Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Moulding Chronicle March 2008 Letter No. 4

Dear Friends,

Since our last letter at the beginning of the year we have been enjoying the space and freedom of our new home, as well as experiencing many new changes.

Once our formal language study finished Ed began work with FH. He plodded though the first couple of days not knowing what he was supposed to be doing as he had no supervisor, but the second week he joined with others on a training course about using the computer system he is to be working with.

A month down the line and he has started doing bits and pieces of work on different projects. He yet awaits a trip out to the 'Campo' (rural areas) the dates of which keep changing.

After a tough month settling into the role as full time mum, other opportunities have opened up to give Sarah some other focus outside of the home. The first of which was starting on a 17 week Pregnancy crisis training course. With homework, books to read, videos to watch and an exam at the end of it, it should provide good practice for Spanish if nothing else..

Sarah has also started working one day a week with \FH whilst Ed is home with Alana. She is working on the Child Development Programme in Horno Ckasa (a poor district on the outskirts of Sucre), though as yet she doesn't know what this work will entail.

Sarah also has joined the (very competitive) ladies volley ball group on a Monday evening. Wednesday evening we take it in turns to attend a bible study group.

Alana is doing great, and is growing up fast. She has now moved into a big bed of her own which she has taken to well despite one night slipping off and ending up underneath. She has stared going to nursery 2 mornings a week so at last she has some little friends to play with, and she seems to be enjoying it.


One of the customs here in Bolivia is to have help around the house, as things get dirtier quicker and take much longer to clean without the use of machines. Very often they are young girls who need to earn extra money so that they can complete their studies. So in order to keep in with the culture 2 mornings a week Ciria comes to our house and helps me with all sorts of chores from, cleaning, cooking, ironing, and childcare as well as being a great source of company and encouragement.

Ciria is a mature student and a single mum with 2 children of her own to care for, Immanuel (3) and Rachel (5mths). She has a hard life with a difficult family background, with parents who are split. Her mother lives and works in Spain, her father lives local but she has little to do with him. With her mother away she has been left with the added responsibility of also looking after her two younger brothers and younger sister.

We praise God that though she works for us and helps us out a lot, our home becomes a refuge and safe place for her, as well as providing her with a job and money to help her finish her studies.

Praise God For:

· Our house

· Ciria, and that she enjoys coming to our house

· The arrival of another British family working with FH who have become good friends

· The nursery, that Alana has friends to play with

Please pray for:

· Clarity and focus in our jobs

· Opportunities to arise through the pregnancy crisis training course

· Good friendships

Ed, Sarah & Alana


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D is for Dinner

It’s not really the main topic I want to write about but just happens to fit in here, what I want to talk about is one of the oddities of Sucre. It has just one supermarket and so you would think that is great thinking of UK supermarkets always (well pretty much always) having what you want. But not here, one day you may find in the supermarket (or in fact in the city generally) for example chedder cheese, and you think I don’t need it today but I’ll get some next time. So next time you go in you can’t find it and you may not find it again for weeks or months. The other week Melissa (another Brit working with FH saw some Cheerio’s in the supermarket, but thought normally they are to sweet for my children so I’ll not get them, she then told this to a friend who said don’t be silly go and buy some there not in very often. So she went back and bought some.

So what are some of the things we have gotten excited about seeing in the supermarket. Kellogg’s Cornflakes, Coco Pops and Frosties, Shredded Wheat bite size, taco sauce and wraps, prawns (though not brought because they were to expensive), mushrooms (tinned and fresh) and today best so far baked beans, not quite heinz, but they were good enough. We have been here almost 6 months and have missed baked beans so coming home tonight to find Sarah had found some was great, so guess what was for tea tonight?

This constant flux of goods available to buy brings out some interesting behaviour. Firstly when Sarah finds something new and good she’ll buy 2 or 3 of them, as she doesn’t know when she’ll next be able to buy, then debate with herself whether to buy more or is that just greedy. Secondly she’ll get excited about it because it is something we are missing from the UK, or something new she can make. Thirdly as today with the baked beans she almost considered calling Melissa to tell her they were in and did she want any. Sarah has never got so excited over food shopping, but as she says ‘it keeps food shopping interesting, because you never know what you are going to find!’

D is also for Dinosaurs

On the outskirts of the city there is a large quarry for cement. Over the years they have found a number of dinosaur footprints in the quarry that have been studied by many scientists from across the world. In the past it was possible to get up close to the quarry face and see the footprints up close (you may still be able to but we didn’t). Now we think that it is only possible to see them from a distance, from the new visitors centre that has been constructed in the last few years. A few weeks back we went to visit with another Bolivian family and their two young boys. Alana enjoyed the visit and playing with the two boys. She also managed to get a piece of all of our ice creams; I think it’s the blue eyes and the pretty face that do it (Ed wasn’t so fortunate!!!).

The visitor centre begins with a zigzag path including a timeline of events, leading up to the entrance of the park that includes life size scale models of the different dinosaurs found here (along with recently added sounds). There is also a T-rex, whose footprints haven’t been discovered here, but was thought to be too famous not to include. From the quarry you also get some great views looking back over the city and the surrounding countryside.

D is for Dogs

There are lots and lots of them here and very few of them would get anywhere near crufts as they live on the street and some look in need of a good wash and brush up. Some of the Dogs have homes and spend their days sat outside their gate watching the world go by, and then at night they are brought in to protect the house. Others roam the streets in packs, or on their own and will literary eat anything they find. After the Carnival and the many water balloon fights, there where many multi-coloured dog poos around the city!!!!

All this said people do love their dogs and the dogs seem very loyal to them even if they don’t get treated well. We have seen many people walking around carrying in their arms dogs that look to young to have left their mothers and also dogs that get to where their own special clothes!!!!!