Friday, May 31, 2013


 My parents took home a couple suitcases full of souvenirs for my family back home. Mama sent me some pictures of some of the families with the souvenirs she gave them. I wanted to share some of the pictures with you all! I have five brothers and two sisters, so this is just a sampling of a few of the families that have gotten their souvenirs so far!

Dwight and Marilee's Family
My brother just older than me is named Dwight. He and his wife have six boys and one girl! Bolivian hats, shirts, and blankets were what Mama and Daddy brought home for Dwight and Marilee's family. Also, a bright colored bowl for the kitchen for Marilee. 
Sweet Vienna Rose!
I don't have a picture of my younger sister, Naomi. She and her husband, Derrick, have two children, Kendrick and Claire. Naomi got some sweet earrings, a bowl for her kitchen, blanket, and things for the kids as well! We sent a Bolivian shirt, via a volunteer for Derrick, that should come this month!
Los Tres Guapitos
Quint, Kendrick (My sister, Naomi's boy), and Wyatt are sporting their Bolivian look! When I look at them after seeing our "chocolate babies" everyday, they look so blond and fair in comparison!

Chad and Jenise's Family
 One of my other brother's family modeling their plunder! My older brother, Chad and his wife, Jenise have eleven children! Hats, shirts, blanket, purses, and bowl were what they received. I have such fond memories of shopping for all of these things with Mother in La Concha, behind the Correo and in Quillocolla.
Tres Mas Guapitos! (Chad and Jenise's Boys!)

 My older sister, Carrie and her husband, Kent have one daughter, Liberty. Below she is modeling her handmade Alpaca shawl, her little purse and a round "box" made out of an orange peel that Clara sent her! Clara also sent a Boliviano coin for her!
Pretty Liberty
My older sister, Carrie and her daughter, Liberty!
Mama got my sister, Carrie, some earrings made of Bolivianita stone. It is a stone that is only found here in Bolivia and is very pretty! I don't think you can see them in the picture above, but they are stunning!!
I know that Mama has a lot more things to give the other families. Below is my adorable younger brother Wade with his adorable wife Joscelyn. Boy do I love my family, aren't they awesome in Bolivian stuff?
Wade and Joscelyn....

Thursday, May 16, 2013

All for the Love of Chicharron

This is Chicharron, a very amazing food served here in Cochabamba. When Tia Techy asked for the day off on Wednesday, so that she could prepare this famous Cochabamban food, we were quick to say yes, and quick to plan a way to get some! Tia and her husband have raised two pigs that they had planned to sell when they were big. Since the prices on pigs is way down right now, they decided to "Chicharron" one of them and make a better profit! The little town of Illataco (It kinda sounds like Eat ya Taco!) was having their annual planting celebration. I didn't quite understand what it was all about. I know it had to do with parades, partying, planting, and "sowing" good luck for next year! There is a real mix of pagan and Catholic ritual here. It can be sad at times to see how entrapped people are to their idols. It made me think of the scripture in Psalms 115:4-5 "Their idols are silver and gold, the work of mens hands. They have mouths but they speak not: eyes have they but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not..." In contrast verse 3 says "But our God is in the heavens, he doeth whatsoever he pleases." It is awesome to be serving a LIVING GOD!

Tia Techy and Carla
 This is the big pot of oil that they fry the WHOLE pig in. The oil is actually made up of the pig fat. They know how to use every last thing here in Bolivia! They cook it over a combination of charcoal (carbon) and wood. At the end they add potatoes and bananas. The  It is a lot of work and very hot. It takes about four hours to prepare Chicharron. This was the best we had ever had. It helps when you know the pig and the cook!!! I didn't do anything other than stir it a little. I am just trying to look like I did something!
Tia Techy's Father-in-law, Me, and Tia!
 Beyond us you can see the area where they had a "mini-carnival" set up complete with Ferris Wheel and rides for the kids. The children had a great time riding on things.
Ruth and Clancy... Enjoying the day!
They had these little peddled go-carts that the kids had a blast driving around!

Above Tia is serving the finished Chicharron and Javier, her hubby, is putting out the fire they used to cook it. We are standing around munching the amazing food and taking in the whole scene!

Myles with Abby and Ruth!

