Friday, August 18, 2017

Whatever Happened to Those Boohers?

    If you have asked yourself the question that is the title of this blog, then this blog is for you!! Yes, we are still alive and kicking!
     So the short story is that we came home to the U.S. in the middle of March. In a nutshell, after four years of living off and on in Bolivia, adopting, traveling and moving repeatedly with nine children, I had reached the end of what I could handle emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I felt stressed all the time. Stressed by the culture, shopping, cooking, the driving, making new friends and relationships, adapting to having three more small children. I was shutting down and not able to handle being a mom, wife, or friend. I felt like a non-person, just a robot going through the motions of life. I had to get home to a place where I could rest and not be stressed for awhile. I needed the support of others around me to lift me up and help me to heal. I am so thankful to the Lord for the things and people he has used to do just that. It has taken all of this time to rest and heal, but I can finally say that I am almost completely "back to normal," if I ever was that!!!

    Our current plan is to stay on here in the US. Rudi is back to work full time and I am back to being mommy full time. We have chosen to not have internet in our home. That means that I do not have much time or access to being online. We plan to stay in touch with our friends in Bolivia via email and phone calls. I do not plan to keep up this blog anymore.

   Our time in Bolivia will be always with us. Bolivia is now a part of us and we are a part of Bolivia! This blog will be a journal that is now closed. If we ever return to Bolivia, I will most likely take up the "pen" and continue to add to this journal, but for now I need the closure of telling you all goodbye.

    Our Bolivian journey has been incredible. Thank you for being a part and joining us on our journey.

God bless each one of you,
for the Rudi Booher family

"...Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen" Jude 1:24&25

 Rudi and Carla and The Fabulous "9"
Oregon Coast
June 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

Summertime in the South

Ruth showing off one of our prize
The summers in Camiri are HOT!!! We endured enjoyed weather from the high 80's to the low 100's, for weeks on end without relief at night. We finally broke down in January (summer is from September through April!) and bought three more AC units for our bedrooms. It was a HUGE blessing to have them! I have to tell you that Heat and I do not agree with one another. I may have mentioned it before, but I turn into a royal grump in the heat! Fun!!!

Our cucumbers eventually gave up the ghost on bearing, because it was just too hot for them. The only thing that loved that heat was the cantaloupes we had planted. We harvested quite a few of them and they were delicious!!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Happy Birthday, Emily

Our oldest and youngest together!!
We had a really special day this year for Emily's 19th birthday. We went out for breakfast at our favorite breakfast place in Santa Cruz, Alexander's Coffee!
Ruth enjoying her orange juice

The whole family at the table!

Happy Birthday, Emily
In the evening we all went to Starbucks, per Emily's request! I have to say it was the first time we have ever taken our whole family to Starbucks ever! It was a really fun time. We met up with some friends and just hung out chatting!
Paula and David

Clara with Peter and Valentina

The birthday girl with her friend, Diana and Ruth

The Starbucks party group!

Daddy with his chocolate babies

Have to have one with me in it to prove
I was really there!
Emily's best friend in Camiri, Betsy, came up to Santa Cruz to be with Emily for her birthday. It was really sweet of her to come. Betsy is now managing Coffee Mattix.
Betsy and Emily
Emily blesses our family every day with her zest for life and love for the Lord. We are so thankful for the lady she is becoming!! Happy birthday, Emily!!! We love you!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Caught at Cinnabon

Everyone knows that my husband is El Maestro of Cinnamon Rolls. He makes the best cinnamon rolls ever and makes it look easy while doing it! Imagine my surprise at seeing him in line at the competition!! Probably just assuring himself that his are still the best!!!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Booher Invasion!

Many of you knew that Rudi's older brother, Chris and his wife, Lisa and seven of their nine children were coming to visit us in February. It was INCREDIBLE to have them here with us for 13 days. We had so much fun and our time together was so encouraging for all of us. We are so thankful that we got to spend the time with them and for all of their efforts to make it happen!! Here is my attempt to capture just a little of what we did with them in a blog.

Fried chicken, french fries, rice and noodles anyone? Lunch stop on the way to Santa Cruz
The day before they arrived it was decided that all of us would go to Santa Cruz to pick up the family. A family in Camiri graciously loaned us their Ford Van as a second car while Chris and Lisa were here. It was really nice to have the extra space. We squeezed into our truffi a couple times with all 20 of us and we all appreciated having the two cars all the more!!

At the last minute our friend, Mario called and asked if his wife, Edith could ride up to Santa Cruz with us. Of course, we said, yes, as Edith is one of our best friends here in Camiri. It was pleasant to be able to visit with her during the four hour trip up to Santa Cruz.

