Tuesday, April 25, 2006

You know you're in Cochabamba when....

So in the interest of maintaining a good sense of humor about culture shock here in Bolivia I thought that I would start a running list of ways that you know you're in Cochabamba. I thought this would help keep me laughing about the things that occasionally make me want to pull my hair out, while also helping you experience life here in Bolivia with us. Also, along with it, I am going to start a list of things that we truly miss about life in the states. Enjoy them for us. Hope they keep you laughing.

You know you're in Cochabamba when :)

Your milk comes in plastic bags, not cartons or even jugs.
The dog population outnumbers the human population ten to one.
You can rent movies at the "movie store" before they've even left the theater :)

Things to enjoy for us from the states :)

Nice wide roads, where people actually attempt to obey traffic laws.
Being able to mail in your utility payments as opposed to paying them in person in a million different offices.
Being able to cook with and use the water straight from the tap.
Finding shoes and clothes in the right size because there are actually people over five foot six inches who live there.


One of the realities of foreign mission work is the fact that things will occur stateside while you are away that will break your heart. This last week was no exception for us as a family. We were broken to find out that our 14 year old niece Bailey Rankin was killed last week in a car accident. Thank you so much to all our friends and family who have been praying for Gary's family and for us as well. Bailey was the oldest daughter of Gary's older sister Christy. Bailey had two younger siblings and scads of aunts, uncles and cousins. We are mourning not only the loss of a precious niece, but also the fact that we were not able to be there to provide comfort and support to our family at this time. We are trusting that the call that God has put on our lives to work here in Cochabamba will outweigh moments like these. We ask for continued prayers for Bailey's family and for us as we grieve from afar. God bless you all. Hug your family and loved ones extra tight, give them an extra "I love you" and thank God for one more day. Below are pictures of our precious Bailey, we will miss her, but trust in her faith in the Father, the One who will give her a life beyond anything we can imagine here on earth.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Those crazy Bowens

Well, it's been almost 2 weeks now since we said good-bye to our first Austin Avenue visitors. It was so good to have Roland and Carol here with us, with their feet under our table. During their time here they were able to have a meal and visit time with each family individually. Then we were able to spend a few days outside of town at a group of cabins, fellowshipping and being reminded of what a precious task we have here in Cochabamba of beginning a new body of believers. Thank you Austin Avenue for caring enough about this team and our families to send visitors, it's a little piece of home here in Bolivia. Below are some picturese of our time with the Bowens. Enjoy.

Thank you for sending Roland to visit me!! You should definitely send him back some time because he sure can make me smile :)

I had my first adventure in the swimming pool with Daddy. It was so much fun!!

We had so much fun playing with our good friend Michaela.

Hold on tight Daddy!!!

Couldn't you just eat him up?

Gary spent time brushing up on his 42 skills.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Our First Visitor

This past weekend marked our first official visitor to our new home in Bolivia. We welcomed Ken Hines for a short weekend visit as he traveled through from La Paz to Santa Cruz. Ken and his family were missionaries here in Bolivia, both to La Paz and Santa Cruz. Their experience here has helped us in so many ways as we prepared to leave the states and also in his encouragement to us here. Ken test drove our new guest bed and he says that it's sleep worthy, so ya'll come see us now, you hear? :)

Protecting the Baldness

So little man is still working on his head of hair. And since the sun is so strong here in Cochabamba (over 8,000 feet above sea level), we have to keep his head covered most of the time. Here he is getting ready for a walk with his Daddy. They are enjoying their time together in the afternoons while I am in class. But I know that we are all ready for the week off next week. The institute that we are attending has a week long vacation next week for "Semana Santa" or Holy week, before Easter. Hope that everyone has a happy Easter. Eat lots of Cadbury eggs for all of us. We love you all.