Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm Blogging!!

Hello everyone! I'm blogging believe it or not. I thought I'd give this a try but I'm the least cyber-saavy member of my family over double digit age. In fact the first time I typed this entry it was deleted when I tried to load it since my internet cord had come unplugged. I hope this time goes better. I thought I was doing well just to get this site up and running since all my instructions were in Spanish. I guess that google reads where the blog is established and sends the instructions in that country's language...which didn't help me alot. Oh well, on with the show....

The purpose of this blog is to keep in touch with friends and family and to give you all a glimpse of our lives as we serve our Lord here in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

We are so excited to be here after a year of preparation and prayer. We are anxious to get settled in and begin learning the language and culture so we can begin our ministry with the Bolivian people. Right now we're still living in the SIM guest house here in Coch. We've been here for 3 weeks, 4 days and counting. It's a nice place with great people but we're ready to move into a place of our own. We've been diligently following leads for housing options and finally found an apartment that we hope to be able to move into this week.

We looked at some interesting options for houses. A memorable one was the Catholic monastery guest house. It was complete with a church out back. I told Joe he could hold services there. The front house looked about like you might imagine with creaky floors and dirt floor kitchen cabinets. YUCK. I think the boys drew the line on that one when they saw the bathrooms. One had 3 shower stalls in a row (kinda like a locker room). The other bathroom had 3 stalls for toliets. Ben was with us when we looked at this house. He said "I don't think so." We looked at another house that is now being used as an office for some sort of SWAT police unit. Jake was with us when we looked at this one. He and Joe thought all the machine guns in the closet were cool, but that was about all.

Anyway through some interesting circumstances Jake ran into a family in the grocery store (more about the store later) who had just moved here from Texas less than a month before. She and her family have relocated to Coch because her 24 year old daughter started an orphanage here a couple of years ago. It just so happens that Jayme Metzgar connected me with the daughter, Jennifer Thompson, before we left Virginia. I exchanged a couple of emails with her. Anyway after learning Jake's name at the grocery store, Mrs. Thompson said "So you're one of the Holmans." Jake thought he had a moment of notoriety. :) She gave us a lead on the apartment below them and viola it looks like we will be neighbors. God certainly works in mysterious ways. Jake just thought he spotted a nice Texan lady to ask a question to in the grocery store and it ended up connecting us to the apartment we hope to get. Right now we are waiting for the owner to put in a phone line. It's very expensive ($1500) and can only be done by the owner, not a renter since you OWN the phone line.

Housing is a bit more expensive here than we budgeted. That's one reason why we liked the apartment. It was nicer than the houses we looked at for less money. It will be an adjustment for us moving from 3 acres in Loudoun County, then acres of Sandy Cove, to an apartment in the city, but we're ready to settle in here.

Once we get settled in our new house (apartment) we will begin language school. I believe it should be late July or early August. We have a Spiritual Life Conference here the first week of July (Sandy Cove Homeschool week) that all SIM missionaries must attend.

Now just a bit about the grocery store: Yes, there is a grocery store here although it's more expensive than the outdoor markets. It caters to the upper class and ex-pats. We like the outdoor markets, but also shop at the grocery store. It's funny because all the cheap, generic store-brands from the USA are expensive here. For instance, $1 for a box of Sure-Fine macaroni and cheese or $2.50 for IGA brand salad dressing. A candy bar like my Snickers or Peanut M & M's cost about .75 but are worth it. And Kim Strickland will be happy to know that once in a while we can get Dr. Pepper at the drive-through liquor and convenience store that we have to walk through since we don't have wheels. So, Kim, you can come for a visit after all. :>) All the missionaries here tell us if there is ever something you see at the store, buy it because it might not be there next time. They get in all different things from the US all the time. Like tonight we were there and Joe spotted Old El Paso Taco Seasoning packets. He thought it would be nice to have a taste of 'home' since you all know how much we love Mexican food. When the cashier rang them up they were $1.44 each!! We found that amusing since meat and fresh fruits and veggies are the opposite extreme. We buy hamburger meat for less than $1/pound. That means that the taco seasoning packet cost more than the meat it goes in!! I buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts for less than $1.50/pound and we can buy the very best steaks for $1.25/pound...less than the chicken! The steaks are wonderful, too. I can buy 2 kilos of tomatoes (2.2 pounds) at the outdoor market for .37 cents! Huge avocados cost $1.25 for 4 and I can buy a large pineapple for $1. So needless to say, we are eating much healthier.

We're also walking lots more since our feet and taxis are our only means of transportation right now. We are loosing some of the pounds we put on during our last few weeks and months in the States by all of you kind enough to take us out to eat. We cherish those times with you even if it will be work to take off the pounds!

If you'd like to subscribe to this blog send me an email and I'll put you on the list. Thanks for taking the time and interest to read. Please feel free to comment or ask questions. I love hearing from friends and family!!


C said...

I love it! I am so glad that God has picked up where he left on in coordinating things in your lives. We will continue to pray for all of your needs to be met and your expectations to be surpassed.
I had fun trying to figure out how to email you through the blog site, I wasn't sure if I had to Página principal, or maybe Entradas (Atom). I just started clicking and ended up here.
Sign me up for updates or I'll just keep checking back.
We love and miss you guys.
God's best to you all,
-Carter Farley

Debbie said...

Denise I am so excited to have the opportunity to read and watch Gods faithfulness in your journey. We are so blessed to partner in prayer with you the great things God is about to do with the "Holmans!" I enjoy reading the culture differences. It is amazing the things we take for granted in the states. I appreciate your family and sharing the adjustments that you must all learn to yield to. (May we all learn from what you are living!) You all are on the front lines for Jesus, stay focused and know you are loved and supported back home!
With Love and Prayers,
Debbie Mascioli

Kim said...

Hey Denise,
I just found you blog. Glad to hear that Dr. P is available (occasionally). Guess I'd better pack my bags and come on down!

Kim ><>

Shelly said...


Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Denise, Happy Birthday to you! God bless you.

We love you,
The Farleys