Saturday, September 24, 2011

Concurso de Flores

Those participating for a prize: Original, Quantity, Happiest and Longest Time Spent Designing the Costume

Thursday was a special night at our weekly ladies meeting, a competition of flowers. The goal was to come adorned with the most flowers or with the most original design so my friend, Suellen, and I did our best.

That afternoon Suellen came over at 2pm and we ending up working until 6ish. My goal: most original, her goal: most flowers. I think overall we did a pretty good job but I felt awfully silly in my costume. It proved to do the job though as I tied for most original and got a nice pair of earrings out of the deal. Suellen won a prize for happiest adorned with flowers, not exactly what we were shooting for but she still won a prize!

Being presented before the crowd: I got a lot of laughs but a lot of cheers and whistles too!
We also enjoyed a nice meal together, pizza made by our local bachelor chef. The "chef" is known in the church for his cooking and is also on the ministry team. The pizza was delicious.

Sue and me in our finished costumes.
We had a fun night together and a lot of laughs. I am again reminded about how blessed we are to be a part of this congregation. They are becoming very good friends.

Everyone in attendance except those behind the camera, of course!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cochabamba's Birthday

Wednesday, September 14th, was the birthday of Cochabamba. Celebrated with fireworks, parades and parties, it's one of the major attractions in this city each year. But our first priority of the day was to attend the birthday party of Mauge, the director/owner of our language school.

The party was a "surprise" party at the language school for breakfast. The highlight of the party, besides celebrating Mauge's birthday, was the Mariachi band her mother hired as a present. Nathan and I enjoyed the music and food while the girls enjoyed the company of some other English-speaking kids and running around barefoot in the grass!

Mauge is the only woman in the photo, dressed for the part!

Our day was busy but thankfully between events we were able to return to our house for naps (the girls, including Mommy!) and a late lunch. Around 4pm our friends, Mauricio, Fabiana and their two boys, Santiago and Felipe, came to take us to the parade downtown.

The parade was already going when we arrived and we were told that it would most likely last well into the night. There were political groups, church groups, groups of workers from different occupations, multiple student bands as well as multiple political bands. We saw three fly-overs by the local air force as well as a helicopter with three men flying below. The girls enjoyed the music and special treats bought by Daddy and our friends.

Taking advantage of a tall tree!

Taking advantage of the crowds (and getting ignored).

As the sun starting going down our friends decided it would be best to get going as it becomes slightly more dangerous after dark. We climbed in the car and went for a ride around town and ended up at La Casa de Silpancho for dinner. Silpancho is a Cochabambino food including rice, fried potatoes, fried egg, flattened fried beef or chicken and a tomato/onion salad. It's also one of our favorite meals here. It was a special treat and the end to a good day!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Party Time!

Below us live two families, one mother and her college-aged daughter and a young family, David, Jhiancarla and Marcos. Up to this point our relationship with both families has mostly consisted of polite greetings as we come and go, "oohing" and "ahhing" over our girls while we greet the one families son or pet the dog of the mother and daughter. We often talk with them due to the lack of water we have in our apartment as well. A couple of times we have traded cookies and sweets for a piece of cake, neighborly transactions that don't compute to much.

On Friday David invited us to attend the birthday party of his son, Marcos. Marcos turned one on Sunday and it is a birthday often celebrated with a large party here. We have been told that many people will borrow money or go beyond what they really should in order to throw a large party for family and friends. We were thankful for the invite but slightly hesitant as well. This was the first time we have been invited to an event excluding other missionaries or people that we know from our church. To be quite honest, it took us out of our comfort zone but we are thankful we went.

The invite said 1pm on Sunday afternoon and although we knew it wouldn't start then we weren't sure when it would. Thankfully we didn't have far to go but we had two very anxious little girls who wanted to know when the party would start. We did one preliminary check around 1:45 and let the girls run down for themselves but those who were present were seated in the house, not out on the porch where the tables were set up so we all headed back upstairs. Around 2:15 the music started.

Music is one of the specialties when it comes to Latin/South America. If it's not loud, it's not on. Nathan and I laughed about the fact that we even checked to see if anyone was around without the music starting. We should know by now!

