Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I'm sleepy so I'll keep this short and sweet! We had a great weekend, first of all. Friday night we went to a churrascaria, which is like Fogo de Chao for those of you lucky enough to have eaten there in the states! I'm a big fan of the Brazilian steakhouse concept with a big salad bar and meat that floats by your table...although there was definitely some different kinds of meat here. We tried buffalo but it wasn't my fave. Saturday we hung out with our landlords Ana and her husband Jose, plus their two boys. Ana studied English in school and knows a good amount, which has been SO helpful when we're dealing with stuff around the apartment like when our internet broke (there's definitely no "Press 2 for English" around here). They're becoming good friends in addition to landlords, and we all went to the Plaza Principal to feed the birds, then to a huge park downtown and out to dinner. We were joking that when we're together, we all kind of speak Spanglish to each other:) Sunday morning we woke up to the first overcast day I've seen in Cbba, and there were low clouds hanging over the tops of the mountains. When they finally moved away, all the peaks were covered in snow. It was gorgeous. I keep forgetting its winter!

Ted got up at 4:30am on Monday to drive with Mike out to Chapare, which is the jungle about 4 hours away. IOU built a new orphanage out there that's just recently been finished but doesn't have kids living there yet, and some paperwork still needs to be done on it. Most things in Bolivia take longer than expected and involve more effort than you think, so the paperwork STILL didn't get finished and Mike and Ted anticipate more trips out there before its done. Ted got some good pictures though, and said its crazy how the "brown-ness" of Cochabamba just immediately stops and everything becomes green and dense when you enter that region. It's beautiful, and coincidentally where most of the country's coca is grown.

This woman actually was the landowner who gave Mike a portion of the land to build the orphanage on, and she came along on the trip. She brought this tasty "snack" for the ride...Ted choked down most of this huge bean pod thing because he said they looked so happy to give it to him. You split it open, throw out the black seeds, and eat the white stuff that he said tasted like wet cotton. Mmmmmm! Personally, I prefer Taco Bell drive-thrus on road trips, but I guess when in the jungle...

This afternoon was a bit of a fiasco. We met with a lawyer to extend our visas because we only came here with visas good for 30 days. When the lawyer was checking our documents, the stamp was missing from when we entered Bolivia. Apparently the official forgot to stamp us when we were talking. After flipping through every page of our passports with no luck, we went to the consulate's office, where we were told we'd all have to pay 280 B's each to get the stamp so we'd be here legally. So we get to pay for their mistake...grrrrr. We went directly from that ugly episode to a clinic where we discovered that Jude has parasites. He's had diarrhea for almost 6 weeks now (sorry if that's TMI) and we had him tested 3 times and taken to the pediatrician once. Everything kept coming back negative, so I decided he had everything from Celiac to lactose intolerance...poor kid's been drinking soy milk the past few days! We finally had him tested for three different kinds of parasites and he has giardia. Google it if you're interested, but basically he got it through contaminated food or water. Great job, Mom! I do feel guilty, but he's on antibiotics every 8 hours now and seems to be happy and oblivious to the YUCK inside his little body! I'm just glad we figured it out. The hard part of the test is that you have to get the contents of his diaper to the clinic within 30 minutes of when it happened, so when you see him "working on a dirty diaper," you have to immediately yank it off, drop what you're doing, and dash to a taxi. It would be funny if it werent so awful!
OK that was longer than I said it would be. Despite all the complaining (sorry), we are fine and these are just things things that go along with the territory, and we get that. Prayers for our visa issues and our health would be appreciated, but even as I write this I know those are already happening.
"If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31


Anonymous said...

Love, love reading your updates...I'm so sorry about Jude and hope the visas come through soon. Anything we can send you??? - Shannon

Anonymous said...

I smile everytime i read your blog:) I can appreciate the stress of the poop/taxi/clinic fiasco. How unconventional!!! You are an awesome mama. I'm glad to hear this is the problem and not anything worse. At least he hasn't been complaining about it. And what Shannon said-- do you want anything from the states? even just a treat?

Anonymous said...

"I smile everytime. . ." was left by Kendra Johnson :)

Emmalee said...

You make me laugh! Can't believe we haven't chatted this me...sounds like it's been very eventful!

Beth said...

No matter how crazy the situation gets, I can hear the smile in your voice (or read it, anyway...).

It was fun to picture Ted's face as he ate the road trip snacks (that smile was probably a bit forced). :)

Little Hammy is such a cool kiddo and push those guilty feelings away because he's getting some once-in-a-lifetime experiences to make up his foundation. He's gonna have some very interesting stories to woo the ladies with someday. Sorry it was a tough week--we love and miss you!!! We can't wait to send you all a care package.