Friday, June 27, 2008


We're thinking of Afterglow this week...wishing we could be there...have some fun for us, Wallgrens!

Okay, so I guess we'll think of it this week cause that's when we should be going and next because that's when it actually is.

John, Joan, Eric and Chad in the hot tub. Just kidding.

Pictures from Afterglow's website.

El Cristo

After looking back at pictures of Chile and its Cristo I realized I have never posted pictures of our very own Cristo looking over the city of Cochabamba. It's one of the first things you notice really when coming into Cochabamba because he is situated on a hill that you can see from practically anywhere in the city. You can also go up there and get a closer look at him and a beautiful view of the city. We have been up three times so far.

These first pictures are just to give an idea of where he is situated in the city. And I did not take them from the internet.

But I did take the rest of the pictures...

There are many ways to get up there. You can drive,

walk up the stairs,

or take the gondola.

Here are some of the views from up there.

And some of the views form inside the Cristo. I think this is taken from the armpit.

Here is another of many pictures of Ariel on Matt's shoulders.

Kristen by a tree.

And Matt with Marcelino who is the house father in one of the orphanages.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

So here's the thing...

Thanks to this guy... ...and all his new rules for visas and US citizens...we are only legal for thirty days after our little trip to Chile. We thought it was 90 days. So the lawyers we talked to were wrong and we are currently trying to figure our little situation. We will most likely just have to pay a bunch of money when we leave Bolivia but we are trying to figure out a way around that. And that guy is Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia, and he just recently changed the visa rules for North Americans.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Our new puppy

So we went a little crazy and got a puppy. Her name is Luka and she is part black lab, husky and probably a lot of other things because her father is a street dog. She is the puppy of our friends' dog who had 5 puppies about 7 weeks ago. We already love her so much cause she is just so sweet and cute. We have been told by the owners of our house and basically everyone in Bolivia that it's smart to have a dog at your house to help protect it. Neither of us have had a dog before so it's a learning process for us.

She really fell asleep like this is Matt's flip-flop.

She was the only one of the litter to have these pretty, blue eyes.

What a cutie!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

We're back...

So we made it back to Bolivia with no problems and got to see a very lovely town. There was no trouble at the Bolivia border so we are now legally living here again. We didn't even have to pay the fee we anticipated for staying longer than our visas permitted.

The town we went to was called Arica, Chile. It's the northern most big town in Chile and was the closest for us to get to. It was a very nice town and we had fun exploring the city. It was on the beach but also sort of in a desert. It is winter now here in South America so it wasn't tourist season and we were practically the only North Americans there. Everyday started off cloudy then became sunny around lunch time and warmed up to about 70 degrees like clockwork. So it wasn't exactly swimming weather but very nice for strolling around. Even though we didn't go swimming in the ocean it was just nice to sit on the beach, see the waves and smell that salty, ocean smell. And we did a lot of walking over the three days we were there...a couple miles each day probably. The city was built perfectly for walking we did just a map and walked everywhere.

It took about 13 hours to get there and the bus ride was long but very pretty. Here are some pictures of the way there...

Yes, that is snow. It was very cold for some of the trip.

The City

The main street of the city was a pedestrian walkway and it was always filled with people. One thing that made us realize we were used to Bolivia was that it was really hard for us to get used to the fact that pedestrians had the right-of-way in Arica. Another thing we had to get used to was that nobody ate dinner until at least 8:00 and some restaurants didn't even open until then. So we had to force ourselves to eat later so that we weren't the only ones in the restaurants.

A beautiful church in the main town square.

The big hill that the city was originally built on.

Our favorite store in town.

The Beach

I thought that this scene was interesting and a wonderful illustration. The blue little building is an alter or memorial to two people who had passed away and below it it says "Christ lives".

One cool thing was there were interesting and inspiring phrases painted all over the city. This one says "Our character is the result of our conduct". It was just one of many.

El Morro

So we decided to hike up to the top of El Morro which was
this hill where the city was originally built.

The beginning of the path. Looks very inviting, huh?

The path from about half-way.

The Chilean flag at the top of the hill.

The view of the city from the top.

A statue of Christ that overlooks the city.

The view from the other side.

So now we are fine for another 90 days then we need to leave again and come back. Then when we're in the States we have to get a visa that we can use to get our one year visa. All of this is because Bolivia just recently changed their immigration policies for US citizens. And we didn't find out the changes until last week when we tried to get our visas in the same way that all our other teammates had but it didn't work for us. It's quite interesting being told that you need to leave the country and there is really no way around it. We maybe know a little more how immigrants in the US feel.

So we think we figured out the best and cheapest way to get all of this business taken care of. Hopefully it all works out. Thanks for all your prayers for this step...we really appreciate it.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Off to Chile in the morning

We just wanted to let you know of our visa situation here and maybe ask for some prayer. We knew we would be the first on our team to deal with new visa laws because we were the first to arrive after Bolivia changed it's immigration laws regarding US citizens. We were not sure just how much these new laws would effect us but have now found out that these new laws effect us quite directly. In the past, someone living in Bolivia could obtain a tourist visa at the airport then use the 90 days this visa allows to apply for a one year visa. So this is what we did. When we went to get our one year visa, we were told that we need a different kind of visa to obtain the one year visa. We were also told that we can only get this certain visa if we go to the States or another country. So we decided that we could get this visa once we are in the States next December.

The problem is that we now have gone past our 90 days of being here on a tourist visa and are paying each day now just to be in Bolivia. Luckily with our visas we can leave the country and then come back and be good for another 90 days. This seems like our only option for the time being because its the cheapest and most sensible. So we are going to the closest town in Chile for a couple days and hoping that we will be able to get back into the country with our existing visas. Two different lawyers have told us that we should have no problem but you never quite know in South America.

We're sure an adventure awaits us and we'll tell you about it when we get back.

Chile, here we come!

A day with the kids from Muyurina

We had all the kids from one of the homes over to our house this weekend for an afternoon. It was a very fun afternoon and we just thought we'd share some pictures.

This little one is Lily. She is the baby of some of our friends
(and teammates) Nate and Kate Spies.

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