Friday, April 30, 2010

The Countdown Begins

As of today we have exactly one month until we leave Cochabamba for our journey back to the United States.  I think I will start marking the days off the calendar with big "x"s to make me feel like I am progressing.  I have plenty to keep me busy until I leave, but I find myself easily distracted by daydreams and memories that have come flooding into my life like rain during rainy season.  I think how easy it will be to shop, to cook, to clean, to do laundry.  I think of how fun it will be to eat out, to spend time with family and friends and to share the incredible ways we´ve seen God work in these past three years.  I daydream about how cheap instant oatmeal, cereal, real granola bars, and Dr. Pepper will be as compared to here where we have to have a bank loan to buy such things.  I dream of sitting in Market Street Coffee or in Starbucks with a REAL coffee in my hand.  I can almost smell it.  We could even go out for DECAF coffee at unheard of phenomenon in Bolivia.  I think of all the kinds of soda there are to buy.  I can even afford a whole case of them in the States.  I imagine basking in the red glow of the "Hot Now" sign at a Krispy Kreme Donut Shoppe.  I can taste real Mexican salsa and yummy chips.  I visualize the green rolling hills of Northern Virginia.  I can´t wait to share the Smithsonian Museums with the kiddos.  But until I get there as I said I have lots to do. 

I am a list person so now I am working on a list of all the lists that I need to make.  :)  Our friend, Tim, in the UK asked me to write a blog about our countdown to leaving.  I`m not sure if this is what he had in mind or not, but here goes.  A partial list of things I need to do here before we get on that plane.
  • We need to wrap up certain ministries such as Joe giving and grading his final exam at the seminary, bring to a close his mentoring meeting with the pastors he meets with on a weekly basis, and I need to stop meeting with my language helper.
  • I get to help plan and pull off a baby shower (really a little girl shower) for my dear friend Angie who is adopting a little Bolvian girl.  I am so excited that this is happening before we have to leave since I have prayed for Kaitlynn for a long time now and am thrilled to get to welcome the newest Washington in May!!
  • We want to spend some times of fun and fellowship with missionary friends we won´t be seeing for way too long.
  • I have to pack for everyone.  Packing way more than just clothes.  I have to remember all our important paperwork, gifts for family and friends, reminders of our lives back here at home, and all our school books and work we will need for next year.  Then I have to inventory what all is in each suitcase in case they are lost or stolen in transit.
  • We need to eat all of the food in our pantry...the teens are on this one.
  • We have to finalize our travel schedule as much as possible since we are trying to work in driving thousands of miles to and through at least 20 states to visit supporting churches and friends.  This means trying to work out housing all over the country for our rather large brood.  Not an easy task.
  • I need to write a few talks that I want to share with groups.  We also have a weekend retreat where we will doing lots of teaching/sharing that we need to work on.
  • We need to have a new pic made of our family for prayer cards.  This is no small undertaking either as anyone who has tried to coordinate schedules and wardrobes of 11 people knows.
  • We will be meeting with our Bolivian lawyer so she can tell us what kinds of things we will need to do and what we will need to bring back with us to start our visa process all over again when we get back.
  • We have a voucher for three days in the Yungas (the jungle outside of La Paz) already paid for that we want to use.
  • I need to finish homeschooling for the year.  The kids are still working hard and plodding through, their teacher on the otherhand has trouble staying focused at this point. 
  • I need to make lesson plans for next year so that I will know what books to pack for 8 students.
  • I need to finish shopping for gifts that won´t be too cheesy/touristy for our family and friends.
  • I have to buy all the non-teenagers "Croc" type shoes to wear on our journey.  I figure they are our best choice since for ´security purposes´ we will be taking our shoes off so many times and we don´t care to miss a flight due to putting shoes on 11 people.  Also we can wear socks with these unlike flip flops.  As you see I have thought this all out.  I´m not forceing my great idea of ugly shoes on the teens, but if they miss the flight, it´s their own fault.
  • We want to take lots of pictures to share with the folks back home and also to remember what all we are missing here.
  • I want to eat more silpanchos and papa rellenas, drink more JavaLattes, and work in as much JuiceZen as I can as well as enjoying the wonderful fruits and juices of Cochbamba.
But now I must go and mark April 30th off my calendar.


Stumbler said...

Great Blog.... and a whole lot of stuff to do. Just a month to go and soooo much to organise.

By now you'll have noticed that I got the style of shoes in DHL4wrong Denise. :-) Crocs.... who'd have thunk it eh? (I'm smiling imagining Caleb and Ben in Crocs.) I actually nearly sent you some. (Really).

The "HOT" sign at Krispy Kreme. Mmmm....

Here's hoping that all goes to plan. It's not like you live in a country where everything is late, disorganised or cancelled....oh.... hang on.

I can hardly wait to hear of you turning up an hour late for a meeting expecting to be the first there. Culture shock awaits. I look forward to a Blog about how the kids adjust in the first week or so.... should be funny!

Praying for you!


Gallo Pinto2 said...

Oooo eat some silpancho and papas rellenas for me too!

There I Fixed It blog said...

Hi Denise,

Sorry for contacting you this way but I didn't see an email address anywhere. :) One of your photos has been submitted to the There I Fixed It blog, here:

We're currently assembling the best photos into a book, which is going to be published early next year. Are you interested in having your photo included in the book? We'll credit you as the photographer in the back, and also send you a copy as soon as it has gone to print.

If you are interested, please email me at for more information. Again, sorry to contact you through a comment. Take care!

Book Editor
Cheezburger Network