Lily's kids

Lily's kids

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Buddy in a Backpack

Meet Jacob! My little buddy who fits in a backpack. He is about the size of a two year old, and he's seven years old. Such a sweet little guy who was malnourished as a baby. He just started kindergarten and looks adorable with his backpack as big as he is and suspenders holding up his pants.

David who is 4 with Jacob in their house. Best buds 
Love my little friend
Love playing with this little guy and spending time just lovin' on my buddy. Some of the best times were where I just sat and watched him played legos and listened to him chatter in his pipsqueak voice. Or when we walk hand in hand up to the bus before school. It's little blessings like Jacob who made each day in Casa de Esperanza a joy. 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Lots of memories!

Lots of memories! 

Ligretto, watching twilight in Spanish, riding in the kia, playing Uno over and over, drinking a 2 liter of coca-cola in 5 minutes with 2 thirteen year old boys, teeny bananas, splitting dove chocolates, the talking laughing parrot, triple rainbows, wet mattresses, over frozen freezers, cocky teenagers, tarantulas, toy cars that are real, pink skinny jeans, LMFAO, mountains, snake eyeballs, wrinkled noses and giant smiles, chanchitos, giant dogs, chicken feet soup, machetes, wheelbarrow, giant brown eyes, crepes, lots of spiked up hair, snickers, dirty feet and futsal, eggs... just to name a few!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Living in Love

After the team left, me and Jessa had 6 weeks where we moved up to our own little house up at Casa de Esperanza and we spent ALL day with the kids. And we fell in love with it! It was so fun having sharing a house even though we shared it with a HUGE dog Lowly and a million ants in our bathroom (but that's another story).
LOWLY!! My big buddy! You can always win a grumpy dog over with bread!

In the mornings, we would go to different houses every week and help out the Tia's with cleaning, washing clothes, helping with homework and hanging with the kids. I loved it! It was a great way to get to know the Tia's better and to get to see a bit of what they do every day. These Tia's work SO hard. It was so fun learning how to wash clothes by hand and a lot of times we would just end up laughing so hard with these Tia's.
Tia Ana with her three kids, Andres, Keyla and Samira
We would eat lunch together with all the kids which was a blast! :) And then me and Jessa would help out with more homework in the afternoons and then hang out with the kids before heading to our house for dinner. The days were long but I loved every minute.

Tia Erika- learned so much from her!
 It's a slower pace of life and I loved just sitting in the sunshine with a kid on my lap in silence. You can hear kids shouting and playing on the play ground but you just sit. And enjoy sunshine on your face, mountains all around and a little baby playing with your fingers. And as you kiss that babies soft little head you just fall in love over and over again. Every day, every moment, every child.

With Eric and baby Aron

Really miss the day to day stuff we did with the kids. stuff as simple as seeing them off to school, helping get their backpacks ready and giving them high fives. Really miss these beautiful children.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The team!!!

Part of the team on the newly painted Concha!
A month into Bolivia, an awesome team from our church came down to Caranavi to put on two new roofs, scrub and paint the Concha (Giant basketball/soccer field), paint the playground, paint the bathrooms and kitchens at CEC, refinish doors plus hang out and spend time and love on all the kids. I was so encouraged by how willing the team was to love and serve and be an awesome example of God's love to the kids and tias. We had a special night for the Tias complete with a fancy dinner and a beauty night for the ladies. Then a special night for all the teens from the orphanage complete with PIZZA, brownies, night games and dancing. So much fun!

We were blessed to have Travis Saxer from our team take photos from the whole trip! Such a huge blessing and a great way to remember all that happened in the two weeks the team was there.

At CEC where the team stayed

The team and LOOK at that view!

In LaPaz

Workin' on the new roof!

God really used the team to speak into some of the kids lives. The kids felt so special by all the love they received and throughout the weeks they would randomly bring up people from the team and say "remember this person?". I know God really used the Team to touch these kids hearts. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

The kid with 100 faces

So this is Ezekiel. The kid with literally 100+ faces. Every time he got a hold of my camera I knew I would have a few laughs waiting as I uploaded them on my computer. Ezekiel is 13 years old and probably one of the sweetest kids ever. He was always asking how I was doing and always wanted to talk. Such a sweet kid. Enjoy these pics!

This face is called: LILY WINS AT UNO!!!

Imagine this face plus He growls. How can I not laugh? :)

Yup! Pretty much one of my best friends! :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Swimming in Bronsini

  On one of the last weekends with the CEC students, we all piled into the back of the Kia and drove an hour or two from Caranavi to Bronsini and had a wonderful day swimming in a beautiful river, playing soccer, eating yummy and REALLY spicy food, playing with probably the cutest puppy in Bolivia and hanging with some great friends! 
Jessa with Elias and Marcos
We had a lot of fun swimming across the river with the current and climbing up unto a big rock before jumping in and fighting the current back to the other side. We had a blast! On the way home, there was a BEAUTIFUL double rainbow that was so bright. All the CEC students graduated from the discipleship program that weekend and it was sad to see them leave but what a blessing we have in all our new Christian brothers and sister. And lots of REALLY fun memories we'll share. Gracias a Dios!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

CEC and Spanish course

One of our views. Surrounded by Mountains
So the first month in Bolivia... We lived at CEC which is connected to Casa de Esperanza and is a Spanish course and also a discipleship course for Bolivians who are around 17+. our main goal was to learn as much Spanish as possible in our class. Every morning we would have four hours of Spanish class where our teachers would only speak Spanish and our textbook was only in Spanish. It was crazy... I went from not even knowing how to say what my name was to slowly but surely being able to speak more and more spanish.

