Saturday, October 17, 2015

Holiday in La Paz

Early Morning BoA Flight
Mid-September it came to our attention that we needed to get our passports renewed. In order to begin any type of visa work we needed six months before they expired. Since ours expired in January and we are entering into another phase of visa work, we decided to hop on a plane and zip up to our American Embassy in La Paz. It actually turned into a fun holiday for us!

Our appointment at the Embassy was at 8:30, but we needed to be there 15 minutes early, so we took the earliest flight out of Cochabamba at 6:15. It also happened to be the cheapest! Hooray!

First selfie of the day. Looking pretty fresh and ready to go!
We arrived before 7 a.m. and took a truffi down the hill from El Alto to La Paz. A woman on our truffi was headed to the Spanish Embassy and ours was right near it, so we walked with her straight to the neighborhood where our impressive embassy is! We still had lots of time to kill and since nada opens before 8 here in Bolivia, there wasn't even a place to buy a cup of coffee to pass the time. We walked up and down looking for something that was open, to no avail. It helped to pass the time and keep us warmer. It was colder up there than down in Coch!

Selling empanadas? or taking a nap?

Shoes shined while you wait!!
When we thought we were close enough to the time to check in for our appointment we headed back to the Embassy. We thought we would snap a few pictures while we were waiting. The U.S. Embassy in La Paz is really big; at least eight stories tall, a full city block deep, and very nice! We were pretty proud to be Americans. That was at least until the local Bolivian police scolded us for taking pictures, as it is "prohibido"! We erased the pictures to please our friendly policeman, only to have him come over later and want to take down our "datos", i.e. names and carnet numbers. We very nicely told him that, no, we were not going to give him any of our information, as there was absolutely no reason to give him them and we've been here long enough to know that your "datos" can show up again to haunt you!! He acted surprised that we had told him no. I got a bit of a chuckle out of his facial expression. We talked a little longer, showed him that the pictures had been erased, and then he asked us one last time if we wouldn't give him our information. We again told him, no, we weren't going to do that and he politely took his leave of us!!

Our appointment went really well. The staff at the embassy was North American efficient... friendly ... refreshing... and it felt really great to be citizens of the good ol' USA! A great experience!

After our appointment we were very hungry and happy to find that our favorite coffee shop/restaurant, Alexander's, was open. We both had omelets and a coffee drink! It was scrummy!

Nothing like good food and good company!! 
(Translation: "The Best Cinnamon Roll in the World)"
We beg to differ with this sign!!
We then took the gondolas for a ride up to El Alto and then back down again on the yellow and green gondola lines! It took us about an hour and a half all together to do the trip and it cost around $2.50 per person!!
Favorite selfie of the day! Some of the city of La Paz behind
and very far below us!

It was a beautiful day!
When we got to where the green gondola ends, we asked what there was to see around that area, the host told us that we should take a taxi to the zoo, about 15 minutes away from there. We took him up on it and had a great time at the zoo. On the way to the zoo we went through this area called the Valley of the Moon. It was pretty cool geological stuff, if you are into that sort of thing... which I am not!
Tunnels on the way to the Valle de la Luna!
 We had a really fun time at the zoo. I will highlight some of the more exotic animals that we saw!
Vesty Pakos is the name of the zoo. I don't know
what language this is, nor what it means! Sorry!

Zoo Selfie! Aren't we cute?

Tons of Turtles

I was happy to find out by reading this sign, that this animal
is ONLY native to Bolivia! Que feo!

Cool Condors
I liked the signs at this zoo... so exotic!!
 I was also fascinated by the crowds of people at the zoo; Not the type you might see at a zoo in the States!!
The Colorful Crowds at the La Paz Zoo!

Back in the gondolas again!
After all that running about, we were hungry again! It was actually after 2 in the afternoon by the time we thought about lunch! We decided to be original and go to another location of Alexander's! :) We REALLY like this coffee shop. Wish they had one in Cochabamba!!! That might be bad though, because we would eat there WAY too often!!

The great atmosphere of Alexander's!

Ready for lunch!

Crunchy Chicken Salad! Super Yummy!!
My family will appreciate how my taste buds have matured...
I ate all those tomatoes and still called it yummy!!!

And my handsome husband modeling our dessert!!
Yummy tambien!!
After lunch we had just enough time to find one of the tourist sections of La Paz. Most of the things are the same as Cochabamba, just higher priced! They did have some cool stuff that we hadn't seen before.
Yours truly, in the tourist section!!!
 It was dog eat dog to get a truffi back up the hill to get our flight. We could have paid six dollars and gotten a taxi, but always wanting to get the deal, we were able to flag down a SUPER loaded airport truffi and paid only a little over a dollar! Score!
Our Chariot to the Airport!
This airport is located at around 13,000 ft. elevation. We definitely felt the altitude at the end of a long day! 

El Alto Airport
13,323 Ft elevation
This is truly "The High" airport!
 Rudi took this great picture of the mountain Illimani, as we flew past it on our way home. It is hard to believe that it only takes 30 minutes by plane and 8 hours by car to get to La Paz. I like the flying route better!
Mount Illimani

Last selfie of the day! Tired travelers!
We got home to some happy kids that had been well tended by Tia Techy, Danyelle, Gina, Amber, and Kirsten! A big thank you to everyone for giving us a "holiday in La Paz!"

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Miracle Cure

This blog is going to divert from my normal pictures and commentary. You see, last night a miracle happened at our house. Everyday is a miracle, but I seldom stop to ponder it...

Yesterday*, Paula (6) had a gnarly cough. The kind where every time you hear it you wince inside. Last night after we put her to bed, if possible, it got worse. I was worried. It was not the croop, but something close to it. She had coughing fits every five minutes. I timed them. Each coughing fit left her breathless and had a hoarse barking sound to them. At one point she ran to the bathroom thinking she was going to throw up. She didn't, but instead coughed up lots of phlegm. I left for a moment and when I came back she had fallen asleep on a towel on the bathroom floor. She was so tired and yet she could not sleep comfortably, because she awakened so often with coughing.

Nothing could stop it. Over the course of the next four hours we tried everything: cough drops, a commercial cough syrup, and a steam tent with eucalyptus essential oil. I must mention that I was very worried and was praying constantly. Whenever my children get really sick I think of the Goforths that lost five children while on the mission field in China and other such stories.

Around midnight I finally went downstairs to the kitchen and made some onion and sugar cough syrup. I got the recipe from the book "Be Your Own Doctor", by Rachel Weaver M.H.. I also made her an onion/salt poultice for her chest front and back (recipe from the same book). When I got back upstairs Rudi had propped her up in an armchair that we have in our room. I put the poultice on her and that slowed the coughing to every 10 minutes or so. At about 1:30 the onion cough syrup was ready enough that I started giving her that about every five minutes. By 2:00 a.m. she was not coughing at all. We did not hear a cough out of her again and she slept amazing until 7 a.m.

The miracle is that she was cured from the bad cough and we never heard it again. About twice that day she coughed a little bitty cough, but the hoarse barking noise was gone and the cough was just plain GONE!!!

God heard our fervent prayers and healed our little girl of this horrible nasty cough. It was a miracle and we are so thankful!

Our Sweet Paula 

* I am finishing this blog a month after that particular "yesterday". Better late than never right?!!