We stopped in the little (dirty) town of Abapo, our halfway point, to pick up a bit more food to go, when we discovered that we hadn't packed the lunch we had prepared for the road in the cooler. We decided to just eat right there and save the cars from the greasy food!

We spent the night with our friends, Marco and Sandra. The boys pitched a tent in the yard and they graciously provided two rooms for the rest of us to stay in. They live right off the Eighth Ring, so they are close by the airport. Our night was short, because we had to be at the airport around 4:30 a.m. to pick up Chris and Lisa and Co. and the little kids did not settle down until close to 11 p.m.!

When we arrived at the airport the immigration workers found us and told us that we had forgotten to write an invitation letter for each person. I was seriously hoping they wouldn't care, as in times past, but they really cared this time. They threatened that we would have to go back to immigration in the city later in the day, etc. Rudi and I did some fast talking and about one hour and a little cash to speed the process later, we had an invitation letter written and some very happy immigration workers!! I know think they saw us gringos coming!!

Waiting for Chris and Lisa to come through the magic doors
on the right!!
I will take just a moment and introduce our guests: Chris, Rudi's older brother, his wife Lisa, Clayton (15) adopted from the Ukraine, Kenneth (15), Kevin (13) adopted from the Ukraine, Scarlett (13), Samara (11), Hannah (9), and Eliana (Ellie)(8). Chris and Lisa's two older daughters, Ericka and Kathryn did not come with them. As you can see from the listing above, we have much in common with Chris and Lisa. They set the example of having six biological children and then adopting a sibling group of three from the Ukraine.
I know it is blurry, but they are all here... We left
Adriana and Peter sleeping at Marco and Sandra's
After picking everyone up, we swung back by Marco and Sandra's house to pick up our two youngest who we had left still sleeping and also to eat breakfast before heading off on the four and a half hour drive back down to Camiri. We had some sleepy passengers on the way home!
Singing at Marco and Sandra's house
I must say that a lot of time they were here was spent shopping for food, making food, and cleaning up after food. Feeding eight teenagers and twenty people all together felt like feeding the 5,000 sometimes!!
I will relate a funny story about Kenneth and the food. For some reason we had driven into the center of town where we buy our groceries and such. I was waiting in the van with some of the kids while Rudi ran around buying things, very standard procedure for shopping in Camiri! Anyway, we had parked in front of a table of dead, plucked, ready to buy, chickens. There they were all stacked up with  their stiff legs in the air, necks draping down off the table, you get the picture! Kenneth asked me, "Do you ever buy chickens like those?" with an underlying hint of, of course you never would do that, in his tone of voice. I casually said, "What do you think you have been eating ever since you got here?" I had to give him a bad time when he didn't eat the leftover chicken dish that night and only ate the rice!!!
That's a lot of Boohers at one table!!

And the adult's table! We were vastly outnumbered!
Our first Saturday was super full. It included music practice to learn a Spanish song we could sing together, shopping at the market for gifts for Clara, swimming at a public pool, getting ready for and having our Horita Feliz, and celebrating Clara's birthday! I didn't get any pictures of the Horita Feliz or Clara's birthday, but I know that some other cameras were taking pictures. I will add pictures if Chris or Kenneth send me them.

Practicing our Spanish song with Emily leading out.

Enjoying some family time in the living room!
Our boys all needed haircuts. We lined them up and took their picture with their wild hair dos!!
Now there are some handsome boys!
L. to R. Myles, Clancy, Clayton, Kevin, and Kenneth
Sunday morning we went to the local church "Dios es Amor" to share some music and testimonies. Rudi was able to translate for Chris, who shared a really sweet testimony of how God had worked in his and Lisa's lives. I really enjoyed watching the two brothers share together. Their family shared a couple of songs and our family shared one song. It was a blessed time and memory for me.

In the evening some of us walked over to the Mattix's farm.

Chris, Lisa, Rudi holding Peter, and Carla
on the bridge at Hebron

L. to R. Paula, Elli, Samara, Clara, and Scarlett
There is a really cool tree on the way to the farm that sounds hollow when you pound on it. Rudi gave them a real demonstration of that way it sounds!
Rudi pounding the tree for our guests!

Yes, they did ride on the top of the car to and from the farm...
One time, the kids insisted on riding on top of the van and Rudi decided to have some fun. He drove beneath every low hanging pokey tree on the route! He grinned with fiendish glee over every shriek and howl!
Getting in some music before heading to the pool!
Can you see what Peter is doing?

