here we go again.

August 18, 2011

I’m feeling awfully existential right now.

As I was walking back from the grocery store tonight here in Georgetown, I realized that I have have just made my 5th big move in the last ten years.

Every time I have moved, it has been to a completely new city and state, if not country.

That includes starting completely from square one… again. Kentucky. Wake Forest. Sevilla. La Paz. And now DC.

Often it’s the oddest things that hit me. Like “is this really where I will be taking a shower for the next (insert whichever amount of time here) to come?”  “So this is where I will be facing when I sleep every night.”  It’s like a slow coming to grips with reality and then psyching yourself up do deal with the change.  And as I feel like I have stated time and time again, I am positively horrible at change and transition, yet ironically enough I find myself doing it rather consistently… and many times because… I… want to? or like it?

This time, though, the one thing I’ve really got going for him is that this is the first move ever since the big family move from Alabama to Kentucky that I actually know a single person before I got there.  (And the only reason I really knew anyone in Kentucky is because I went there with my mom, dad, and brother.)  And not only that, coming to DC I actually have quite a contingent of friends from all sorts of walks of life, so bangerang.

Anyway, not real sure what I’m going for except that I am finally starting to calm back down from my hyper-nervous stage of transition where my stomach is constantly clenched in knots for 24 hours a day.  Basically, I believe I’m beginning to long for a stage of life which doesn’t continually have me moving and starting over cada dos por tres.

That’s all.

i’m back.

July 18, 2011

I have officially been back in the United States for 10 days now (rather voluntarily, protectively holed up in my parents’ home), but I don’t think I actually fully realized it until this very moment.

My mom & I have poured ourselves two glasses of wine to enjoy while we watch the latest episode of her favorite show, The Closer while my father, decked out in his exercise clothes (ie a Rambo-style sweatband tied around his head), prepares for his workout with a little pre-workout snack of a glass of milk and my (amazing) chocolate chip cookies. (?) I am personally censoring any fotos, not only for his benefit, but for my own.

Oh, I’m definitely back. And Lord help.

the cold.

June 22, 2011

I know that most of the people I know that probably read this just celebrated the Summer Solstice yesterday.  Well, not me, we just celebrated the Winter Solstice (aka the Aymara New Year also), and by celebrate, I just mean the day pretty much just passed by like normal for me except for the fact that we didn’t have to work.

This “winter in the summer months” thing is kinda crazy – not as fun as the whole “summer in the winter months” over my birthday in January, clearly.  The only thing it’s actually doing to me is turning me into a grandma.  What I mean by that is that I find myself needing tissues 24 hours a day.  Now I’ve carried tissues regularly back in Spain, but mainly to make up for the lack of toilet paper in nearly every restroom in the country.  I do that here in Bolivia too for the same reason, but now I also have a new need  for them due the the unbelievable runny nose that I’ve had since the beginning of this cold weather season.

The only people I’ve ever known to use a tissue and put it in their pocket to use again later are those with two generations of family below them, and now this is what I’ve resorted to. I’m too young for this.

safety

June 20, 2011

This makes me nervous.

Over our time here we have been watching this building going up through our kitchen window.

It has make it now to 8 floors.  (I thought it would stay at 5 or 6 floors originally.)  But please note how these workers work up on the 8th floor with no type of safety precautions. No big deal. Freak me out. I don’t want to be cutting vegetables one day and see someone plummet to their death please.

One a side note… how much does it stink for that building in the background whose view of the mini-plaza has now been traded into what will be a view directly into their neighbors living room.

This is my mom.

Do we look alike?

confession.

June 6, 2011

So I’ve been living here in Bolivia since September 23rd.

I’ve lived in the same apartment since that day. (Thank you, Lord, my roommate Keri had done all the looking and secured it for us before Melissa and I arrived.)

Our apartment has been vacuumed exactly ZERO times in this time period.

Why?

Because we have no vacuum that works.  And it isn’t for lack of trying. 

Since approximately September 24th we began the saga with the lawyer who has power of attorney over our apartment to try to fix the current vacuum cleaner we have.  After sending it off twice, it STILL doesn’t work and now effectively EIGHT months later, our apartment has not been vacuumed.  How gross is that?  And it’s not for lack of trying, we beg each time we pay rent.

The closest the carpet has come to being cleaned is the sweeping that we try to do… but let’s not kid ourselves. 

