Sunday, December 23, 2012

Another post from Rudi!

Ready to catch a taxi for Church
Hello from Cochabamba!  It has been awhile since we posted any news.  Life has been busy here.  Attempting to keep all the children occupied, Spanish lessons, caring for sick children, helping them dash to the outside bathroom, waking up to feed our 4 month old baby during the night, it's an exciting life! The big news is that we're starting to really make progress with the language.  Carla, Emily, and Myles are zooming ahead while I am lagging in the rear.  However, I am very encouraged also!
  Last night we were invited to tio David and tia Rosa's casa for a real Bolivian dinner. Yumm! we had pollo (chicken) and cerdo (pork) with all the extras.  We were able to comunicate quite well and understood most of what they said.  Very exciting.  They only speak Spanish. David and Rosa both work for Casa De Amor, Rosa has been there since the very beginning.  David is the accountant and general fix it man for all three orphanage houses.  Also, every Wednesday he goes to the market and buys vegetables and fruit for all of us.  Myles and Clancy love to go and help. 

Another bit of news is that we have hired a very kind older Bolivian woman to help us with our Spanish. She comes to our house Monday thru Friday for 3 hours in the afternoon.  She works with each of the children and also with Carla and I. She only speaks Spanish and she loves children! What a gift from God!
  We were saddened to hear about the school shooting in the U.S. and the politics following.  The Lord greatly encouraged me with His word. I'd like to share Psalm 112 with you all. Verses 7 thru 10 really stood out to me concerning the news.   
  "Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in His commandments. 2 His seed shall be mighty upon the earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. 4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. 5 A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. 6 Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.  7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. 8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. 9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor, his righteousness endureth forever; his horn shall be exalted with honor. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish. "
    We have been challenged here in many ways, some definitely outside our comfort zone.  These challenges have done much in drawing us closer together as a family, and closer to our mighty God. We praise Him for His great faithfulness!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Random Pictures

                                         Here are some pics of everyday life at our house. Enjoy!
Emily in Session
Daddy and our favorite Taxi Driver, Christian

 Myles and I at the Park
Clara and Ruth with their mini Pineapples

Mama with Tia Teresa

Three of the Tias at Casa Dos

On the steps to the Balcony!

School in Progress!

Clara and Ruth in Their new room1

 Posted By Emily Jo
K and Ruth! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Our Happy Mobile!

                                                         Our Awesome Car!
 About a week ago we bought a 1976 Toyota Land Cruiser! (Eat your heart out Jeep lovers:) Unfortunately, it has some small problems and has spent most of the week in the mechanic shop. Pretty much all of the cars here have problems when you buy them. The engine is great, but the transmission might need to be changed because it's so old. It is the awesomest car ever. (Excuse me grandmothers, nothing describes it better than awesomest :)  I keep saying that I'm going to take it home and paint black stripes around it (like a bee) and call it the stinger! It would be the envy of all who see me!

Our "Mustaza" colored car.

     Saturday morning we decided to go on a excursion to one of our favorite places in CBBA. Park Pairumani is a really cool park that is actually more like our state and county parks back home. It is in the foothills of Mt. Tenari. There are several hiking trails that you can take and quite a few tenting sites, along with a children's playground and a restaurant, which is never open!

`We enjoyed the drive up there, but we would have enjoyed it more if  there wasn't such a suffocating smell of gas in the car....some sort of leak with the gas tank. Phew!
Ready to head out!

Three Happy Chica's Paula, K., and A.
Rudi and Carla with the little folks!
 While we were there we decided to hike up to the waterfall.  It is probably about a mile hike to the actual waterfall, but the last part was a bit too dangerous for the little kids. The trail being about 2 -2 1/2 feet wide, with a 75 to 100 foot drop off on one side.
In front of the tunnel leading to the waterfall
Drop off!

K. and Paula On the trail!

The Original Six!
       We really enjoyed our morning at the park! We are very thankful to have a car to be able to take these kind of outings! Every time we drive "the Cruiser" we feel like we are on a Safari! It is such a fun car!
Time to head for home!
    Psalm 19:1 " The heavens declare the Glory of God and the firmament showeth His handywork."

