Showing posts from 2016

Visa Trip to La Paz

In order for Franco to travel to the United States, the first step in the process was  to get a passport. Once we had the passport, the application was done online, and the application fee paid at one of the local banks. Finally after completing the steps, we were given an interview date in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia.

The city of La paz is about a 7 hour bus ride from Cochabamba where we live, so we took the bus (for  $4.50 each) to one of the highest cities in South America. At almost 12,000 feet altitude, La Paz is a beautiful city, surrounded by mountains, and breathtaking, literally. Even with altitude medicine, the symptoms of altitude sickness start to kick in.

Thankfully, a good friend from college, Ludi lives in La Paz, and helped us find a place to stay, and took us to dinner!

The next morning, our sweet host guided us to the American embassy. We avoided morning traffic by using the cities cable car system for only 50 cents each! We finally arrived for the visa intervi…

Father’s Day!

In Bolivia, Father’s day is celebrated each year on March 19th. In the Catholic Church this is also the day that Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus is celebrated.

At Casa de Amor, Father’s day is always a difficult day for our kids. We are blessed to have many wonderful people in our kid’s lives both near and far, but this is a day that the kids are often reminded of the absence of their biological fathers.

This year, only three of our children celebrated Father’s day at their school by preforming a special dance and sharing a meal with their “fathers” in their classroom.

AM, B, and E were all excited to participate in the festivities, and were joined by a crowd. Tio David, the administrator of Casa de Amor, three volunteers, Franco, and I, were able to there for the dances.

After the dances, Tio David, Franco and I split up to eat lunch with each child. While I was honored to be an honorary father, I also was reminded of the difficult situation so many of our kids find themselves …

Fresh Bread

At Casa de Amor, breakfast and dinner typically include some form of fresh bread. For breakfast, children normally eat a piece of bread accompanied by a warm drink. Bolivia is famous for its warm, purple drink called Api, but there are many other drinks that the kids also love!
Although bread is relatively inexpensive in Bolivia (14 pieces of bread/ $1) the staff takes time each week to make fresh bread from scratch. This is a great way to save money, but also an opportunity to teach the kids (and volunteers!) new life skills.

Although the kids don't exactly speed up the process, they enjoy helping the tias with the dough, letting it rise in the sun, making balls of dough, and then cooking the bread in the industrial sized oven! (Don't worry, the kids don't get too close to the oven!) 
Making the bread also helps the kids to appreciate the food they are eating. Often when food appears on the table the kids struggle to be grateful because they do not have a good concept of …

New Year, New Volunteers

At Casa de Amor, we are so thankful for the love and support of people from all over the world. From Bolivia, to Denmark, to Canada, to the United States, to Ireland, to the Netherlands, to Austria, and all over the world, people are praying and giving to support the children of Casa de Amor.

This year, we also have four new volunteers from the United States and Denmark that have come to serve with Casa de Amor!

As I have served as the volunteer coordinator, I have been so encouraged by their willingness to serve and learn. It can be very overwhelming to come to a foreign country, learn a new language, meet 30 children and lots of caregivers, and adjust to a new way of doing EVERYTHING. :)

We have tried to make that process as smooth as possible, so it has been a busy week!

Last Monday and Tuesday were filled with trips to the airport to pick everyone up, and LOTS of luggage.

Wednesday was orientation day, and was spent getting to know each other better, learning the history of the ho…