Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Endless Goodbyes....

And then it was time to say goodbye, goodbye, and then goodbye again... We visited our various language schools and sang songs for them, did a trip to the lake with Tia and her family, sang at Horita Feliz, our church, and much more. I am going to put it all in this blog to finish up July and our leaving Cochabamba! Sometimes it is just time to be done with something and I say it is high time to be done with July blogposts in September... My new goal is keeping things more current. We'll see how it goes!

Rudi and Daniel from Conexiones
We started off the string of goodbye parties with our great teachers and fellow students at Conexiones Entre Mundos. This group of people have put a lot into our Spanish learning and we are very thankful for them! We brought Cinnamon Rolls and our family shared some music with them during the morning break!
The crew and all of us at Conexiones
Next we visited with another friend and teacher, Tia Carmen and her family. Tia Carmen came to our house on a regular basis to help us with our Spanish and serve as a surrogate "grandma" for our children. She also taught me and some of the children to knit. So now I can knit in Spanish better than English!!
Our family with Tia Carmen

Tia Carmen with three of her six children!
Casa de Amor (Jennifer and Jake!) bought five of the most gigantic pizzas you have ever seen and brought them to the boys house for our going away party with them! We have super enjoyed working with Jennifer and the staff at CDA. Thank you for the opportunity to serve with you all and thank you for all the yummy pizza!!
Pizza anyone!!

Beloved Tias!! Fixing up salad to go with the pizzas!!
Our last Friday and part of Saturday we spent with Tia Techy's family at Lago Angostura. We had such a great time at our favorite place to get away. I think they will be going back soon as well.
Myles and Javier b.b. queuing over the inside fire!
Of course, the boat the boys and Uncle Ben built got lots of use. It was fun to see Tia's family enjoying the lake! It also got nice and windy, so the boys got to use their sail for the last time. The cabin actually purchased the boat from us, so all of the guests now get to enjoy, "Mary Lou"!! (Uncle Ben named her the Mary Lou)
Tia and family enjoying the boat!

Fun times in the loft!

Emily and Tia fixed us a super yummy dinner!
Saturday evening was our last Horita Feliz. Our family shared a couple songs in Spanish and I was able to share with the ladies one last time.
One last song for Horita Feliz
Sunday morning we sang as a family again for our church at Km. 0. They blessed our family with a plaque commemorating our time spent with them. Then they prayed of us and sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again". I spent the whole song crying, like I always do when we sing that song!!
One last song for Km. 0
Sunday evening was our grand despidida that Gladys and Richard put on for us. (see previous blog) Our dear friends the Bakers came to this long Bolivian style event with their two young children. Not that they aren't used to long Bolivian events, having lived in Bolivia a lot longer!! The Bakers are part the reason that we came to Bolivia in the first place. Ryan's parents started an orphanage for girls a long time ago. It was their website that drew our attention to Bolivia. It helped that they are also fellow Oregonians. When we get together, which isn't often enough, we truly speak the same language!!
Carla, Heather, holding Miriam, Ryan, Rudi, and Carson
Our last few days in Cochabamba found us doing a last school pick up run, saying goodbye to yet another language school, and saying goodbye to our babies. The hardest thing yet was saying goodbye to our babies...
J. and A. ready to go home from school!
It was special to be able to spend some extra time with the older kids before we left. They are each so unique and precious. We miss them A LOT!
E. and E. ready too!
The Boohers with Gladys and Daniel some of our favorite teachers!
 Our language school on Avenida Peru is where were spent most of our time learning. A humble apartment with older teachers, it is a great place to learn Spanish. Myles actually went on and took about four months of Quechua here, as well. There are four teachers all together, but the day we went to say goodbye just Gladys and Daniel were there. We sang for them our song in Spanish and Quechua and were able to take some pictures with them!
When we got to Bolivia Myles was shorter than his teacher Daniel. He was pretty proud to be taller than him when it was time to go!
Myles with his favorite Quechua teacher!

Staying the last week and a half of our time at the boys home turned out to be some of our most favorite times in Bolivia. They are great boys to hang out with. We also enjoyed staying up late visiting with Tia Sarin.
Myles entertaining the troops with a book!
Like I said before saying goodbye to the babies was the HARDEST thing I have done before in my life. It felt like S. and A. especially knew that this was the last time we would be seeing them. It was truly a very sad moment. We have spent so much time with them and all of us had grown to love them. You try not to bond...ha ha... but you just do!
Paula with her favorite buddy F.

Clancy with S.

Clara with her "baby" A.
Daniel and Me!
Rudi had one of our handyman friends put in a fully enclosed sandbox, with a little door for getting in and out,  at the baby house. The kids played in it for the first time while we were there. It was a joy to see it "christened" by so many kids. The nice thing about this sandbox is that the neighborhood cats can't use it as a bathroom!

Sandbox Fun

More Sandbox Fun

Lindsey with her Beloved A.!!
On the way to the airport Wednesday morning we stopped by the market to say goodbye to the lady that Rudi has had Bible studies with.
Alicia at the market...
And then it was on to the airport where more than twenty people were waiting to hang out with us the final minutes we were there and say goodbye.

Clara, Gracie, and Ruth "Best Friends"

Hannah and her Beloved C.!!

Javier, Tia Techy, Emily, Myles, and Diego

Juan Carlos, Rudi, and Franco
Ruth, Carla, and Gladys

Jennifer and Heather (Miriam's head, sorry about that!)