CEC students on their last day
During our stay we got to hang out with the CEC students who were part of the discipleship course for 3 months. Some of them were orphans living at Casa de Esperanza and others came from all over. It was really fun to be able to make lots of new friends who were the same age as us and to be able to practice our Spanish with them. And they were really patient with my Spanish. :) Really patient. Even when I accidentally would say bad words in Spanish they would just laugh and actually tell me how to say the word right!
Our beautiful view overlooking Caranavi


Jessa and I were so blessed by all of our new friends and we learned so much from our stay at CEC. During this month we also went up to Casa de Esperanza every afternoon to help with homework but our main goal was to get as much Spanish into our brains as possible. We were blessed with some amazing teachers. Ximena, Jasmin, Jameson and Marco all were so patient with us and made learning SO fun! There were times where we would just die laughing in class.
Two of our good friends from CEC: Marcos and Misael

Some of the highlights from living at CEC:

*The FOOD!!! We were so spoiled with all the yummy meals. Lots of rice and potatoes but really tasty!

*Chuño! First of all the dog. Jameson and Diedra's dog Chuño was such a love bug and I loved snuggling on him.
 The other chuño is a little black potato that's been freezer or something and it tastes kinda weird. Not gross or anything... I just could never decide if I actually enjoyed eating them or not.

Our AMAZING Spanish teacher and friend: Ximena

Noelia, Jessa and I swimming in Caranavi    
*Sleeping with the warm breeze blowing into our windows and the sound of TONS of crickets everywhere. Seriously the most amazing sound to go to bed to.

With Jameson, Diedra and MaryLuc
*Rain! Lots and lots of rain. Going to sleep to rain and waking up to rain and lots of rain in between. Lots of classes would be interrupted by the sound of rain and everyone running to get clothes off the line before they got more wet!

We were also incredibly blessed to be able to spend time with and learn from Jameson and Diedra who are from our church and had been serving in Bolivia for over a year. So fun to get to know them better. God really used them to encourage me on days where I was discouraged with Spanish or with life in general. 

I really learned how important it is to be able to laugh at yourself. While learning a different language, there were times where my brain didn't want to take anymore and I would just start repeating the same word over and over again in a daze. Being able to laugh was such a crazy blessing. It seems like a simple concept. :) 
“I’m glad we had the times together just to laugh and sing a song, seems like we just got started and then before you know it, the times we had together were gone.” 
 Dr. Seuss
More coming!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Back home but missing my other home

I'm home!!! I made it home safe and sound on Monday and have slept for hours, ate cookie dough and been enjoying the Minnesota weather. Really missing Caranavi and all my wonderful friends and kids there but know that God is in control over timing. :)
I'll have the whole story of the trip... what I did... who I met... all the kids... food... animals... etc in posts to come but here's a little sneak peek! :)

Beautiful mountains overlooking Caranavi. Our view every morning!

Me and the sweet Sara 


With the one and only Carlos and Rafa

I've learned so much from this trip! I learned basic stuff like how to delouse kids, cooking without recipes, washing poopy cloth diapers by hand, washing loads of clothes by hand, peeling potatoes really fast by hand, learning a new language, cleaning and what it means to take care of 80+ kids...

I also learned that smiles are a universal language
I learned how to ask questions over and over again if I don't understand.
I learned how to laugh at myself. A lot. 
All I have is Christ.

I am so blessed and thankful for these past 3 months spent with Jessa in Caranavi, Bolivia and can't wait to go back (more on this later). God is so good to me and it was amazing to see His faithfulness so visibly and how many prayers He answered and to see Him working in my heart and in the hearts of the kids. Left my heart behind in Bolivia!!!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How did time fly???

So crazy that 3 months is almost up! Were flying home on Monday and it´s crazy how fast time flew. I will have lots of stories and pictures coming soon too so keep checking in once I get home! Spent my birthday hanging out with the kids and a little surprise birthday bash with four of the older kids from the primera casa where I got cake smashed into my face and eggs smashed on my head and overall had a lot of fun. Last Sunday at church me and Jessa were both able to share our testimonies with the youth group which was super encouraging. I´m really going to miss being with all these kids 24/7 and getting hugs and ¨Hermana Lily¨ all the time. I am going to miss playing soccer with the boys 3 times a week and all the yummy food here! It has been such an incredible 3 months and I am so thankful for every second of it! :) Blessings from Bolivia and see you soon!