Saturday, December 24, 2016

Shopping Camiri

Lest you think that we live the easy missionary life, I decided to do a blog on how we shop here in Camiri. I must say that I think shopping is the hardest thing about living here. Not only do you have to do all of your shopping in outdoor markets, the selection is very limited and the vegetables are not usually very fresh. Even in Cochabamba we had MUCH more selection for foods and such, as well as super fresh vegetable selections. If you go in the afternoon it is HOT and smelly. The afternoon I took these pictures was close to 100 degrees! The other challenge is that you have to find parking for your car and then hike around carrying all of your groceries. One day Rudi (who, by the way, does most of our shopping) went to 12 different stores/market areas to get our groceries. It is just flat out exhausting. Thankfully, we live close to the center of town where the majority of the shopping is. I do enjoy walking out and getting this or that when I am not under pressure and it is not too hot out, in other words, not very often!!

The girls are standing in front of a hardware store. Our boys
practically live at these stores buying supplies for their many projects!

The market where I buy my veggies. You can also buy dry goods and some
canned goods, oil, etc. here.
 As I said before, I took these pictures in the afternoon when everyone takes their siesta. This meat alley pictured below usually has meat hanging in front of every shop. Just a couple die hards were out selling the day I took this! You can also purchase parts of the whole cow or pig. They sell it all but the squeal!
Meat alley in the afternoon. This is where you buy beef and pork.
 The picture below shows the chicken and cheese section. My picture turned out blurry, but the cheese ladies all sell on the counter to the right! Each lady has her rounds of cheese stacked in front of her. You can kinda see the cheese rounds that they cut your hunk off. One of the ladies had gone home and had wrapped all of her cheeses in a sheet for while she was gone. The cheese is very salty and pretty much all the same, but our cheese lady is good at finding a cheese that will melt and work for pizza, etc. You do develop a taste for the cheese here and I actually like it now!! I do not ever buy the chickens that have their feet attached. I do have a limit!!!!
Chicken and Cheese... Ahh!!! Don't forget the lemons to go with!!!
 I have really had to change how I cook. Our meals are pretty much veggies, meat, eggs, potatoes, rice, cheese and bread, but rotated to seem more interesting!!! You might say we are on a "whole foods"diet, as there is just not very much that comes already prepared. I only purchase one canned food and that is a tomato paste product that I make all of my spagetti, chili, lasagna, and pizza sauces from. I forgot, we also buy tuna in a can! We do buy noodles and when we are in Santa Cruz we stock up on flour tortillas. We don't suffer too much, because we make a lot of  treats in the house like cookies, cakes, and pies!! They also have super yummy ice cream here, so I can't complain too much!!
This is the shop where I buy eggs sometimes, as well as all my dry
 Another challenge is that you will go to a store to buy something and they will be out of, for example, bread or cream, and not just for a day or two, but sometimes up to two weeks. I often purchase the last plain yogurt from the shop pictured below and then ask every week if they have more in, for a few weeks before they finally do! It is VERY common to go by a shop that you went to yesterday at the same time, and it will be closed for no apparent reason. Or they will tell you to come back in the afternoon, because they are sold out of the item you want. You go back in the afternoon and they tell you to come back for it tomorrow morning, you go back in the morning and they tell you.... You get the idea. It can quickly become a treasure hunt you really didn't want to do or have time for. You do learn to make time for shopping, because it takes up a lot of time, whether you want it to or not!!!
Pil is our milk products store. 

Toilet paper and cleaning supplies store.
 And last, but not least, our post office! I cannot figure out their schedule, if they have one! If they happen to be open, you pop in and ask if you have mail. They don't give you a P.O. box key, because then the fella sitting there would not have anything to do. The fella walks over and sees if you have mail and gives it to you if you do! I think there are around a hundred P.O. boxes in a city of about 30,000 people. That will give you an idea of how much people use the postal service. This is also the ONLY post office in town.
Camiri Post Office
So there you have it, a little bit about the shopping experience in Camiri. Next time you are cruising the air conditioned (or heated for this time of year!) aisles of Costco or Trader Joe's pushing your cart, filling it with exotic and tempting foods, trying to decide of you should purchase the organic or conventional brand of bread (yogurt, milk, veggies, ad infinitum!), think of me in Camiri, I am happy if my store is just open and has the one choice available to sell me!!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Springtime in Camiri

"He hath made everything beautiful in his time:" Ecclessiastes 3:11a
Cotton Trees
This puff of cotton is actually its seed pod that burst open! Super cool!
We are now well into summertime, but I wanted to show you some pictures of our springtime here!
The river that flows through Camiri. It is just three blocks from
our house!

