Friday, July 27, 2007

A Day at the Lake and Our Anniversary Date

Laughing by the Lake

Faith and David on the dock

Look at that view!

Skipping Rocks from the Dock

Joe in the kitchen eating Marilyn's delicious cake. We haven't yet acquired a taste for Bolivian cakes. They look beautiful, but as Joe says they taste like a wet sponge pulled out mop water.

The Gang in the Kichen

Cutie Petuties

They have two sets of triple bunks in one bedrooms of the cabin. They also have 2 lofts and 2 other bedrooms so that all 12 of us will have a bed when we go there sometime to spend the night.

Joe, Alan and Kirk
Don't let the picture fool you. Alan did all the grilling. :>)

Canoeing on the Lake

Having Fun

A picture to prove I was there, too.

Seth Relaxing

More Canoeing

Josh and David in the Canoe

David looks like he's having a good time.

Ben and Josh by the Lake


Everyone wants a turn.

Patience Peeking under the Porch Swing

Kirk, Jake, David, Josh, and Ben

Last Saturday was our anniversary. Joe and I have now been married for 23 years. I love him now more than ever. He is the absolute best person I know. He's the most godly man, best friend, caring husband and devoted father I've ever met. I'm so glad to be his wife. Okay, okay enough mushy stuff. Let me tell you a bit about our anniversary. On Saturday our family was invited to the SIM lake house that's a ways outside of the city. We thought this sounded like a fun diversion for our anniversary and so we decided to go. Since we don't have wheels yet (or driver's licenses for that matter) we haven't traveled outside of the city. We thought it would be a few months to a year before we would be able to venture out that far since we also are not yet even close to fluent in Spanish. (We think we're doing well when we get the taxi driver or the people at the market to understand us.) So, we were grateful to the Andrews family for their invitation and their willingness to chauffeur all 12 of the Holman clan out there. I didn't know how much I needed to be out of the city until we were on the way there. As we were driving up the twisting roads toward the lake I began to relax. I didn't realize I had been 'uptight' until I felt this feeling of relaxation coming over me. It was so good to be out of the hustle and bustle of the city. About an hour later we were at the cabin. Just the week before we had been talking about how much we loved the Riverside Baptist Church's campground up near Grand Lake, Colorado. We have such great memories of being there with friends. This lake cabin reminded us of the campground there in the Rockies. We had a wonderful day with Alan and Marilyn and their two sons Kirk and Seth. We just hung out and cooked out and got to know each other better. The kids had a great time canoeing on the lake and playing games. It was so tranquil and peaceful on the lake. So calming. Before we knew it the day was over and it was time to come home.

On the way home we saw a young man who was evidently hit by a bus. He was lying in the road with his head turned at a grotesque angle. A pedestrian being hit by a car or a bus isn't an uncommon occurrence here. There are crosses beside the roads here in town where pedestrians have been killed by cars or buses. It's also not unusual for the bus drivers to be drunk. There is no law against drunk driving in Bolivia and a recent study we heard about said that 80% of Bolivians have a problem with alcohol. We took the accident as an opportunity to warn our children about the dangers of crossing the streets here. Once we were back home in the city, we were grateful that the Andrews stayed at our house to visit for a while more. The older kids played some video games, the little ones ('honeys' as Paish calls them....I love that word...honeys...I'm going to start calling them this, too) ate PBJs and went to bed. The two couples sat and talked and prayed together. It was a special time for Joe and I. We thoroughly enjoyed our anniversary.

But we decided to go on a date to celebrate our anniversary just the two of us on another night. After all why not drag this out? We went to a nice restaurant here in town and talked about our last 23 years together. The high points, the low points and all kinds of things in-between. It was a great date. We didn't want it to end so we walked to the movie theater, but there was nothing we wanted to see. We were too dressed up to go bowling...the only other amusement in town. There are only two bowling alleys in Bolivia. The one here in Coch and one in La Paz. The one in La Paz still has the pins set up by hand!! The one here in Coch is much more 'modern' but the floors won't allow you to slide even with bowling shoes on and they are also warped, so you never know which way the ball might roll. It makes it more of an adventure and even levels the playing field a little which I like since I'm not a good bowler. I'm not a good bowler YET, anyway. We think that when we come back to the states, we might all be pretty good but will have some wacky form since we can't slide here. Next, we thought about going for coffee, but have gotten too old to drink non-decaf coffee that late at night and that's all that's available here. So we just went for a stroll. Evidently it was some sort of a holiday or at least a young person hang out night that we didn't know about. The street was filled with youth drinking and partying, so we just decided to go home. We grabbed a taxi instead of walking since we were a bit more dressed up and also we were slightly concerned about all the drunk youth. We thought we were safe once we were in the taxi. There's something I have to explain at this juncture. There are different types of taxis here in Coch. You might see just some car with a homemade sign stuck in their window saying "TAXI". Then there are other cars with the word "TAXI" actually painted on the side. These are a bit more official. Then there are 'radio taxis'. These are taxi companies that you can call and they will dispatch a taxi to pick you up. These taxis also pick up people on the street. They are a bit more expensive and are considered the safest form of public transportation. One more thing about taxis, whenever a taxi driver sees gringos walking, they honk to see if you want a ride. They think you MUST want a ride if you are a gringo. Everyday when Joe and I go out for a walk, we get lots of honks to see if we'd like a ride. We have a joke that we're going to make a sign that says, "No, we don't want a ride we're just gringos walking!" So anyway back to our anniversary date. We finally got in a radio taxi and thought we were safe. That is until we smelled the alcohol and noticed that the taxi driver was weaving more than the normal weave of muddled traffic. It was then that we realized that our driver was indeed drunk. YIKES. Joe said "It's only a few blocks and we aren't going any faster than 20 mph so we'll just stay in. If he has a wreck, we'll hop out and get another taxi." I agreed with this cavalier idea since I'm a laid back Pooh...a bear with very little brain I might add. We made it home safe and sound and lived to see another day. Of course we have told our children to NEVER do that. If they get in a taxi or a bus with a drunk/drinking driver they are to get out immediately and find another one. We recently attended a seminar about Bolivian culture. We learned that Bolivians aren't generally risk takers. At least not risks that they are not used to. They accept certain risks as normal. Like a few weeks back 4 people were killed in a bus accident where the driver was drunk. People got on the bus, smelled the alcohol, saw the driver's bottle, knew the driver was drunk and stayed on the bus anyway. It was an acceptable risk to them, because they were familiar with the scenario.


Becky said...

I love the pictures. So glad you found a place where you can relax. Everyone's smiles are beautiful.

Russ Jenkins, III said...

Thanks for posting all the photos of the lake trip. how are the temperatures there this time of year in the "bowl" city. and was the lake trip outside the "bowl" of Coch. or inside? assume it was outside and over the mountain? Have you met many other missionaries there? from not only SIM but others??? NTM or others? just curious?. thanks.

Anonymous said...

You are the most incredible woman that I have ever met! Keep serving Jesus!

Dirk&Janet said...

It's so great to see all of you in these pictures! We miss you!

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