything terribly exciting to post. I will try to post more tomorrow about the drive from Buenos Aires to Ituzaingo–which was actually exciting–after I get my photos loaded up.