Posted by Emily Jo with un poco ideas de Mama!                                                                     

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Grand Wedding

This past Friday night we were honored to attend the wedding of our friends Jake and Jennifer. Jennifer is the director of Casa de Amor. I am going to post a bunch of pictures of the event for you all to enjoy. I am sad to say that I did not get any of our family at the wedding. Truthfully, photography is not really my thing. Most of the following pictures were taken by Clancy. Who does a great job for a nine year old!

Ruth and Clara getting Princess A. ready!

Clara and Ruth looked adorable also when they got ready for the wedding... However, I did not get a picture of them....

The Three Amigas 

A., K., and Paula ready for the celebration! K. insisted on putting her arms around Paula and A.! 

Jake and Jennifer with all 30 of "their kids"!
 This is the picture we were getting A. and K. ready for. This is all of the children from Casa's homes. "Our" baby L. is being held by Jennifer in her left arm.

The Wedding Tent     
 This is the tent where the ceremony was held! It was threatening rain off and on all day. It was actually the coldest day and evening we have had since we have been here. It was the FIRST time I wanted a sweater or light coat! The reception hall is beyond the tent. It was a beautiful setting for a wedding!
The Reception Hall

Okay, so I found the only picture of some of our family at the wedding....and it is of our backs and the tops of our heads... Clara, to the far left, Carla, in bright colored shirt, Clancy, facing the camera (hooray), Ruth, top of head, Paula, top of head!
The Groom seating the Bride's Mother, Glenda Thompson
The Best Man, Scott Hargrove
This is Jake's friend and best man, Scott Hargrove. Scott stayed with us at our house Wed-Sat a.m. He was a great guest and it was good to get to know him. He came to the wedding from Peru, where he and his family work at an "orphanage" for abandoned girls. He is originally from Chelan, Washington where he was a pastor for 20+ years. Jake met him while he was in Chelan. It was good to spend time with a fellow "Northwesterner" and fellow Spanish learner. He is much further along with his Spanish and was able to encourage us with some hints and tips!

Two of the boys from Casa Dos
 All eight of the boys from Casa Dos were "ring bearers"! They all did a great job and looked so cute coming in two by two!
The Bride's sister, Heather Thompson
 We very much enjoyed getting to know Jen's family while they were here from Tennessee. They came the week before the wedding to get ready. After Heather walked down the isle she picked up her violin and with Rudi played "Pachelbel Canon in D" for Jennifer to walk into. It sounded great! Rudi also played the prelude and entrance music for the bridal party with another fellow musician, Lowell, on guitar!
  The Bride's sister, Emma Thompson
 Jennifer's other sister, Emma, was adopted as an infant from Russia. She is really the beginning of the reason that Casa de Amor came to be! She is a fun 13 year old that Emily enjoyed spending time with! The Thompson's also have a daughter named, Sarah, that is in her twenties. Sarah has Down Syndrome and has had trouble with her heart. The high elevation is very hard on her heart, so she was not able to come to the wedding. I hope we get to meet her when we return to the States.
Sisters S.and B. from Casa Dos
All five of the girls from Casa Dos participated in the wedding ceremony also. All of the girls did a wonderful job and looked super beautiful!
Here comes the Bride!
 Jennifer and Carl, her father, looked wonderful walking down the isle together! (Elena and Vico to the right of them!)

Beginning the Ceremony

Getting Hitched!
 During the ceremony Jake and Jen faced the audience. Pastor Joe Holman did a good job with a poignant message and practical advice for marriage! It was a sweet ceremony! It ended with the longest "first kiss" I have seen in awhile! You go, Jake!!!!

Just Married!

Inside the Reception Hall!

As Yummy as it looks!
                                    The cake had fruit and nuts inside and was very yummy.
Part of the "Surprise" 12 Piece Mariachi Band!
 Partway through the reception a huge Mariachi Band came in, playing all the while! The "godparents" of the triplets that Jennifer raised in her orphanage (see Casa de Amor's blog for more information) had payed for and planned this as a surprise for Jennifer and Jake! It added a festive atmosphere to the party!(At this point in the evening, Clancy's camera started taking fuzzy pictures...lo siento!)