Don’t judge us please.

lucky daughter 4.

June 5, 2011

I wanted to show my parents the diversity of this amazing country and so after going on excursion to Lake Titicaca in the middle of the dry, high plateau, I wanted to take them down to the tropical, warm pueblo of Coroico, and to top it off, my chico Gabo braved the excursion with us.

We ate amazing food, again relaxed and walked around to soak in the funky vegetation of the jungly rainforesty Yungas.  My mom was fascinated by the fact that flowers that she PAYS for in the US could be found growing like weeds – even in a wall.

The next morning we did some mini visits to some nearby waterfalls and our guide took us to a rarely visited cool look-out point of the south part of the Yungas.  It couldn’t have been more perfect. 

Needless to say we got back exhausted, and ended up at the VIP movie theatre again for dinner and a movie. 

My photos actually end here, but I must add that their day here in Bolivia actually ended with a fantastic super-lunch over at Gabo’s house with a good amount of his family (though not all of them) and watching Barcelona beat Manchester in the Champion’s League final.  (Although I am definitely for Madrid over Barca, yay Spain.)

I can’t be more grateful for how wonderful their visit was – specifically to them for coming and to Gabo for helping out SO much. 🙂

lucky daughter 3.

June 4, 2011

So, once we knew I was moving down to Bolivia, my mom decided to sponser a child through Compassion International from Bolivia.  Their visit here also allowed for a really sweet, unique opportunity to visit with the child and the family that she sponsors. 

Instead of visiting the family’s house or the Compassion Project here in El Alto (which would have been amazing), we opted to take the child to the zoo, to let him do something different and special.  People had been warning me that the zoo here wasn’t much to see, but I was actually impressed.  What was EXTRA cool was the fact that it was breakfast-time for all the animals and we saw animal after animal devouring their “prey.” 

Anyway, we had an amazing visit with the boy, BOTH his parents, his oldest brother and the brother’s baby, and the director of the Compassion project in El Alto.  The director informed us that in the 8 years of the project’s existence in Bolivia, we were the SECOND sponsor visit to occur.   There are really no words to describe how precious the exchange was.

Ps… how Bolivian is feeding llamas at the zoo?

lucky daughter 2.

June 3, 2011

So, continuing with my parent’s visit.  I, of course, wanted to take advantage of their presence to do some things I hadn’t done yet, so we took a trip out to the Island of the Sun on Lake Titicaca (the biggest, highest altitude lake – in the world.)  (Part of the trip included a ferry ride across a straight with our mini-bus.)

Plus, I really wanted to take my mom there because when I first decided to go to Bolivia with IJM, she informed me that she remembered that particular fact about Lake Titicaca in Bolivia from her 7th grade geography class.

So we drove to the city of Copacabana and took a boat out to Sun Island where we had a lovely lunch and then walked to our eco-friendly lodging.  The island has these unbelievable views as it is (by definition) surrounded by the waters of this huge lake and then the lake is surrounded by the HUGE Andes mountains. Beautiful. 

Our time on the island was super relaxing, and included a gorgeous sunset and sunrise, and ended with a burro carrying our stuff back to the boat to head back to the vehicle that would return us to La Paz.

That’s normal, right?

Ps… how cute are they?

lucky daughter.

June 2, 2011

This lucky girl recieved a fantastic visit from her parents last week.  We squashed more than I could have ever imagined in the span of one week, entirely too much for one blog post – so there shall be various.

(Here is a great foto of my parents looking like an advertisement for the JH Ranch in Bolivia. )

First of all, the DAY my parents got here they insisted in doing my favorite walk/hike to the top of the mountain the the Entel cell phone tower up top with my favorite views of the city.  This, of course, was in total and complete contrast to the recommendations of everyone I know here who says on Day 1 in the altitude people need rest, rest, and more rest.  We all napped after coming back from the airport, but then hit the ground running with eating, hiking, and then a viewing of the new Pirates movie in the luxurious VIP theatre at the Megacenter (aka mall). 

The next day, I took them to church (which they loved.) And then my super gallant chico, Gabo, took us to lunch and then for a full beautiful Sunday afternoon in Rio Abajo – the valley below the city – to walk around and appreciate the sunshine and for a afternoon drive a la the 1950s to take in the ridiculous views there are to see.

 I wish every day could be like this day.