Mom's Blog

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fill 'er up...again

Ever run out of gas? We did on our latest excursion. In caravan with two of Daniel's brothers we headed out of Santa Cruz, our city of over one and a half million people to head to the state of Sucre to a small (1,000 inhabitants) town of Huarcarata, the hometown of Graciela. It was a grueling 10 hour drive through mostly dusty (it hasn't rained for a couple of months), rocky road through cliffs and ridges that I don't care to see again for a long time. For those who may know Bolivia's roads, you know what I'm talking about. We traveled the famous Incawasi 'highway', one of Bolivia's worst, yet beautiful , or should I say awesome?

With the rough terrain pounding a beating on our car, our gas line snapped and we lost all of our fuel, luckily near the end of the 10 hour drive. No AAA available here! The boy scouts that the Centellas guys are, Ruben hooked us up with a cable to his car to pull us the last 30 or so miles. But then Daniel remember edthat although his natural gas tank marked empty, maybe, just maybe there was enough natural gas in our bulkly tank to get a bit further along. We did get about 15 miles or so. So we hooked up again. The road was a roller coaster of hills; so we let Ruben pull us up a hill, then disconnect to allow us to coast down the incline, to reconnect us again. Thus, we entered the town of Huacareta connecting and disconnecting.

Of course our first task was to find the one and only mechanic in the town who rather bluntly told us that he was too busy and it was a holiday weekend for the town. So...... the boys scouts got under the car first thing the next morning and fixed it themselves. Don't ask me how.

Next we had to find fuel. With no gas stations in town we purchased fuel from a vender who sold it from barrels. Daniel put in 25 liters at a time until the tank was full again.
We spent 3 days in the small town, walking the streets, fishing in the river, visiting the market, watching a motor-cross the village had as part of its celebration and visiting Graciela's family. Her mom slaughtered and gutted pig on Saturday for our Sunday feast.
The trip was an eye-opener to Bolivia's rural setting where life is hard and yet people plug along the best that they can. I add a few shots, of the village, and Graciela's family if I can get these all in.
We left the town at 5:00 on Sunday afternoon , drove all night to arrive safe and sound at 6:am Monday morning, a holiday here - Santa Cruz Independence Day. Ah, my own bed again!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

third time's a charm?

Well, you saw the screened-in-patio. That, by the way,opens off both the dining area and our bedroom. The yard picture that you got to see twice is the back wall of our yard. Now I'll try to show you our cook-out area, which is the thatched area where we have our grill in the back corner of the yard.

Let's try this... again.

I am still trying to post a few pictures of our backyard, especially now that we have our bbq space - hatata done and our back patio screened and it is soon to be spring with new plants blooming. This is a second attempt and I am trying to get this done by midnight. My first attempt bombed so I've already wasted over 20 minutes and am starting over. Let's see:

Can I do this?

It's 11:00 pm and I'd like to go to bed by midnight. But I've taken some pictures of the yard, that I'd like to try to post. Our computer is quite slow and my brain is even slower, but let's try:

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Hello.....can you see us?

First time this morning. We had a 'date' to be in our 'chat room' at 9:00 am. I can't believe that both of us got up before 8:00, showered got all dressed - earlier than usual to 'let the camera roll'. Well true to their words all four children were signing in. Of course I couldn't think of anything else to say excpet, "Can you see us?" And us trying to sqeeze both of us in the little box viewing window and smiling up at the camera instead of looking down at the keyboard. But it was only Kelly and Valerie that could see us. We sent and receieved kisses.
But it was a first attempt and we're learning how to navigate this new world of communication. We couldn't connectd with Novali and that was a disappointment, nor could we get a chance to see how much our little Javier is growing inside his warm coccoon. But we went off happily to church knowing that all four children were able to communicate with us at least in some way.
There was a mother in church this morning who cried tears of joy when she presented her daugther whom she hadn't seen for three years, who had come from Spain to be reunited with her mom and own daughter. I'm glad we are able to communicate. Even if I only say, "Can you see me?, I am really saying, "I love you, I miss you and I wish you the very best"