The girls were excited to be down there but quite shy as well. They had tables set up for the adults and small tables for the kids. It was awkward for a while. The music was on and off as the clown (must-have at kids' birthday parties) was getting things set up for his show and the guests obviously all knew each other (except us, of course). I went to the kiddie table for a while and spoke with two little girls there (kids are SO much easier to approach than adults when learning a language!), cousins of Marcos. Anne and Addi became comfortable enough that I soon joined Nathan at one of the adult tables where a young man (13 or 14) was very helpful and willing to talk to us.

Addi's reaction to the clown. She gave him her balloon when he tried taking her hand.

The rest of the party was music, food and the clown show. We enjoyed lots of Pepsi, Coca-Cola, jello, popcorn, cake and after all of that a full meal including chicken, fried bananas, potatoes, a tomato/onion/carrot salad, and camote (a type of sweet potato, I think).

At the beginning of the event Nathan offered to take pictures for them so we were able to take photos and video without feeling quite so awkward about it. They appreciated the offer and she was quite surprised to find out that we owned a camera. :) Most people just use their cell phones for pictures.

Again we are very thankful we went and hope that we can continue to build our relationship with their family, something I've been praying about for a while but hesitant to do with a lack of language. We are thankful for the opportunity God provided. Be sure to check out more pictures here and video here.

The clown set these guys up on chairs, had them lay back and then took the chairs away!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pure Chocolate

Just a few facts:
  1. Cocoa comes from the cocoa tree.
  2. The cocoa tree is found in Mexico, Central and South America.
  3. The cocoa beans go through an in depth process including: fermentation, drying, cleaning, roasting and the removal of their shells producing cocoa nibs. The nibs are ground which becomes pure chocolate. This can be liquified and molded.
The end product, a molded chunk of pure chocolate, is what we recently bought (although this is probably not what you usually buy!). Our local church has a team of Bolivian missionaries working in the lowlands of Bolivia. The locals there take cocoa through this process and our church is currently selling this pure chocolate for the lowland locals.

Today was my first attempt using it and I had to do the research first! I had a chocolate cake recipe I wanted to make for my language helper's birthday but I didn't have any powdered cocoa so I decided to throw in some pure chocolate. The flavor was different but the cake turned out just fine. (I tend to think the flavor is similar to coffee but Nathan disagrees and he's the coffee drinker!)

Check out for more info on chocolate!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hot, Dry and. . .Purple?!

This photo is typical, too many power lines to get a great photo!
And the photo doesn't do the color justice!

September here in the highlands of Bolivia is technically Spring but to us it's SUMMER! The temperature is hot, the air is dry and things are blooming! For this Northwest US girl it's hard to believe that things can grow in this weather. There's no moisture in the air: rain, snow, nada. The trees are blooming and, to my delight, many of them are a vibrant purple!

In June we purchased a painting to adorn the wall in our living room. The house in the painting is a typical Bolivian home, mountains in the background like the valley we live in and a large purple tree. When we bought the painting I thought it was strange to have such a purple tree but the painting was beautiful. Now we know! September in Cochabamba is purple!

We'll post of pic of a real tree when we get one but sadly none grow anywhere near our home (they just fill the city and we're outside city limits!). :) Update: Nathan took pictures!

For Nathan: A purple tree and a Land Cruiser!

Monday, September 5, 2011

What does it mean?

Una Vida Para Cristo
One Life For Christ

Each of us has only one life to live. If that life isn't lived for the glory of the Lord Jesus, of what good is it? Ultimately, what value does it have? We want this site to be a reflection of Him working through us as we seek to glorify Him.

To that end, Una Vida Para Cristo takes on another meaning. The task that Jesus entrusted to the Church was one of discipleship: the evangelism of unbelievers and training of believers to maturity. Our goal and vision is to take His Truth to people who have no opportunity to hear the Gospel in their own language. Who will be affected next? Who will be the next to stand up and say, "My life for Christ?"

Saturday, September 3, 2011


We are excited to be starting our new website. We hope that this site provides better access to our posts, our photos and to videos as well. Give us feedback if you find any problems!

We are thankful for a laid-back Saturday to get everything up and running. We are definitely excited about the formatting change on our end. The design is much easier for us to work with and manipulate. Hopefully this will encourage us to post on a more regular basis.

Check back often for updates!