Monday, 19 April 2010

Amazing creation

On the day we arrived in Coroico Alana discovered this rather bright looking caterpillar attatched to a wall. We guessed by its lack of movement that it was in the process of undergoing a change however we were very suprised to discover how quickly that change came about. The first picture was taken on the evening of our first day, the second on the early morning of the next. Sadly we weren't about long enough to see how quickly the next transformation was going to take or which form it was going to take. But Gods creation really is quite amazing.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


Last weekend we decided that we were all in need of a little R & R so we packed our bags and headed off to a very small town called Coroico down in the slightly more tropical regions of las yungas. A place which surprisingly is only 2 hours away from La Paz and yet so vastly different in fauna and flora. Including some pesky biting bugs!

It was indeed a very small town, our taxi driver made comment to us that if you were to trip over whilst in Coroico, you would fall over the edge. When you see how the town is perched onto the edge of a mountainside you can understand the reason for the comment.

We all enjoyed the short break and being somewhere different. There wasn’t really much to do so we just enjoyed hanging about and seeing how many different creatures we could find, by the end of the weekend Alana was very proficient at spotting insects and bugs of all shapes and sizes, including a stick insect climbing up the steps.

In the grounds of where we were staying there was a small play area, that was somewhat over grown, but a haven for so many creatures, some nicer than others. I don’t think I have ever seen, or heard so many different types of grasshopper in one place before, all colours shapes and sizes.

On the Saturday we headed off for a walk in an attempt to find some waterfalls. A taxi driver had told us that they were only about half an hours walk away, a time scale reference to which we were a bit dubious, knowing how time is not a strong point within the culture. However, we still set out full of hope and were accompanied by one of the dogs from the hotel who took a liking to us and obviously fancied a walk too. Once we saw she was insistent on coming with us we decided to call her Poppy. Alana was very happy for the extra companion and we for the extra distraction to keep somebody walking. After an hour and a half walking around the mountainside and no sign whatsoever of any waterfalls we gave up and turned back, a decision that was helped by the fact that the path had now become almost impassable. We also figured that with the return journey it was enough for one day for a short pair of legs.

We were a little disappointed at not reaching our destination however the views were quite spectacular and we did see lots of other pretty butterflies along the way. Poppy seemed to have enjoyed the exercise too and accompanied us right back to our room, though we drew the line at letting her in.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Happy ‘Beaster’ (as Alana puts it!)

We enjoyed a very different Easter experience this year, which was influenced by two differing factors. The first being local elections on Easter Sunday, the second being the decisions of the local church we attend.

Easter Sunday may seem to be an odd choice of date for local elections, but for a president who is anti Catholic/Christian what better day than this to disrupt any celebrations. During such a day of voting, there are a number of restrictions put in place that causes the country to come to a stand still. Everything shuts down, people are not permitted to travel, or even drive their cars on the roads without special permission (which has to displayed in the windscreen), no alcohol can be brought or sold up to 24 hours before the day or on the day, in an attempt to ensure people are sober to make their vote, and that violence is kept to a minimum. The other significant aspect of this day is that no gatherings are permitted to be held, thus church services are prohibited.

This all makes for an eerily quiet day, with streets deserted of any traffic on what normally would be busy bustling thoroughfares. Many people are out in the streets with their families, and people of all ages are out on bicycles, which is a sight not normally seen. This makes you wonder if people only ride their bicycles on days of elections and strikes!

The local church, which we attend, decided to make some rather radical decisions this year in face of the circumstances presented. The first decision was to reschedule the usual Sunday morning service to the Saturday evening. So we arrived at 6.30pm when it started, thinking that it would be shorter than the usual 3 hours due to the change in time. When we finally arrived home at 9.45pm we were all quite exhausted. The Sunday school class starting at 8.30pm proved to be just that little bit too much to take in for Alana, who was literally bouncing off the walls by the end from being up so late. For someone who is normally in bed and asleep by 7.30am, the expectation of sitting down for a class at 8.30pm was just too much.

The second somewhat ‘different’ decision that they made was to actually preach on death and resurrection. This was something very controversial, as here in Bolivia the evangelical church would normally make no reference whatsoever to the day and what it celebrates. To many of us this seems very odd when we consider the death and resurrection of Jesus to be central to Christianity. The reasons behind this, so people say, are to distance themselves from the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church.

So our Easter Sunday was spent at home, sharing the Easter story together and setting Alana off on an Easter egg hunt!