Dancing a la Mariachi
 The band insisted on Jake dancing with this sombrero. He looked quite handsome in it, if I do say so myself! It must have been all those amazing dance lessons we gave them...
Fireworks for the Grand Finale!
The evening ended with a few fireworks! It was a superb party! Thank you, Thompsons, for a grand event! Congratulations, Jake and Jennifer, may God bless you with many, many happy years together!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Our Bolivian Days

                 Here is a sampling of some of the happenings in our days here in Bolivia.
In front of the clinic
For our visa process we all had to go to the "Clinica Policia" and get full physicals. Its a clinic just for the people who are going through the visa process. Rudi and I had to have our blood drawn and have chest x-rays. The children got off easy with just a finger poke to see what blood type they were and no x-ray. We all had our teeth examined, weight, height, and blood pressure taken, our hearts, lungs, and stomachs listened to! We were all declared healthy...whew. I don't know if they would have let us stay if we hadn't been healthy! It was actually a very efficient operation and a pleasant experience. Our lawyer who is helping us with our visa process was there with us the whole time, as well as, Jennifer to interpret if we needed it. We love our lawyer and I hope to get her picture on the blog soon. She is awesome at what she does.
Ice Cream...Yum
Although we were declared healthy we try our best to remedy that by feeding the children ice cream bars everyday! Our local "tienda" is very happy that we moved around the corner. The treat varies in price from seven cents to fifty cents, so wouldn't you eat one everyday?
Last week we took a taxi to "El Prado", a street in the middle of the city, for a 2 for 1 ice cream day. The children are watching a "peaceful protest" of THOUSANDS of people walking through the streets.
It completely shut the roads down for the afternoon. They lit off fireworks every so often and it was very loud and exciting. I think they were part of some kind of transportation union. My Spanish is just good enough to be dangerous!
Enjoying the 2 for 1 ice cream cones from "Globos"! These were amazingly delicious! This is also where Rudi bought his ill fated birthday cake (see Feliz Cumpleanos, Papa)!

Myles and Rudi
It seems this blog post is taking on a food theme...Rudi and Myles made us the world famous Cinnamon Rolls for the first time since coming to Bolivia. They were a little different as we could not find brown sugar here. All of the folks here really enjoyed them anyway, which was no surprise!
The Master Chef at work w/ Emily looking on!
On with more about food...

Alfredo the Chicken Dinner
I still am not used to preparing chickens that can "talk back"! All of the whole chickens come with their heads still attached! Yuck... This is Alfredo the Chicken! Below him you can make out the feet which also are included. Yep, you get the WHOLE chicken here! I have been saving the odd parts for Vico and Elena's dogs. My freezer is getting to look like a butcher shops extras!
Carla modeling Alfredo's feet!

We have been blessed to have an English library within walking distance of our house. It is at a Christian private school. It is chock full of books that we would build our own personal library with. It also has a small Spanish book section which helps us with learning Spanish. It is fun reading childrens classics in Spanish like "Jorge el Curioso" (Curious George!).
Outside the Library
In the picture above the children are pointing to where we are in Bolivia. This is a beautiful map of Bolivia with the women of the different regions of Bolivia in their native dress. Clancy is pointing to the Cochabambina with his left hand!

Blockade Day

Another thing we have grown accustomed to, but maybe not as fondly, are "blockade days". Behind Myles, Clancy, and Clara are Truffi's all lined up across the highway that goes by our house. It is an effective way to shut the road down for sure. Usually, they are protesting something or other and keep the roads blocked until they get what they want. Motorcycles and pedestrians are all that can move about on days like this. It is very quiet... The Tia's that work at Jen's houses if they cannot get a ride to work on a motorcycle, will walk as much as 10 km. to work! I have heard that those with motorcycles can charge a lot of money to "shuttle" people around.
Off to the Orthodontist

Here is Emily the day she got her braces put on! We found a great Orthodontist within a couple weeks of arrival here. Emily is excited to finally be getting her teeth work done. She will have to have oral surgery here in a couple months. I don't think she is excited about that part of the procedure!
Multi-tasking: Skyping and Babysitting!
Rudi checks in almost everyday with Ericka back home or one of our friends or family. Chris blessed us by getting us a Skype phone number that has a U.S. number, so we can call the U.S. for a very small fee! It has really helped us feel more connected and not quite so homesick... These past weeks I must say it is beginning to feel a bit more like home here. We want to leave you with these scriptures that have encouraged our hearts.
Hebrews 12:1&2 "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
We have been so blessed by all of the prayers on our behalf. We truly feel the blessing of the Lord on us being here!