K. showing her "Bolivian side" eating Chicharron, as fast as she can. In her right hand is the pig skin...yummm!
The Gang's All Here!(Except Emily:(
 Emily wasn't able to go with us because she went to lunch with Jennifer and the other girl volunteers. We sure missed her helping hands holding the babies and such!! She was bummed to miss the event, but we took home a plate of Chicharron for her!
Occasionally, parades would come through the town with statues, flowers, bands, and colorful costumes. Tia said that later in the evening, after we had left, these folks did native dances. She also told me that their costumes are native to Oruro!
One of the many brass bands that played!

They also drove their tractors through town to go down to where the planting took place.
 After eating our fill we walked down to where all of the people and bands had assembled to start the tradition they have of randomly planting these fields with things. Corn, potatoes, peas, you name it they plant it. It is all about the ""tradition" not about what grows there!
The women above are getting ready to plant on the back of the tractor. Below is one of the oxen teams they also use for planting.
 We wanted a picture with the dancers and they were kind to oblige us. My camera had something on the lens so it is a little blurry. Leo took a nap in my arms the whole time we were down in the very noisy, band playing, field area! Ali took off and hid when the man in the bear suit came and laid down in front!
Javier had very kindly picked us up in his car and taken us to the event. We had to go around the main roads via dry riverbeds, etc, because we are in a season of  terrible blockading here in Bolivia. Javier had been blockading, but took a break to come get us! If he doesn't blockade he has to pay a fine. (Clancy would love to blockade and is always talking about how he would construct them!)
(I wanted to show you Javier's car that all 12 of us rode in. This is the only picture I had. I took it while they were pushing it back, to be able to push it forward, to get it started (Did that make sense?)! I guess he is having trouble with the battery, because we had to do this several times throughout the day to get it started)
Javier's Car having engine troubles!

 On the way home they had caught on to what was going on with people going around the blockades, and had sewn up tight even the riverbeds, and back roads with blockades. We had to walk the rest of the way home on the railroad tracks that go by our house. Thankfully, it was only a Km. or so. Our three three year olds were all sleepy and grumpy from having missed naps, and Leo and Abby were quite heavy to lug home, but we made it! It was on the walk home that I told Rudi I would title this post, "All for the Love of Chicharron". If you had had some you would know what I am talking about!!!

The perilous portion of the Journey Home!
Safely on the other side!
 The wind had come up and it actually sprinkled rain on us a bit! It really added to the adventure of it all!
 What a great day. We were tired, but glad we had gone! Thanks, Tia, for the best Chicharron EVER! And thank you, Lord, for watching over us through yet another exciting day in Bolivia!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Our New Song!

While Grandpa and Grams were here we sang a lot, and one of their favorites was "In The Morning", a African song taught to us by "Uncle" Larry Montgomery. They requested that I record it for them so they could learn the words. The last morning that they were here Daddy and I sat down and worked on it. Daddy did the mixing (adjusting the volume levels) and I did the recording, some singing and editing. Grandpa and Grams came in and watched for a while. So much fun to have guests! Enjoy our first family project! More to come!
Daddy: Fiddle, Guitar, Vocals
Mama: Vocals
Emily: Ukulele, Vocals, Production


Saturday, May 4, 2013

-Of Airplanes-

Emily, Myles, and Clancy have been making airplanes out of paper lately. They have made at least three jets and one biplane. They got the idea and patterns out of a book they got from the library called, "Things to Make With Paper". I have been very impressed by both the makers of the airplanes and the results they have turned out! Tia requested they make one for her son to hang in his room. It turned out absolutely beautiful! I don't think it has gotten hung yet, because he is still playing with it! (expect a photo soon )

 Below Myles and Clancy are modeling their first airplane they made together. Myles is holding the apparatus they rigged up to propel the airplane. It is made of  wood, elastic, and some kind of hook that holds it to the plane. They liked to fly it in the big field across the street from our house!
The Fearless Flyers!

 The kids got the idea to make the airplanes with the older boys of Casa 2. They had three "teams" and it looks like they all had a great time making them together.

The Master Planner, Emily Jo

M. hard at work on his airplane

Emily spent hours cutting out the patterns for the airplanes and took them ready to be assembled by the boys.
All painted and ready to be assembled...

And the FINISHED product!! Nice Job!!

Clancy and J. also assembled a plane together!
Clancy and J.

The stripes require concentration!

J., Clancy, and E. modeling their FINISHED airplane!

Myles with D.

 Myles didn't get his picture taken with his team and airplane, but he and A. made one together also. He was finishing his paint job when they were taking the photos. Theirs was yellow with the USA Air Force emblem on the wings. In the above picture he is wrestling with D. either for the supplies or just for the fun of it. I mostly added the picture to prove that he was there also!!