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Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's like we're living in a war zone....


...that's what Joe said as he just now walked into the house. As I type it sounds like 'bombs bursting in air' in the background. Now, before you get worried let me tell you the reason. It's not gun fire, it just sounds like it. It's fireworks going off like crazy all over the city. It's San Juan Night celebration in Cochabamba! The holiday is based on a mixing of Catholic and indigenous beliefs. The basic belief is that if you have a fire (or fireworks) tonight you will have light for the entire year. Boy, they must believe it! We had some clothes out on the line and we were told that if we don't bring them in they would be black from all the smoke pollution by tomorrow. In the morning our house will be full of smoke too even though we have all the windows and doors closed. Usually in Coch there are clear skies and you can see for miles. Tomorrow visibility will be down to 500 feet and they will likely declare a 'no-driving' day in order to help clear away some of the smoke/pollution. We are in a valley here and so the smoke will just sit until it can dissipate. Here's a picture of tonight: Imagine the Fourth of July in Washington DC and the kind of fireworks that would be in the sky. Now imagine that everyone in the city with 12 cents in their pocket can get those kind of fireworks. Now imagine that the people shooting them off are drunk. Now you no longer have to imagine because that's reality in Coch tonight. :) There are no laws about who can shoot off fireworks or what kind you can shoot or for how long. Who knows where the fireworks were made or how safe they are. The houses are made out of concrete and tile so no one is worried about anything burning down. It's not even 10:00 pm here yet (considered early) and the fireworks are going full blast...pardon the pun. There are bonfires all around the city as well. There is a short term missions team here that was supposed to fly out in the morning, but they had to leave tonight because the airport will be closed tomorrow due to lack of visibility. It should be a fun flight for them seeing all the action in the skies. I gave the girls a bath tonight but I think I might have to bathe them again before church tomorrow. Ben just walked in and told me that even here in the house it smells like we are by a bonfire roasting marshmallows. He's right. My eyes are burning.

2 comments:

Eileen Cook said...

Denise: I have been praying for you and your family! Particularly for your housing situation... Thanks for your note. You all are loved and missed.

Schellhases said...

What fun you are having! : O Thanks for letting us feel like we know what life is like in Cochabamba or is it bomb-a??? Can't wait to hear how long it takes for the air to clear. Tambien, a muy 'feliz cumpleanos' para Jake!!!