Friday, September 30, 2011

Getting settled in

Hello All!  Yes!  We are actually in La Paz, Bolivia now.  It is hard to imagine that it has only been two days with all of the new people we've met, new scenes we've seen, new things we've done, etc.

Kathy had a pretty miserable day physically yesterday, but is feeling much better today - thankfully!!! The altitude here REALLY IS an issue!  She has taken some breathing treatments and that has been greatly beneficial.

Vaughn went on a service project today with the High school students to visit a local orphanage and their micro-business; a bakery.  He really enjoyed the time that he got to spend getting to know some of his students before he actually starts teaching on Monday.

Tomorrow is the school's Spring Festival.  YES, SPRING - it is so strange to process being below the equator and experiencing the seasons at the opposite time of year than we have always had them.  But, it is a little thing to get used to.

We are extremely fortunate to be staying with a wonderful Peruvian family.  They are so hospitable and we love them already.  It is a real treat staying here with them this first month while we are getting used to things here.

We have already learned a lot of things and some of them are NOT things that we will ever want to repeat again; such as paying exorbitant rates for some excess luggage weight.  AND, not arriving home before our hosts and not knowing the alarm code (let alone knowing that there even WAS an alarm!).  But, we lived through those two experiences and even laughed until we cried over the alarm fiasco.  So, I guess when you can laugh at yourself, you're not doing all that bad! 

Kathy WAS able to purchase peanut butter today and it wasn't all that expensive, so that was a nice surprise.  She is also quite happy that Coke Zero abounds here!  heh heh

Well, I guess that about catches you up for now.  We promise to take pictures soon.  There is some really pretty scenery here.  We saw one mountain on the way from the airport to the school that has snow on it all year long.

Thank you so much for your prayers - keep it up!  We need you with us!

Vaughn & Kathy

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PTL! We got our new passports today!

Well, getting up at 3:30 am to make a trip into Atlanta to apply for new passports was NOT on our agenda, but like it's been said, "It didn't take God by surprise!"

We had 8:30 appointments and we got there right about 8, got ushered to a window immediately; waited 5 minutes or so and then finished the application process in another few minutes.  Then we got to wait around for 5.5 hrs.  We didn't expect that we would be taking a nap in our van in the middle of a parking lot in downtown Atlanta, but hey, if we're anything we're a fun bunch!  heh heh heh

We picked up our completed passports and were on our way back to Birmingham by 2:30.  YAY!!!!

We will leave Bethany and Joseph's house by about 10:30 tomorrow morning, planning on flying out at 12:35 heading for Miami.  We arrive there at 3:35 and have 7 hrs. to hang out in the airport.  Our flight to La Paz takes off at 10:35 PM and arrives in Bolivia at 6:00 am the next morning.  At that point, we will purchase 2 tourist visas.  Our director wrote us today and it has become evident that our experience with being denied our first visa has become commonplace all of a sudden.  The Bolivians, for some reason, are severely restricting long-term visas for North Americans.  JOY!  Scott (our director) wanted to make us aware that we could be turned down for a year visa and we would have the leave Bolivia.  BUT, as our daughter's mother-in-law pointed out today - there's no sense in looking for problems in the future...just take care of things today.  Scott just wanted to make sure that IF this did occur, that it wouldn't take us completely by surprise....I think we can all agree the evil one is alive and well and doing all he can to thwart the gospel going out at H.I.S. (Highlands International School).

So, for now, we are thoroughly exhausted and have some very tiring days ahead of us.  I will close by saying good bye and good night and we will update y'all as soon as we are able to get to an internet connection.

Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support; we wouldn't even think about attempting this next "adventure" without having you along!

Monday, September 26, 2011

and the beat(ing) goes on

new plan Q  -8:30 apt in Atlanta 9/27 to get new passports {same day}
We really are trying to get to HIS -but now our passports and money orders did not return today in our "overnight" packet w/ our visa apps and marriage attestation. We are praying and working on it. We will keep you posted. Otherwise ready to hop a jet, 9/28 to be in La Paz 9/29 on tourist only! So  sorry Scott and new partners for the extra work this will put on you.
Please Lord! I will learn it now -What is it?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our last full day living in Athens, Georgia & welcoming another Van Liew into the world!

Well, it's hard to believe but this is it!  We have one full day to finish packing, sorting, throwing away/giving away and storing our things before we take off to Birmingham, Alabama tomorrow.

It seems surreal!  It's nice, though, that today we are finally getting a really great downpour; we have had a horribly dry summer (our water bills tell THAT story and we didn't even water our lawn) and could use a whole lot more rain, but I'm thankful for what we are getting today.
Our nephew and his wife (Cody and Blake Van Liew; son of Larry & Susan) had their first baby yesterday - Thomas Francis Danger Van Liew!  He arrived safely and everyone seems to have come through the delivery just fine.  He is a beautiful baby!  That's the second grandchild for Larry and Susan; both born this year - Caleb and Trisha had Kahlan Joy on May 20th, so now they have a granddaughter and a grandson.  Yay!
Well, I must get back to work.  I want Vaughn to be proud of me when he gets home and sees how much his little homemaker accomplished today.  (hehehe; yeah, LITTLE, riiiiiiight!).
OH!  And, still no word on our Bolivian visas being ready.  I checked the tracking number and it isn't in the system yet and no one has answered at the Consulate in Miami this morning...please remember to keep that in prayer.  We need our documents back really soon!

Thanks everyone!