Monday, May 8, 2017

It's a.......

In the last three years in Bolivia, I can count on one (maybe two) hands, the number of clothes I have purchased here. And 50% of these purchases were related to my brief time teaching PE. Sweatpants. Friends and family have been very generous to send/bring maternity clothes, so even that I haven’t had to buy! 

However, in the last few weeks, I have started to buy baby clothes! Partly, I’m just so excited about cute baby clothes that I couldn’t wait to get started. But mostly, it is because of how time consuming clothes shopping is here. I really can’t complain, Cochabamba has SO many options. However, new baby clothes imported from the US are expensive, and the best option seems to be the used clothes section of the market!

I have posted a video here (If you're short on time skip to 1:30 to see the actual clothes shopping.) from a family in Cochabamba on a clothes shopping trip, but it is generally like a big garage sale. In the market, there are several areas that have blocks of clothing. Each store has a variety of clothes set up like a garage sale in the US. Sometimes there is a great selection of good quality and good prices, and sometimes not. Most of the time, baby clothes cost around $1.50 each, but occasionally there are baskets of clothes for $0.75! Last week, I also found a tomato in this bargain basket- surprise!

Anyway, since the market requires a good 45 minutes by bus, some uphill walking, and lots of patience sorting through clothes, I am trying to finish as much as possible before it’s too late. BUT, if you happen to have extra baby boy clothes lying around, my sister is coming to visit in JUNE, and she has lots of space in her suitcase. She would love to bring baby clothes with her…right Autumn? 
Enjoy a virtual shopping trip through picture! ( These are other people's pictures for the most part.)

First, we catch the big yellow "Q" bus to the bus terminal at the market.

The streets around the bus terminal are crowded, so we wind our way through traffic.
(This is why the pictures are borrowed from google, pick-pocketing is very common in the crowds.)

A few blocks into the market, there are tons of vendors with delicious fruits and vegetables.

There are also some not so nice corners...especially when the trash service is on strike....

And finally the clothes section....let the treasure hunt begin!

The treasure washed and drying in the "dryer"!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Children's Day & Easter Celebrations

I have heard many time that Bolivia has more holidays than normal days. It seems like every week we have a reason to celebrate - partly because everyone gets their own day! Most recently we have celebrated:

-New Years
-Bolivian New Years
-Anniversary of the new name of Bolivia
- Valentines Day
-Carnival (Mardi Gras)
-Father's Day
-Day of the Sea
-Pedestrian Day #1 (of four)
-Children's Day
-Good Friday

This might be a SLIGHT exaggeration, but by the time you throw in birthdays and protests in the road, we have a LOT of holidays. 

However, Easter in Bolivia is very different from my idea of Easter. Because the catholic church in Bolivia has mixed  many indigenous and superstitious customs, the evangelical church typically avoids anything related to the catholic church. Unfortunately, that means egg hunts/ baskets/ and Easter chocolates are rare. Confetti eggs are unheard of, and my Easter lunch consisted of ham and cheese sandwiches. ( We did talk about the resurrection at church though, so really I just miss the shallow parts of Easter. :) ) 

Fortunately, Children's Day this year happened to fall close to Easter, so we had a good excuse to celebrate with the kids at Happy Hour and church.

On Friday the church hosted an excursion day at a local park, and we were able to spend the day with good friends. Several families gave testimony to how God is working in their lives. It is exciting to see how God is working in and through the local church.
The testimony of a family that has been at the church for the last year, sharing about how God has changed their family since accepting Christ.

On Saturday at Happy Hour, a group of teenagers from the church came and put on a puppet show about prayer and obedience. I never did get a good count, but we served about 120 pieces of cake at the end!
Franco representing the Cowboys. :)

Someone was more interested in the camera than the puppet show.....
On Sunday at church, the same group of teenagers performed for all of the children in Sunday School, and we helped with crowd control and passing out the snacks. (My favorite!) We also celebrated Easter with baptisms after the service, and 16 people from the church were baptized!

Overall, it was a great Easter weekend. We are thankful for Jesus' death and resurrection, and for one more reason to celebrate! 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Let Happy Hour Begin!

Happy Hour is about to begin again! 

For the last two months Happy Hour, the weekly neighborhood Bible club has been on vacation. During the Bolivian Summer break, many of the children visit family in other parts of Bolivia, and attendance decreases. Since school is now back in session, we will be starting to meet again with the children and family that live in the neighborhood.

3-5 Year Old Class


Playing outside with the kids before classes start

Often as we walk to the road to take a bus into the city, or to the store on the corner we see families that come to Happy Hour and get to visit with them. 

We have also gotten to continue to studying the Bible with Jasmine (name changed for privacy). This week we will be celebrating her 16th birthday with her favorite food Pique Macho, a classic Bolivian dish. (Ill try out my new Bolivian Cookbook....) Jasmine lives with her sister down the street from us, and her parents work in a small town about 3 hours away. 

Please pray for Jasmine and her family, that she would be a witness of Jesus' love to her family, and that He would work through us. Please also pray for the beginning of Happy Hour, that we would be able to connect and build relationships of trust with families in the neighborhood. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Bible School Reunion

This last weekend we were able to spend at a retreat for the alumni of the Bible school Franco attended. He had been asked to be the speaker for the retreat, and we were able to take advantage and visit his family who live near by as well.

The Bible school is also a farm, and many of the students receive partial to full scholarships by helping with the care of the cows and crops. Franco went to the school on this scholarship and learned as much about cows and crops as he did the Bible... Almost! :)

The theme of the weekend was based on 1 Peter 5:6-10. In the morning the days started off with breakfast and a devotional, and then a time of worship and a sermon. After the sermon was a time for sports! (My personal favorite.) after lunch, we had smaller groups to discuss and reflect on the messages. I had the privilege of leading the women's discussion group, and was encouraged by the openness of the women to how God is working in their hearts and lives.

In the evenings there was another message, and testimony of the ministry of alumni. Students from all over Bolivia and some from Argentina shared about how the Lord has used the Bible school in their lives and ministries.

Below are a few pictures from the weekend:

Group Photo

Hight-tec projector set-up

Franco preaching and representing UNT!

Screen printing t-shirts     

Corn fields and the coulds covering the mountains

Finished product