Sunday, September 18, 2016

Saying Goodbye and Bolivia Bound

It is hard to believe how fast the time went by while we were in the States. We were there about six and a half months and it felt really short! Our time was full of highs and lows, just like life anywhere on the planet. It was really good to go home and spend time with family and friends. It was also really good to spend time getting our coffee shop maintained and some new employees hired and trained. While we were home we moved twice and travelled A LOT. It feels really good to be getting settled in Bolivia again, but that is yet another blog! 

Needless to say it was a busy last three days getting our house packed for storage and 22 suitcases packed for Bolivia. My parents surprised us and came over for one full day and super blessed us by helping us pack, clean, and organize. It was bittersweet to say goodbye at the end of that long, tiring day, not knowing when we would see each other again. We are so thankful to them for making the long drive over to help us (almost 4 hours one way) and for all of their love and support! Daddy and Mama, you guys are the BEST! When can we expect to see you in Bolivia again?

Grandpa and Grams with some of the kids about to leave for
home, after working hard all day!
We decided that moving out of our house and driving up to Portland would be too much for one day, so we moved out Wednesday and Uncle Tim and Aunt Diane graciously allowed us to stay at their house for the night. That same day our friends, Greg and Elaine Dealy, had driven down to pick up our younger children to take them to their house to babysit them, so we could finish things up without kiddos underfoot. We swung by their house on the way to U. Tim and A. Diane's, to pick up the children and say goodbye to them also. They super blessed us with so many meals and free babysitting at the drop of a hat! I must say that Elaine's song that she made up in my honor, at least I think it was my life that inspired her, "I Am A Rubber Band For Jesus," still makes me chuckle to think of it! I will have to post the lyrics sometime! 
Enjoying an amazing breakfast at U.Tim and A. Diane's House

Our adopted kiddos love to visit Uncle Tim and Aunt Diane, as much as we all do. Aunt Diane always treats them like they are the most special things in the world. They love to eat at the table just their size!
Peter and Adriana loving it at Aunt Diane's
 Rudi's parents came up and joined us at U. Tim and A. Diane's for breakfast. It was sweet to be able to say goodbye to them as well! I must say I am not overly fond of goodbyes. It seems like we have had way to many in the past few years. We are so thankful to have such lovely people to say goodbye to though! Thank you so much, Uncle Tim and Aunt Diane for your amazing hospitality. We love you.
Three generations of Booher men
L. to R. Dad, Myles, Rudi, and Clancy

Grandma B. brought her amazing apple pie, as a belated
dessert for Myles' birthday. Not sure if Peter likes it or not!!
Thursday we headed North for Portland making many shopping stops along the way. Our last stop for the night was the Mike and Bonnie Mauck's house in Portland.
Sisters enjoying Paula's new umbrella!
Let me tell you, Mike and Bonnie's house is more than kid friendly, it is a kid's paradise. From the giant swings in the backyard, to the huge collection of dress-up clothes, and super fun toys, our children were so sad to have to go to bed at 11 and Ruth and Paula were up at 6, just so they could play some more... All who know the Maucks know how hospitable they are, but for those of you who do not know them, if you were to imagine the most hospitable place you ever stayed and then doubled or tripled it, that would be about right. We all had a bed to sleep in, a delicious dinner, an amazing breakfast, and a huge sack lunch for us to take with us to the airport. They also drove us in our van and dropped us off at the airport. Thank you so much, Mike and Bonnie. You have the gift of hospitality and you are using the gifts God has given you!
Paula in some of the dress up
clothes at the Mauck's house!
Gotta love that wig and the glasses!
Our first flight had us heading to Dallas, Texas where we were to get a connecting flight on to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. From Ft. Lauderdale we had a shuttle lined up to take us to Miami. Well, because of the horrible weather over Dallas, we were diverted to land in Austin, Texas along with 13 other flights! Emily did a super great blog about this, so pop over to her blog and read about it by clicking here! It will tell you that what awaited us in Austin was a family reunion for the night with Chris and Lisa and their family that only God could have orchestrated! We are still shaking our heads in amazement over what he did for us! What an amazing God we serve!! In the only group picture that we took some of us stood on biting red ants, hence the funny picture below.~
Short, but sweet visit with Chris and Lisa and Family and
short, but funny photo on the red ant hill!!!
A day later, and a pocketbook lighter:), but hearts fuller! than planned, we finally made it to Miami for the "international" portion of our flights! We took our folding wagon with us to have between flights. It was super nice to have for our "littles" and carry-ons!
Miami Airport early Sunday a.m.

My beautiful family traveling back to Bolivia
Miami Airport

Nap time in the Panama Airport

The folding wagon came in handy as a crib as well!
We arrived Sunday night in Santa Cruz and all 22 "bags" (We actually had two coolers, a box that weighed 90 lbs, a Yamaha piano, and eighteen 50 lb suitcases) made it through customs. They were a bit dubious about some of the machines we brought down for the coffee shop (including two espresso machines, a professional blender, and a professional coffee grinder) we are helping to open here in Camiri... yet another blog... We were so happy to see our friend, Mark Mattix and another family from Santa Cruz, who came to pick us up with a truck and trailer and an extra car to take us to the New Tribes Guest House.

No matter how you do it there is nothing easy about traveling with eleven people internationally. We have gotten pretty good at it. We have learned to carry on as little as possible (less to forget on the airplane!), make sure to take a jacket and some blankets for those cold flights and long layovers, and most of all lots of prayers for sanity and safety!!!

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