Jeaneth and Paula

Weldon, Richard, and Rudi
We requested permission for the two oldest boys from the boys house to have the day off school so that they could see us off at the airport. It was great to have them there!! It was a super sweet and very emotional time saying goodbye to some of our dearest friends in Bolivia. We miss each one a lot!
The Whole Group!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Kansas Team

Ray, Madeline, Ann, Lyle, and Justin from Kansas!
 Toward the middle of July a team came down from Kansas to help Richard and Gladys Scoggins with building a play structure for the Horita Feliz and also giving out clothes, food and sharing the gospel in the neighborhood. What we did not know, was that this team would also change our lives! It is hard to put it into words, but this team came and for whatever reason they shone light on how important our ministry was here in Bolivia. They also told us several times that they all were praying that we would return to Bolivia to continue the ministries that God had given us there. Well, long story short between their prayers and lots of other things God has done we have decided to use our return tickets scheduled for October and return to Bolivia...more about all of that later though!

Working on the play structure
 Our boys were able to help out each day with building the play structure!
The Kansas team warming up for Horita Feliz
We all went to lunch at some friends house one of the days. We had a really fun time speaking Spanglish and translating for some of the team! This particular family has some really decent English speakers also, so that helped too!

The highlight for our family during the time the Team was here was the night the Scoggins had a local gospel band come and play music for us. They play music native to Bolivia and they were amazing. I could not stop smiling it was so wonderful. They played the Charrango (kinda like a mandolin) and Zamponyas of all sizes (the flute things). Like all Bolivian music it was nice and loud, but so great to listen to that we didn't mind!
Bolivian Music at its Best!

Zamponya on steriods!!
While the team was here the ladies went out and gave out food and clothes to a lot of families in our local neighborhood. They also shared the good new of the Gospel and many were saved! The teams efforts had been a big success.
The only bummer thing that happened when the Team was with us in Coch was that Richard had an accident while working on the play structure. He fractured his collar bone and broke his jaw. As I am writing this toward the end of Sept he is all healed up, but it was a long road to recovery for him with surgeries and having his jaw wired shut for at least a three weeks. While he suffered in the hospital he  wanted Gladys to continue on with the things that they had planned for us. One of those things included a super sweet time of saying goodbye to our friends at the Km. O church that we had attended over the past two years. We also shared this time with saying goodbye to the Kansas team. They had us each share something including each of our children. We also played a Bolivian rendition of spin the bottle. When the bottle pointed to you, you had to share a verse, song or some type of blessing, ect.  It was a lot of fun and very memorable for sure!!

Rudi saying a few profound words!!

Spinning the big glass coke bottle!
Some of our fellow Oregonians singing a song for all of us!
Thank you, Kansas team for coming and sharing your time and lives for a short time with us and Bolivia. We are so blessed by your efforts and the impact you had on our lives.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Thank you, Tias

Another thing we did in July was make and give all the Tias (Employees) that work with Casa de Amor gift baskets! It was a lot of fun picking out the stuff and creating the "baskets" for them. 
We actually put everything in a plastic bowl, so that it was something practical that they could use! Each Tia got a cute mug, a box of tea, a snickers bar, a pair of cozy socks, and a small bar of soap from Bend Soap Co., my brothers soap business. (Thanks to Lindsey's mom, Lisa for bringing them down from the States!) Clara and I worked on putting the 22 (?) baskets together.  
Basket filling production!
 We then took the bowls filled with goodies to the House 1 Tias. We actually did this two days to get both groups on their schedules, so that they didn't have to make a special trip into work on their day off! The first group our whole family went and we took some of our favorite cakes and ice cream. This day was better documented than the second time we went!
Sharing our appreciation with the Tias.

The Tias listening to us share!
 We also made baskets for the two volunteers who have been with Casa de Amor almost the whole time our family has been in Bolivia. We love these gals and miss them lots! They deserved a special thanks for all the hard work they do and have done while they have been here!
Two of our most favoritist volunteers, Hannah and Lindsey!
Tia Rosa is the one who works on all the paperwork to make adoptions happen. She has become a very good friend to me. We are so thankful for all the hours she puts in getting everything ready for the kids to be adopted!
Tia Rosa, Social worker extroidinare!

Gracias, Tias! Les queremos, MUCHO!
 CDA's only male worker is Tio David. He is great at what he does. He manages the finances, workers, and is the general handyman for all the houses! We are thankful for all the hard work he has done for our family during the time we have been here. He was the only male we did a "basket" for! Rudi got him the book "The Heavenly Man" in Spanish and he got all the goodies, minus soap and bowl! P.S. Tia Rosa is his wife!
Tio David
 Rudi and Emily served out the goodies and then we enjoyed visiting a bit with everyone! I think the time had been a big success!

Cake and Ice Cream for All!!
 That same week we brought the other shift of Tias and some of the other social workers donuts and coffee and their baskets. Just Rudi and I came that time. It time, actually was more easy going and we were able to sit around one of the round tables and really chat.

Second Group of Tias! Gracias a ustedes, tambien!
We also gave baskets to the House 2 and 3 Tias. However, we never got it together enough to do an event around it! We actually are closer to the Tias in those houses, because we have worked in closer proximity to them and see them every week at Horita Feliz. I think all of the Tias felt appreciated and thanked! We sure had fun putting it all together for them. We think that each Tia is very special and we are so thankful for how hard they work. They are the backbone of Casa de Amor for sure.