Book time with Uncle Chris
Clayton, Ruth, and Samara on a hike over to the Farm found a plum tree and also a grapefruit tree with ripe plums. They brought them back and made lots of juice from them. It had an exotic flavor...
Plum and grapefruit juice making... Fun!!
 One of the favourite spots we went to was called, Cuevos. We had to hike up into where the waterfalls and caves were. We had our picnic lunch and made a little base camp on one of the only flat areas. Most everyone hiked up to where the waterfalls were, but I stayed back with Hannah, who had injured her ankle prior to coming to Bolivia, Carol and the little kids.
Lunch time at Cuevos

Have guitar will travel!

And like always, Boohers will have music wherever they go!
Swimming hole paradise!!
One of at the days the boys hiked up to the cross and then all the way to a neighboring town. They took a micro back home. They were gone a lot of the day and all had sunburns when they got home!!
Kevin and Myles at the cross above
our house

The view from the cross.
I think it was the next day that all the guys, including Chris, Rudi and David took a hike up the Chorro. They had a great time taking lots of pictures.

Kenneth pointing to something down below. Down below
is very far down!

Love this shot of Chris and Rudi looking tan guapo!

Rudi carrying David over one of the sketchy bridges on
this trail.

Another evening we had a bunch of folks over for a jam session. We fed everyone dinner and it just happened to be one of our guests birthday, so we had chocolate cake for dessert.

We were going through so many bananas Rudi bought a big box of them!!
Bananas anyone?

A big highlight was driving up the Inca Huasi (a local mountain). To reach the top of the mountain you drive up ten switchbacks. It is a scary Bolivian road, so our family got to experience a little of that kind of thing. After a picnic lunch, most of the group took a big hike where there were amazing 360 views. Mark Mattix, our trusty guide, told everyone that it was just a stroll, but the girls in shorts and flip flops came back with many scratches on their legs and a different story!! Rudi and I stayed back at the cars with the little kids. Mark read us a couple of Robert Service poems to finish up our time!!
Lunch time at the top of the Inca Huasi

Water anyone?

Little Pete with a little bottle!

And big Kenny with a big bottle!

The hiking group.
You can see the road we came up on their left.
There are ten of those switchbacks altogether!!
Mark Mattix, our guide and the group's photographer!
The road up the Incahuasi...

Of course, riding in the back of Uncle Mark's truck was always a hit. Everyone argued over who got to ride back there.
Riding in style to go out for dinner. 

We all went out to Pollos Sucre for dinner with the Mattixes.
Dinner at Pollos Sucre

Paula and Ellie
Best Buddies

A little jam session at Pollos Sucre

Kenneth and David
Crazy Cousins
Our families shared again at a special night for a group of English speaking volunteers from Canada, the U.S. and Scotland. 
Sharing music at the Cristiana Iglesia
Our last grand hurrah, was to travel up to Santa Cruz and then on to Samaipata to stay for two nights. Samaipata is a beautiful spot up in the mountains. Its higher elevation means that it is up out of the tropical heat. It was really nice to be up out of the heat for a few days. However, the mosquitos were crazy thick. Always something in this "paradise"!

The cabins where we stayed in Samaipata.
The name of the resort was called La Quinta Piray
We didn't make arrangements for a place to stay, but we found a resort with really nice individual cabins. We got a cabin for each family. We ended up putting Rudi and I with the all the girls in our cabin and Chris and Lisa with all the boys. It worked out really well to divide the families that way. Each cabin came with small kitchen, but we only cooked one meal in the cabin.

Enjoying the playground at
Quinta Piray

Hannah and Ruth enjoying the park also.
Our fearless tree climbers
Paula and Ellie

Inside the cabin at Quinta Piray, Samaipata

Whenever we went out "on the town" we realized what a big group we were. Our group turned a lot of heads. After all it isn't everyday you see that many gringos in one place.

Boohers out in search of breakfast. 
We ate breakfast both days at a small market spot. It was a real cultural experience!! We divided into two groups and took over the whole spot! We had api and pasteles. Api is a drink made from corn and pasteles are a puff pastry with cheese inside. The first day we had hamburgers and french fries, but those didn't sit to well, so we didn't do that again!! The api and pastel were a hit, and who doesn't like paying $.90 per person for breakfast?
Breakfast on the "left side"

Breakfast on the "right side"

French fries for breakfast anyone? Aunt Lisa and Peter, enjoying a
breakfast of hamburgers and french fries.

