Saturday, December 8, 2007

Our new house in Bolivia

Dining Room

Our bedroom

Yes, we have an office


Our Stairs

Our Kitchen

Our Living Room

Cristo de Bolivia

We just moved into a new house and it is beautiful.

Not exactly what you might invision when you think of Peace Corps, but we are not complaining. Plus, it has a extra bedroom. Now you have a place when you come and visit.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Valles Crew! Britt, Syd, Annie and our mascot Kokanie.

ValleGrande "The Big Valley" great views from short hikes outside of our site.
The Church in Vallegrande, supposedly the highest tower in Bolivia.
The Plaza, a nice place to pass time in Vallegrande

Saturday, November 24, 2007

View of Vallegrande

Internet is moving slow right now...more pics to come.

We're official

After 12 weeks of intense training we are finally official Peace Corps volunteers.

Halloween Pics

Eventhough no one in Bolivia celebrates halloween, we didn't let that stops us. I am sure that the costumes throughly freak people out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This blog soley expresses personal opinions and is in no way associated with the offical position of the Peace Corps.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Things you see walking down the street in Bolivia:
• Dogs
• Cows
• Dogs
• Flowers
• Cholita’s (see below)
• Dogs
• Beautiful views of the county
• Sheep
• Taxi’s (trufi’s) with 50 people in them driving 58 mph
• Dogs
• Cute, cute kids (little ones speaking spanish is just awesome)
• Dogs

What is a Cholita?
A Cholita is a traditional indigenous woman. The dress is a sombrero, a lacy short sleeved shirt with a sweater, a felt knee length skirt with a puffy slip underneath and sandals. They speak Quechua, Castillano (Spanish) and possibly other indigenous languages. The life of a Cholita is hard. She cares for her children, the housework, and the land. We have seen 80 year old Cholita’s caring 50lbs of potatoes on her back running uphill to catch to next trufi. These women are tough. We have a saying down here among our group, “its Cholita strong”. You will also hear us say, “Where’s the Cholita” when we have a physically tough task to do. We have only spent 2 months here, but in that time all I have to say is “you go Cholita!”

Snacks in Bolivia
When hunger strikes in Bolivia, what do you?. Well, if it’s after 8pm, you out of luck. Tienda’s close around 6 ish. Snack time down here in non-existent. When we get hunger pangs, usually we will grab wafer cookies (which has become its own food group for us), crackers, cookies similar to Oreo’s called ¨"cremocito’s", fruit, chocolate milk or juice in a single serving bag (you bite the corner off the bag and suck) or saltena’s. Saltena’s are original to Bolivia. They are like an Irish pasty but smaller. The outside is dough and the inside is potatoes, chicken, awesome gravy and at the bottom is an olive. These are tasty little treats that are sold everywhere.

Many views of Bolivia

The following pictures are from the last month of training. In the last few weeks, we have really seen alot of Bolivia. We visited the Cristo in Cochabama, visited the colonial town of Tarata. We also spent the last week traveling to Semipata, Pukara and Vallegrande for training. The following pictures are from our trips.

The sun setting over the Bolivian countryside.

A picture of Vallegrande

On the way back to Vallegrande from La Higeria the guys had to get out and clear some large rocks out of the way. Its pretty typical that there are landslides, especially during the rainy season. Yes, the road is meant for two cars and we were in a bus.

Us at La Higeria, the place where che guvara was killed. It is only 2 hours from out site and Mike will be promoting tourism for the Che Guvara trail.

A group of Bolivian youth sitting on top of a mountain. As part of our training, we helped these kids and a current volunteer maintain a hiking trail to incan ruins. At 10,000 ft its important to take breaks

Our group went on a hike during our time in Semipata. It is a one of the touristy spots where the amazon meets the Andes.

The views from the road, people in Bolivia farm on the side of mountains.

Mike with his birthday presents. A tradional bolivian hat chulo and a tradional handicraft.

The colonial city of Tarata. A person from our group will be working to tourism.

Mike and the Cristo in Coachabama. It is actually bigger than the cristo in Rio.

A cholita (traditional Bolivan wowen) looking down over Coachabama from the Cristo.

Friday, September 28, 2007

A quick upate

I apologize that we haven't been able to post or send out more updates.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Finally, some pics

Our crew getting ready to dance at the fiesta of Guadalupe in our town

Locals doing a traditional dance, looking a little better than us


The gate to our house, its beautiful

Britt with our sister, Noelia

Mike and Britt with our host mom, Dona Miriam


Sunday, September 9, 2007


We have been in Bolivia for two weeks and already so much as happened. But
most of it has been great.

Currently, we are living with a host family in a small town ("Pueblo") outside of the larger city of Cochabama. Our host mother, Doña Miriam, cooks our food,
helps us with our Spanish, and makes sure we are heading in the right direction when we leave the house. Our host mom is a widow with two great kids that are 8 and 9. The kids have helped us with our homework and taught us Bolivian games.

But we really don´t have much time for games. We have classes 6 days a week. Our
language classes are every morning for 4 hours and we have technical and culture classes each afternoon, expect saturday. The classes are a lot of work, but the teachers are great. We only have one other person in each our our language classes.

There are 20 other volunteers in our group and we are all going to be doing Business
Development or Ag-Business Developement. Most of the volunteers range from 22 - 30, but the other married couple is in there 50s.

Our life in Bolivia has been a rollercoaster. We have experienced almost every emotion possible: excitment, fear, sadness, frustration, happiness, you name it.

But, this country is beautiful and the people are so welcoming and generous. Every
morning, we wake up to the sun rising over gigantic moutains. We go down stairs and our family has breakfast ready. Then we are off to class all day. When we return to our house exhausted, our host mom has dinner ready and our brother and sister greet us with hugs.

This weekend was our pueblo´s fiesta for the Virgen of Guadalupe. We "gringits" learned the dance of the llamas and danced in the fiesta all night friday and all day Saturday. We rented costumes from a nearby town- we looked awesome and it was fun.

Anyway- life is good, we miss you all, and please send us updates.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

And we are off..

After over a year of waiting we are finally ready to head out. We leave from DC to Bolivia on Tuesday, August 21. We have spent the last 3 months traveling around our country visiting friends and family.

Here are some pics from our travels this summer..

Britt at the Rose Garden in Portland

Britt with our spare tire. We had a blow out outside of Portland.

Olympic National Park, Washington

Harris Beach, Oregon

We saw Bonds hit 750 at AT&T Park

4th of July in San Diego with the Hensarlings

Grand Canyon, North Rim
We Saw Bonds hit 752, 753.... we must be good luckSpending Time with Famliy in Michigan