Monday, 29 December 2008

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008 was a much more enjoyable affair combining Bolivian
traditions with the more familiar British traditions. The evening of Sunday
21st we sat and enjoyed the nativity story portrayed by members of the
church, which was a good mixture of acting and multimedia use.

To help us stay in the Christmas mood up till Christmas, Monday evening we
had a number of other 'gringos' (expats) around our house to eat mince pies
and other festive nibbles whilst watching 'Muppets Christmas Carol' which
was thoroughly enjoyed by all, the following night we invited a number of
our Bolivian friends over to introduce them to the world of mince pies and
Stollen cake. The contrast in the time keeping of the two groups was quite
amusing, the gringos all arriving within half an hour of the stated time and
the Bolivians within 2 hours!!!

The eve of the 24th we celebrated Bolivian style with friends eating
together the traditional 'Picana' which is kind of like a spicy stew with
chicken and beef, vegetables and choclo, the big white maize that is common
here. The only difference to normal traditions being that we ate together
at 7.30pm as opposed to 12.30am.

We arrived back home in good time for Alana to put up her Christmas stocking
before all heading off to bed. Christmas morning got off to a nice lazy
start, opening our Christmas stocking presents all together on our bed, then
after breakfast making most of the morning for Alana to make her way through
opening her mountain of presents (thanks to everyone who contributed to

Once these had all be opened we then made our way back up to the Snell
household to celebrate the British way, with a roast dinner filled with
vegetables and stuffing, followed by Christmas pudding (made by Sarah and
Melissa), and of course to start it all off we pulled our Christmas crackers
(sadly minus bangers) so all got to look silly wearing our hats and groaning
over the bad jokes.

Once we were all feeling fit to burst we enjoyed some fun and games all
making fools of ourselves until it was time to leave and return home. All
in all it was a very enjoyable day.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Map making

What's the purpose of my work making maps?

Maps produced are used to demonstrate a range of information and have been
included in local government reports, the most recent being about
watersheds. Firstly, accurate information about the location of communities
and roads is gathered using GPS, and then notes are taken regarding the
different uses of soil as well as areas of erosion. This combined with other
information is then compiled into a map, which enables the identification of
areas most at risk from further erosion and degradation of the soil. They
can then be used further to suggest where future work is needed in order to
protect and conserve an area. Other maps have demonstrated where FH is at
work and in what capacity, as well as areas where future projects are
planned e.g. environmental education, livestock and agriculture training and
plans for providing drinking water and irrigation projects. The map pictured
below depicts the elevation of an area where green is low and red is high,
which is much easier to understand than many contour lines.

Moulding Chronicle December 08

Dear Friends,

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas from Bolivia. How great it is to be
halfway around the world in a different culture speaking a different
language and yet be celebrating together the birth of the same Lord Jesus
Christ. The light of the world come to bring true joy and peace to all who
call on His name.

In November Sarah's parents were able to make the long journey to visit us
here in Sucre. It was a great time to share with them our lives here in
Bolivia as well as enjoying time together on holiday in Santa Cruz (35oC or
more each day!).

With the weather getting steadily hotter it doesn't seem possible that
Christmas is just around the corner, however we are looking forward to
celebrating it with friends, having decided not to follow the Bolivian
tradition of staying up till midnight. Over New Year we are expecting the
visit of old friends from Aberystwyth who will be great fun to have around.

Over the Christmas break while things are quiet in the office Ed will be
going back to language school for a couple of weeks to brush up on his
reading and writing skills.

The new year will see a move to a new office with a much reduced number of
staff. Over this time please remember those who in the new year have to
face the task of finding a new job. A situation not unlike that which many
now face in the UK.

Other news is that Antonio the guy Ed was discipling has now been released
from prison, however Ed is now having difficulties in making contact with
him in the drug rehab centre as they are very strict on not allowing
visitors for the first 3 months. So please pray for wisdom with how to make

We hope that you are able to enjoy a peaceful and joy filled Christmas time
however or wherever you maybe celebrating it.

Praise God For:

An enjoyable and encouraging time with parents
A relaxing and fun holiday

Please pray for:

Clarity in our jobs within the new year
That we would be drawn into a closer relationship with God

Ed, Sarah & Alana