Hannah, Ruth, Clara, Adriana, and Scarlett
Swimming at the pool at Quinta Piray

Scarlett, Peter and Hannah
We were only in Samaipata for one full day and a very full day it was. In the morning we went up to El Fuerte, an Inca ruins. The road up to the ruins was paved, but crazy steep and full of curves. I didn't like it at all. The ruins were pretty amazing. Those that like that type of thing would love it. It isn't especially "my thing", but it was a nice way to spend part of the day.
Hannah, Emily, Clancy, Clayton, and Lisa

Part of the Inca ruins.
Paula and Eliana

One of the lookouts at the ruins

Myself, Chris, Lisa, Hannah, Emily, and Clancy in front
of the El Fuerte Inca Ruins

Rudi and I at El Fuerte

The five young men once again!
After El Fuerte we went down to a spot called Las Cuevas. We ate a bite of lunch that we had packed in our cooler and then took the little hike up to the falls.
Lunchtime at Las Cuevas

Clayton Rudi and Clancy made PBJs for lunch. 

Yep, that's Kevin doing a front flip into the water at Las Cuevas! Pretty cool!!

Adriana our bathing beauty

Rudi and David taking in the falls

Playing in the sand
After our busy day we headed back to the cabins to clean up and also to leave the kids and go out to dinner with just the two couples. We left the kids with, oil, bread, eggs, tomatoes and some grey smashed avocados! They made fried egg and tomato sandwiches. I have to say that our kids are awesome. They happily made themselves dinner from really nothing. I photographed the event!!!
The three chefs
 Myles, Emily, and Clayton

Myles preparing the tomatoes

Our makeshift "toaster" pot!!
We adults ate out at a really happening little hamburger joint called, La Cocina. We had to wait for a table, but it was worth it!

 We were able to spend quite a bit of time as just couples, talking about raising our children, our marriages, dreams for the future, and everything in between. It was a real mutual time of encouragement and inspiration for us to be with Chris and Lisa. A favorite memory for me was singing hymns together one night as couples. It was quite informal and a very blessed time. It was strengthening for our faith to pray and read the Word together. Having eighteen children between us to love, raise, and nurture is a humbling task and a great challenge. The only conclusion that we unanimously came to is that we could only do this great task with the help of our Saviour and his mighty power that works in us.
Rudi, myself, Lisa and Chris
Rudi didn't like this picture, because he thought it made him
look fat... I didn't like the one of myself below for the same reason!!!

The menu at La Cocina

And the "other" picture with our food!
Chris and Lisa are preparing to go to the Ukraine as missionaries. The married women there wear head coverings during the meetings. The group that we have been fellowshipping with here in Bolivia, the women wear head coverings also. Lisa and I picked up a couple and, of course, we had to model them for everyone!!!
Looking lovely in our head coverings!!
And our daughters, too!
We only took only one picture of all of us together the whole time they were with us. Our little kids did not want to perform for this one, but it turned out pretty good anyway!!
The whole group!
I do not know why Samara was trying to take a bite out of my head!!!
 After two days in beautiful mountainous Samaipata we returned to Santa Cruz to get ready for Chris and Lisa's departure. The night before we took them to the airport we were all invited to our friends, Marco and Sandra's house for dinner. On our way there we dropped by a super uptown shopping mall to show them the ritzier side of Santa Cruz. On our way back to the car Chris and around seven of the children took the elevator down to the level we were parked at in the parking garage, because the escalator was broken down. I noticed that their elevator did not come back up from -2 and since neither elevator opened for quite some time the rest of the group decided to take the broken escalator down. Even when we got down to the car, the elevators were still stuck at where they had been when we decided to take the escalator. We also had parked at -1 not -2, so I headed off to find the rest of the group. I met them coming up the escalators and all of them were excitedly telling us about how their elevator had broken down and they had to force the door open and jump down about eight inches to get out. Emily said that the lights were flickering inside and both she and Chris noticed that it the oxygen was running low. In fact they had just been discussing the what ifs of an elevator failure! I didn't want to think about "what ifs" on that one. If given the option I take the stairs rather than elevators here, now I know why!! We were all very relieved to hear that they had disembarked safely! 

Can you spot the gringos?
Chris and Emily ordering drinks from the Starbucks at the
mall in Santa Cruz.

    All too soon it was time for them to head back to the U.S. We did a few more pictures in the airport, prayed together, and said our final goodbyes. 

Samara and David at the airport

The boys!

The whole crew of kids, minus Ellie

Los Padres!
After buying a few last tourist things, they gathered up all of their stuff and vanished behind the long white curtain-well, not completely, we saw a few hands poking up to wave a last farewell!
Farewell, beloved family!
I think most of us shed a few tears, it was hard to say goodbye! After so many fun filled days together our cars and house felt crazy EMPTY with just eleven of us!!

We love you all and look forward to our next special time together! Next time let's do Ukraine and Poland together, with Norway thrown in for kicks!!! Thank you for braving the trip and coming down to South America!!

Emily did a really nice blog and video with a lot more pictures that I think you will enjoy. Click here to see it.