Some interesting flora and fauna! I think it is a baby cactus.
We love being able to take walks and enjoy the nature around us! We have seen wild ducks, herons, hawk type birds, and, my favorite, toucans! We have been told that monkeys come down to drink in the river, but we haven't seen them yet!!
Birds in Flight...
And speaking of toucans, this spring we had a toucan that came and occasionally ate the fruit from our neighbor's chirimoya tree. We never were fast enough to get a picture, but Clara took a picture of the one below at the Santa Cruz Zoo (a zoo blog is coming soon!).
Isn't he a beauty?
"For therefore he sent unto us in Babylon (Bolivia!), saying, "This captivity is long: build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them." Jeremiah 29:28
I had to laugh at the above verse. We sometimes joke about being in captivity here in Bolivia, as we now have to stay to fulfill the U.S. Immigration requirements for our adopted children for at least another year. I guess we are obeying the verse above, because we are planting gardens and hope to eat the fruit of them!!!!

Myles putting in his garden with a little "help!"
This springtime Myles and Clancy both put in gardens. They built little fences to keep Cherry out. The picture below shows Myles'garden in the forfront and Clancy's garden by the wall on the far side of the picture. I will show you what it looks like in my summertime blog, coming soon!
Laying out the rows!
Our small children continue to love having a live teddy bear in our dog, Cherry. She can be a bit much sometimes and they scream for help when she is playing too rough! She is another thing that we are glad to have in our "captivity"!!!
So much puppy love!!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Headboard by Clancy

Well, we brought to you "Bunkbed by Myles", so I thought I would bring you "Headboard by Clancy" and show you the headboard that Clancy made for our bed.

I told Clancy that I wanted him to make a headboard for us and more or less how I wanted it to look. He spent considerable time researching how to make this headboard and finally came up with a plan. It took less than an hour to put it all together! I think it turned out awesome. It is really great to not have our heads against the rough wall in our room anymore!
Getting started with the wood and foam.
Clancy is also measuring for where the buttons should go.
 We actually bought the foam and fake leather material in Tarija.
For once Myles is looking on and Clancy is
the mastermind!

Helping cut the foam to the right size!!

Glueing the foam to the board and then
getting ready to put the fake leather over it,

We attached the material with thumb tacks that didn't really want to go into the wood, but we eventually won!
Putting the buttons on with wire. We had
the buttons covered with the leather material.

Getting ready to put the headboard on the wall.
 We realized that we had not gotten enough buttons covered to make the top and bottom row equal. However, when all of the buttons were on we decided that it looked really nice to have two more on the top, so we left it that way~!
I also want to point out that Clancy made the lamp on the left for
Rudi's birthday gift this year!
 I think that the headboard turned out awesome for our first attempt at it and also with the materials we had to work with! Good job, Clancy and thank you so much!!!!
Hung on the wall with a little help from Rudi and all done!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

"I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving." Psalms 116:17, 107:22, 100:4, 95:2, and 69:30.

Thanksgiving Day, the best holiday the U.S.A. invented! I personally am very thankful to have been born into a nation that has a day in which thankfulness to God is the purpose. Thankfulness is a virtue that is sadly lacking in the world these days. I know I need a lot more of it in my life on a daily basis. This year's Thanksgiving Day, of course, found us in Camiri without any family besides our own, and with very little friends with which to celebrate. That did not stop us from being thankful and for fixing up some yummy food and desserts!!
Myles making his famous apple pie!

Ruth whipping up some pumpkin cookies!
 Turkey is the obvious choice for meat selections, but there was not a turkey in sight in this small town, so we opted to go with its relative the chicken! Not even close to the same from my point of view, but I tried to remain thankful!!
Daddy preparing the chicken.

Clara with the beginnings of an Oreo Chocolate Cake!

Adding the delicious frosting!!
 As you can see we did not lack for desserts! I was very thankful for this!!!

Its beginning to look like Thanksgiving!
 Here in Bolivia it was business as usual. A fruit truck came by with its megaphone announcing that it had papaya, pineapple, and bananas for sale. I got the cutest video of Adriana watching it and telling me about what it was selling, but I don't know if I can upload it or not. I will have Emily try it for me later!
Update: It has been confirmed that the file is too big to upload to blogger...Sorry! It is still a really cute video!!
"Papaya, papaya, papay, platano, platano, platano"
Myles and I were in charge of the barbque for the chicken. It was soooo hot that we practically scalded our faces and hands making it.
B.B.Que Chicken for Thanksgiving!
 Our only guest this year was, Christopher Mattix. The only picture I got of him is from the back working on the 1000 piece puzzle we had started for Thanksgiving Day.
Christopher and Co. working on the puzzle.

Ready to eat....

Clara and Paula decorated the table!

The Amazing Oreo Pie!
 The highlight of the day for me was Skyping with my family back home. They were all together at my parents house and we were the only family not there (again, sniff, sniff).... I am thankful for some of the things about modern technology that allow us to see and hear our loved ones far away.

We also called and were in contact with most of the Booher side of the family, as well!
Skype time with the Johnson side of the family!
 We actually finished up the puzzle that we had started that morning, before we headed to bed!!! Out of the 1000 pieces, I am thankful that there were 999!!!!
Almost done with the puzzle!
God has been so good to us during our years here in Bolivia. We are so thankful to Him!!!