Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sights of Cochabamba

Corner Market w/ Amazing Fruits and Veggies!
What a difference a week makes..... In most ways it feels like being dropped off the world into a whole new planet. It also feels like we have arrived as babies. Thankfully the Lord provided us LOTS of help in the form of Vico & Elena, Jennifer & Jake, Kaley & Pauline, and David. They have bent over backwards to help us get moved into our wonderful new home. I will try to condense the sights and smells of the last week for you in this blog...

Elena, Ruth, and Carla on the "Pasareyla"(overpass) w/ Trufi in the background
 Elena and Vico taught us how to flag down, ride, get off, and pay for a  "Trufi"(true-fee). We will have to depend on these and the "Micro"(me-crow) buses until we get our own car. It has been difficult for me to take in all of the different routes and where to get off. I am starting small and survival right now. I think it will take me months to "master" the city! The driving and drivers are absolutely crazy. It is a death defying ride no matter who is driving and LOOK OUT pedestrians. They definitely do not have the right of way at all!

The Mighty Micro

 I have gotten a real cultural jolt out of watching the various folks get on and off. There is a real mix of professionals, men and women in native hats and dress, as well as, teenagers and families. It is quite a system the way they wave down the various types of transportation, pay, and tell them where they need to get off. It all seems very "on the fly" as you can flag them down and hop off anywhere and everywhere. Nobody talks to each other, although many times they are practically sitting on each others laps.

La Concha

 We spent hours and hours on foot in this jungle called "La Concha". It is the largest market of its type in South America, possibly the whole world! If you do not have a guide expect to be lost and confused. Even if you have a guide expect to be lost and confused! Thanks to OUR expert guides we were able to purchase our beds, our refrigerator, our stove, and our washing machine. We also got some vegetables, fruits, and various things to set up our house. You can find it ALL at La Concha! When we got back on Wednesday from spending at least eight hours there, Jake asked me to sum up La Concha in one word. The word that worked for me was OVERWHELMING. The smells varied from raw meat, human excrement (do not step in the puddles here!), sweaty bodies, delicious fruit, and pollution from all of the cars and trucks.

This is a common sight outside our gate, on our street, and everywhere around town. The women also "wear" their groceries and various things in the shawls also! I think they are so cute. Most of the women are very short!

Here is Tio Vico & Tia Elena's house where we stayed Monday-Friday! Our four bedrooms and two bathrooms were on the second floor. The bottom floor includes, the kitchen on the right, the family room directly in the middle, with their room on the left on the bottom floor. There are two more rooms on the third floor. It rained Wednesday Night and boy did the metal roof make a racket! It also was odd to have to walk outside to get to every room. Very "alfresco" for sure!

We were also able to see Casa 1 and Casa 2 this week. It was my favorite part to get to see the children that are the reason we are here in Cochabamba. We are excited to be getting settled enough to start considering which ones we will be caring for soon.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and love. We feel it across the miles and could not do this without you! God bless you all!


  1. What a satisfying post, Carla! I did not realize that the trufi was two story! Perhaps the "Pasareyla" is an upstairs addition to the Trufi?

    Thank you for all of the pictures. The sky looks stormy in the micro photo. Do they have lively spring showers?

    Special prayers for everyone's safety when in a vehicle or walking near traffic. :)

    Keep those photos coming!

    Big hug,


    1. Wow, did I ever say that description wrong. The Trufi is ONE story beyond us in the picture. The Pasareyla is a foot bridge that goes over the highway. Much safer than crossing the VERY BUSY highway below.

    2. Aha! That makes a lot of sense! I can picture it all now!

  2. We love the post!! Sure miss you guys! Sounds crazy and fun over there!!

  3. Arrived at my jobsite way too early, reading this blog (again!) as I wait for a more decent hour to knock on my client's door...
    Nice journaling, Carla. Vowels and verbs all in the right places. But only one entry per week? Come on! If you were on the newspaper payroll you'd starve- just like li'l P.J.'s Uncle Ben is doing for more news of his missing family.
    Okay, I'll allow you a little more time to settle in, but just remember I'm waitin' in eager anticipation for the next Bolivian epistle...

    1. Sorry, Ben, I will try to do better!I am glad you are reading and approving!
      We miss you...come see us soon!
      Love you,

  4. Welcome to Cochabamba!
    It is nice to see new families coming to Bolivia to serve others. Let me introduce our Language School to you in case you are considering learnig Spanish here. My name is María Eugenia Ureña, and this is our website...

  5. Carla! I'm just now reading your blog (every post!) because I had misplaced the address until elena sent it out! LOVE the pictures. Love your stories!

    I promise it won't take you months to get the trufis and micros and taxis and their routes figured out :) and soon you'll be headed to La Cancha all by yourself to buy everything under the sun.

    I'm so excited for you guys and only a little bit jealous. I wish I could move there for two years too!

    Denise :) (Child Sponsorship Coordinator, CDA)

    1. Denise,
      How great to hear from you. Thanks for all the encouragement. Maybe someday we can be here together!
      Thanks for all of the paperwork help, so that we could come!
      We also are looking into the language school mentioned above!
      Lots of love,

  6. P.S. Mauge who commented above me is WONDERFUL and would be a great place to learn Spanish for you and your family!

  7. Carla! You are doing a great job blogging! Keep up the good work!

    My blog is if you want to check it out :)

  8. Loved the tour! That was terrific! Thank you Carla. :-)