Those of you who have followed this blog for awhile know that we occasionally venture forth to do what we fondly call a "Cantaton." This is the name that our friend, Mark, came up with to describe the singing and playing events that we do at churches. It is not a concert, but rather a time of congregational singing and praise that is led by our family playing instruments (and others), with Mark leading the singing. It is a lot of fun.
When we got back this time Mark had contacted the Saints in Tarija and they planned on having us down the second weekend in November. We had never been to Tarija before, but had heard that it was a beautiful place. We had also heard that the road getting there was a bit sketchy, it did not disappoint!
On this trip Mark and Carol, along with another family, Efrain and Jeaneth and their two daughters, went with us. Mark led the way in his truck and our faithful truffi followed along behind!
|The road to Tarija begins!|
|This road is narrower than it looks!|
Some of our children took advantage of the time and took a swim in the river below. The men made a fire to warm up by afterwards and we all enjoyed eating watermelon together.
|Waiting for the road to open.|
|The river where the kids swam and waded.|
|Translation: Restricted Vehicle Traffic|
We appreciate your cooperation
|My handsome Hubby and Emily the photo bomber in the background|
|Our setup for the long wait! The booth with the blanket was|
our dressing room!
|Getting a fire going!|
|Just because he is so cute in pink!|
|Me and my little lover boy, Peter|
|Rudi served us all watermelon!!!|
|David, Abbi, Adriana, Misiel, and Paulita|
|And some of the rest of us!|
They also had showers in the Men's and Women's restrooms and boy did they ever feel good after a day of dusty roads with the windows down! Just our family stayed at the church, the others stayed with family and friends.
The next morning a family from the church served us breakfast in the church kitchen and dining room.
|Breakfast half American and half Bolivian style|
|Myles and Peter waiting for the plane to take off!|
|Solving the world's problems! Actually rejoicing in|
the results of the recent U.S elections!
|Fun slide! Paula with David behind!|
|Ruth with Peter|
|Love this picture!|
|Peter about to take the plunge!|
|The Men and Boys!|
|Cool looking cactus modeled by Clancy!|
|All of us, with Rudi taking the picture, by the "Welcome to Tarija" sign!|
|The older kids had such a great time riding around in the back of|
|The second park we went to was beautiful with lots of lovely pathways,|
flowers, and water features.
|A family photo opp! Getting everyone to look at the same time was a challenge!|
|The park from below!|
|Sharing after lunch on Sunday|
After a short rest back at the church we went to dinner at another families house. This house was a kids paradise with all kinds of toys and a small car and truck to drive. I commented later to Rudi that the children that lived at the house were so kind in the way they shared their toys with our kids.
|I think the batteries were mostly dead, so they took turns pushing each other!|
|Dinner time! Everyone is singing before dinner!|
|Getting started with the music!|
|Now it is Myles turn!|
|Ruth and Paula helping Uncle Mark with the|
song "Quien Hizo Las Lindas Estrellas?"
The church had set up a stage and all of their chairs and benches outside in the gym area, as the actual church was too small for that many people. The weather was perfect for an outside event. It was such a great time.
|Creation Cataton 2016 Tarija, Bolivia|
Okay, it's morning now and after school. I will take up where I left off!
We left at five a.m. en punto, because we hoped to get through at least one of the road construction areas, remember there were two, before it closed for the day. Looking back we should have left at 4:30 because it would have saved us at least four hours of driving and STRESS, but more about that later!! We all had slept horrible, because for some reason mosquitos had decided to attack during the night. Our children checked in with us periodically, like every hour, to let us know how the battle was raging. Our last wake up was at 3 a.m. and I didn't sleep after that! Most of the children moved outside onto a patio/walkway to sleep, claiming that it was better outside! I do know that Ruth had something like thirty bites on each arm and all over her face. Thankfully, they weren't too itchy, like the mariwee bites. Anyway, if we hadn't been traveling with others we probably would have taken off at 3 a.m.!!
|So sleepy and so sweet!|
|Ready to be on the road again!|
|Others were also getting on the road early. It made for DUSTY conditions.|
|Coming right at you!|
|A beautiful morning right outside of Tarija.|
|Lots of road construction|
|A house right on the side of the dusty road! I would hate|
to live there!
|One of the MANY rivers we crossed that day.|
|Caution Landslides from 300 m.|
We took an hour or so break to eat breakfast, cheese and bread out of the van, use the restroom and get some gas in Entre Rios.
We had been told that you needed to have a four by four to go on the detour. If there had been recent rain we would not have made it in our van, as the ruts and slippery surface would have been too much. The first detour was 18 kilometers(approx 12 miles), it took us 1 hour to do this detour. The road was basically a off roaders track. We did not meet any cars or buses, thankfully, but we did meet up with one gentleman on horseback!
I must say that this area is one of the most beautiful and peaceful that I have seen in all our many journeys. It would be a wonderful place to live... that is if you didn't mind being at the ends of the earth!!
|Our horseback guide|
|Adios, Amigo! In this picture the fella is reading a Gospel|
tract Efrain gave him.
|Some of the detour road|
|Off roaders dream... Not mine!!|
|It is hard to capture just how bad the road was, but take my|
word we had to go very slow over the rocks and riverbeds!
|As always, you must take baby wipes!|
The second detour point we reached at about 10:30. This is where we should have stopped, as we barely made it through a riverbed during this second detour. This is also where we lost a lot of time driving, driving, driving, without going very far. At one point it looked like we were going to have to take another even longer detour, because we couldn't find a way to get into the riverbed that took us to the next road we needed to get to. Finally, after much trial and error we found the best entrance into the river and were able to pass, as long as we didn't stop. If we stopped we would have sunk down in the sand and lost traction! At the last part we did have to stop to help push some other travelers out of the mud/sand. Thankfully, we were able to get started again!
|I know it is blurry, but this is the river we were driving in.|
|Riverbed driving at its finest!|
I want to pause and give glory to God for our supernatural car. After we had been driving for about five hours in the craziest conditions, it hit me that our car is being supernaturally powered by God! There is just no other answer for why our car does not break down and just goes, and goes, and goes. These roads, if you want to call them that, are VERY hard on cars. Our car is a 1988 Toyota, it is old, it is low to the ground, it should not handle what we have put it through and yet, it just keeps chugging along. God gets all the glory for it, for sure!!!
|David all tired out!|
|Paula and Missi wading in the bathtub warm water|
|Lunch time. Sandwiches and watermelon!|
|Watching the large equipment move rocks out of the road.|
|Safety first... That's why they put up the sign!!|
|Happy Birthday, Efrain|
|Complete with travel weary musicians.|
|A firecracker candle!|
The next day we were up and at ém cleaning out our God powered van!
|It was a big job|
|Clancy and David getting it all detailed out!|
|David carrying in some of the shoes!|