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!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Feliz Cumpleanos, Papa!

 Last Thursday we celebrated Daddy's birthday Bolivian style! Daddy and I (Emily) went downtown and bought a delicious chocolate cake at a place called Globos. (Although it didn't even hold a candle to one of Aunt Diane's.) We invited Jake and Jennifer, as well as our friends Tio David and Tia Rosa and their two daughters, to come help us eat it.

An original Bolivia tradition is to "take a bite" of your birthday cake. The fun thing about it is that the people standing around you wait until your face is touching the cake, and then they push your face in deep! Oh Yeah! Unfortunately we Americans only do that on our 1st birthday......when we're considered immature. )-: The Tia's were shocked when we told them that we don't do this in the US.

 The first attempt was a failure because, like I said, you are supposed to be kind of sly about slamming the person in............We kids didn't understand that, so we tried to start shoving him down by sheer force! Uh Uh! Daddy is way too strong to allow that! Grandma B. was watching via Skype!
The First Attempt


  Mama called all of the kids into her bedroom for a Pow-wow. "Okay," She said, "You have to be sly about this. When he goes to take a bite, slam it!" We rushed back out there and stood calmly on either side of him, just waiting for him to get the gumption up to try again!
 He was suspicious, but still bravely plunged in! Myles, Clancy, and Clara took chance, and slam! they pushed his face in deep! And I mean Deep! Jake said he had never seen a deeper dent. I wish we had taken a picture of the cake after the grand slam! I don't know why we didn't.

Coming out of the Torta.....Look at the Boy's faces!

 After the Grand Slam we sang some songs, and Jake and Jen, along with Tio David and Tia Rosa, and Mama and Daddy, practiced their dancing skills. It was a very fun birthday, and one that we will remember forever! Happy Birthday Daddy! We love you!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Meet the Twins!!

A & K
Last Sunday afternoon (Nov 4) we welcomed these adorable twin girls to our home. A and K are about 2 and 3/4 years old. They were found abandoned at 8 months old. K had cleft palette, so both girls were taken to the "Nutrition Center" (where we got baby L) for her to have surgeries to repair the roof of her mouth and lip! At 11 months old the Mitchell family from Texas, who were here working with Casa de Amor, took them home. They have been with the Mitchell's ever since. The Mitchell's are transitioning to other work here in Bolivia after a two month furlough in the States. The children that they were caring for through CDA are being placed into other homes.The twins have done wonderful transitioning to our home, especially considering the way that they were bonded with the Mitchell's. The first night and day were not without their challenges, but the girls seem to be fitting right in with our family
A and K playing kitchen
This morning I gave them some "real" dishes so that they could play kitchen! It kept them very busy for over an hour. Yesterday morning I was thinking "I would sure love to hear these girls laugh". We have had plenty of smiles, but have heard no laughs from them. In the afternoon just the two girls were upstairs and I could hear lots of happy A & K Spanish and LAUGHING.  I don't know what they were up to, but it sounded like lots of fun from below!

Clara with A & K   
 The twins share a room with Clara and Ruth and have adopted them as their "mommies". Clara and Ruth help get them dressed each morning and get them snacks, etc... It is very cute to watch them! Paula isn't too sure about the competition, however, and is slowly starting to accept them into her circle!
Please join us in praying that the Lord will provide just the right family to adopt these fun, sweet little girls. We would love to have them go from our home to their forever home... after enjoying them for a few months, of course!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Our First Little Baby

Introducing Baby "L"
We are pleased to announce the arrival of our first "Bolivian Baby" we have the priviledge of caring for. Baby L, an adorable and lovable little boy, was born in August, 2012. He was abandoned by his mother at the hospital. It is presumed that he was born prematurely and was slow at first to gain weight. He is making up for that now however with a great appetite! He eats like clockwork every three hours... We are hoping he stretches that a little bit during night!

Ruth at her favorite job!
 The baby has been a hit with all of the children vying for the right to feed him his bottle or to just hold him. No worries that he won't get enough attention here! For legal reasons Casa de Amor does not like us to put the babies full name on our blog. However, we can say that if he turns out to be a famous painter or a famous movie star we would not be surprised! We did not get to name him, but have found a cute nickname that works a bit better than the mouthful of a name he came to us with!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Post From Rudi!

Hello from Cochabamba! I told Carla that I wanted a turn to share on our family blog! So here it goes...
First, I wanted to say I'm very thankful for all the prayers for our family during this adjustment to living in Bolivia. I have to confess that the first week or so we were here, I was shocked by such massive change in culture. I know that Carla has shared a lot of the culture with you on other blogs. Psalm 27:14 says "Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait I say, on the Lord." He has definitely strengthened my heart during this time. The Lord has drawn us together as a family. Which in turn has challenged has challenged Carla and I as parents to be more aware of our children's hearts. He is such a mighty God. He knows just what we need! On the way here we spent an afternoon in Guadalajara, Mexico with our dear friends, Steve and Linda Montgomery. Steve Challenged me to be a learner. We have much learning ahead of us!
Steve and Linda with daughter Elizabeth and her husband Pepe , Emma & Caleb

I'm enjoying going to language school with Myles on Mondays and Wednesdays. (Carla and Emily attend Tuesdays and Thursdays) My main problem when I attempt some basic greetings and questions in Spanish to the Bolivians is I become tongue tied! Please pray that God will give me grace in the area of learning Spanish. Our days are full here-homeschooling, language study, and preparing this week for three new children and possibly a fourth within the next few weeks.

I will leave you with this thought the I read in one of Isobel Kuhn's books. It seemed very fitting for our transition here. "Nothing strengthens us so much as isolation and transplantation...under the wholesome demand his soul will put forth all her native vigor. It may not be necessary for us to withdraw from home and friends; but we shall have to withdraw our heart's deepest dependance from all earthly props and supports, if we are to learn what it is to trust simply and absolutely on the eternal God."

Beautiful Cochabamba