Saturday, February 19, 2011


As is the usual.
I've been really bad about blogging!
Therefore, I have decided to go "backwards" and tell some highilights of life between approval date and Christmas flying!
A lot has happened since then.....Laura got married :); Choco learned to board while I took pictures of it on my skis (and our car got stuck in the snow twice while driving there); we went to Maryland/Virginia to spend some time with Marcelo and Sarah and look for jobs; I've gotten a total of 3 new students since being back at school; I went on family vacation with the Del Castillos to a resort in the jungle; Choco and I made a recruitment video for Highlands and I corresponded with a Taylor grad that will be teaching at HIS next year! :); Choco did a puppet show at a friend's daughter's 1-year 'princess' birthday party; a group of friends spent a weekend in the jungle at somebody's house; my light fixture completely fell from the ceiling out of nowhere and shattered all over the floor leaving a rather large shard of glass right on my pillow (sooo thankful i was not in my bed at the time!)...
Yes...a lot has happened!
But I am choosing to expound on the last one....not the shard of glass, although i was soo close to being in my bed at that time that it made me thank Jesus for his perfect timing...but the FRIEND WEEKEND IN THE JUNGLE!

Our friend Sergio has a house that they recently bought (about 2 years ago) that is in the south part of the Yungas (the area of Bolivia that is connected to the Amazon of Brazil). One Friday night we all crammed into our very own mini-bus with all of our bags...and my oxygen! That's right....when we went on family vacation to the Yungas, Megan was soo affected by the altitude that oxygen was brought this time...just for her! Thankfully she did not have to use it.

The drive was not a bad one, but when we got there it was dark and we were tired. So we each got settled into our rooms and went to wake up to this!
I don't know what Pablo is doing...but this pic gives you an idea of the pool and it's gorgeous views...
During our days at the pool, there were lots of "creative ways to enter the water" pictures taken....some were successful shots...and others were not so successful:)!
After swimming the first day, we had an AWESOME parilla (BBQ) where the boys had to create some of the tools they needed....hilarious.

Then we just chilled some more....played some poker with our own "chips".....
and then made some pizza to go in their brick oven....also AWESOME!
On Sunday we were able to swim some more and enjoy our last little bit of sun before heading back to rainy La Paz.

It was a relaxing (and very needed) weekend away with lots of sun and reading. But it was also a neat time for me to get closer to some of Esteban's friends.....including LUCY, the daughter of Esteban's good friend, Pablo.
I also was able to practice my's coming along but it still has a way to go:)!

All in all, a nice weekend and I hope we make it back there again!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gracias Government...

..y Dios!

So...based on the title, you might suspect that we FINALLY heard back about Choco's (that's my fiancee's nickname) U.S. visa.

This is the story.
On Tuesday, February 15th, I got a message from our landlord, Christian, saying he received a letter for me a few days ago.
It was raining that day and the letter was in a PUDDLE of water when he got home. He put it in try to dry it out and thought it was "ready" for me to get!!
I immediately assume it's from the United States Department of Homeland Security (because that's who we sent our request forms to) and instantly become anxious!
I've waited for about 5 months for this letter and the day had finally come where I would figure out if we had been approved or rejected....such emotion!

I went home at my lunch break to find a crumpled, stained envelope waiting to be opened to tell me that....WE'VE BEEN APPROVED!

All of our paperwork was correct and seemed to prove that we indeed are in love and legitimately desire to be married.
YAY! Thank you Lord.

The last steps of the process are that we wait for another letter (PRAY for good weather) that gives Esteban a specific date and time for his interview with the U.S. embassy. At the interview he will asnwer a series of questions regarding the paperwork we submitted. Then, if his story lines up with mine, his visa will be granted at the interview!!

One last shout-out to the U.S. government is that on Wednesday, the next day, our friend Israel had his interview at theembassy for a visa. He photographed our engagment photos and we really wanted him to be able to come to our wedding in the states and to take our pictures. However, if he wasn't granted his visa (which is a common story here in Bolivia) he would be unable to come. However, his interview went WELL and he is officially coming to the wedding! Another YAY!

Thanks to all of you for your prayers...keep praying for Choco's interview.
And thank you Lord for your grace in all things!