Saturday, April 25, 2009

Easter At The Holmans

We had a great time at Easter. Here are a few quick snap shots.

But the most important thing about Easter is the fact the

Here we are at Church, celebrating the Risen Lord!

Leia Mais…

Video Of Going To Our New House

Here is what I filmed on the way to our new house. It gives you a feel for the neighborhood. At this point, not even the kids had seen our house.

Leia Mais…

Boy Are You In Hot Water...NOT.

Our new house has a solar water heater. It hardly uses any electricity…that is what the owner told us. What he did not say was that it does not STORE hot water. It only HEATS the water. This means that we have hot (or ‘not cold’) water available from about noon until about 5ish. Before or after that time frame, the water either hasn’t heated or has cooled down.

This doesn’t do a lot of good for people that normally get up and shower around 6ish.

However, we do have another option. Outside of many houses in Bolivia, including ours, is a small dormitorio and/or bathroom for the maid if you have a live in maid (which we don’t). It is in my mind more like a slaves quarters, but most houses built for the middle class have them.

Now, here is one of the reasons that I love my wife. She is such a camper…literally. Because using this shower is like when you go camping at a campground. We have to get up and gather our stuff, then walk outside to the bathroom with the bugs and spiders (the door has wood slats and nothing more…plus three of them are missing).

The heater is a 220 volt end of the shower head heater. The thing is, if you touch any part of it, you get a really nice 220 volt wake up call while you are standing in the water as the electricity flows over you. Seriously, you cannot touch it.
Look at the photo.
Those are 220 volt wires and that is NOT electric tape holding them. I am particularly proud of how I repaired it. Notice the nerf dart tied strapped onto it? That stopped a water leak. I always tell the boys, “use what you got”.

Denise hasn’t complained a bit. She just walks out there, stomps on a spider and avoids touching the wake me up shower head. I love that girl.

This isn’t that big of a deal. I just wanted to share another small glimpse of life in Bolivia. We are going to install a water heater that runs off a small propane tank (like your propane grill out back). It should be here within the month.

Life is okay, but God is GREAT!

Leia Mais…

Some More Photos From Our House

Told you I would put some photos of the city view. Earlier I posted the mountain side. Here is the valley side of our house.

The last photo is right across the street. All over the city there are 'Tiendas', or little stores where you can buy bread, milk, stuff like that. I call them 7-11.
Our next door neighbor has one...this is it...and is SHE HAPPY that we live there. We tripled her sales of bread, milk and ketchup the day we moved in.

Leia Mais…

Mercy Can Take A Punch

This video is on my facebook, but it is pretty cute.

Leia Mais…

My 'Conversion' Truck

Denise and I had some really great friends go back to the States (we miss you Carl and Glenda!). When they left, they sold us their Land Rover.

Their, and now our, Land Rover was made in Japan for Japanese drivers. What this means is that it is a right hand drive car, because in Japan they drive on the left side…it is like England. In the car, the driver sits on the right hand side.

Now in Bolivia, we drive like in the States, on the right side of the road. Well, actually the sign is pretty accurate, a lot of times people drive on whichever side of the road they want to...honestly. So, there is a huge market here in Bolivia for what we call transformer or conversion cars. People purchase cars from Japan and China where the driver sits on the right hand side, and then they convert them to the left.

Many taxis, probably at least 50%, are conversion cars because they are so cheap. However, a lot of the time the conversions are done quickly and at as little cost as possible, so you will get in a taxi and all of the instruments are in front of you, as well as a hole where the steering wheel used to be. The steering wheel and pedals are on your left, but everything else is on the right. It is funny looking.

In my Land Rover, the conversion was pretty good. However, there are a few bugs. The car still thinks that the passenger door and seatbelt are the drivers so the buzzers and lights work for that. I actually have electric windows (the first time in over two years) but they are backwards, the right button operates the left window. The parking break is on the wrong side of the stick shift, and the blinker is on the wrong side of the steering wheel. At least 20% of the time when I go to turn on my blinker, I turn on my windshield wipers because they are backwards. The kids laugh at me every time!

I was thinking about this, and my car suddenly reminded me of me. I have been transformed. I was ‘wrong’ and now I am right. My life has been redirected and God has done all the work to make me fit for the streets of glory!

However, there are still things, small things for sure, but things in my life that need work. I have some buttons wrong, and maybe my signals get crossed. God has worked, but the fact is, He is still working in my life.

Now, when the wipers come on instead of the blinker, it is a message from God…we are ready for Heaven thanks to His grace, but we still need for the transformation process here to keep going.

Praise God!


Leia Mais…

Our New Home

I will put some shots of our new home up when we are totally unpacked. This was our sixth move (including what we new was temporary housing) in under 3 years. We are getting good at it, and learning to totally hate it.

Just to give you a feel for the area, we are now North of the city, on the very outskirts of it...although still less than 10 minutes to downtown. Since the city is in a valley, the housing kinda stops at the mountains. We are now on the edge of the mountain.

Bummer is that the neighborhood is a little less safe. I had two hubcaps stolen off my car while it was parked in the street as we were unpacking the first day! Welcome to the neighborhood.

Here are three shots of the houses around us. I will put shots of our incredible view of the city later. Notice the cow in back. There are sheep, dogs (a lot of them), chickens, and cows all around us...and we are in the city!

Here is a video I took on the way to unload our stuff. The kids had not seen the house yet.

Leia Mais…

Bugs In Bolivia

Although we live high up and are supposed to be above the rain forest bugville, we still have our share. We have already posted a few spiders, scorpions, and other creepy things. But here are a couple of shots taken this week.

Notice not only the size of the moth (wingspan about 8") on Caleb, but look at its eyes. There is no photo work here, and the eyes are not doing that because of the flash. We took the picture because of the demon eyes!
The thing about having girls after six boys is that they tend to be Tom Boys. Patience and Joy both got 'Bug Boxes' for Christmas and love to catch critters and put them in it. This little guy jumped on Joy when she was outside, and then stayed on for probably 15 minutes. Joy was convinced that the bug loved her.

Leia Mais…

Hello Again!

Life has been happening here. God is starting to expand our ministry as we get better at the language. Since Octubre (I did not mean to do that Spanglish, but left it there on purpose for a point.:)) I have been doing all of my teaching and preaching in Spanish. To be honest, I am not fluent by a long accent sounds like a fast talking Texas drawl trying to pronounce Spanish (not Mexican...there is a difference between the Mexican accent and true Castillano or Spanish). To put it bluntly, I stink...but people can understand me. I often picture myself sounding like someone from India sounds to us. They know the vocabulary and the grammar, but sometimes it is just un poco difícil para is just a little hard to understand.
I will put up a few posts today and tomorrow, just to catch you guys up on life.
One thing I need to point out just as a matter of fact. My coffee supply is getting low. I brought back a bunch of Starbucks from the States in January....and Old Mother Hubbards Cubbard is getting that a hint?

Okay...I have had literally four people from the States send me an email and tell me that my beard makes me look like Jack Baur. For those of you who think is my best Jack Baur about to torture you for the information pose....

One quick thing. I am now a facebook dude, and so is Denise. If you are on facebook, send us a friend request, Joe Holman or Denise Holman. Denise is way better at being on it than I am. I don't do the games and apps, but it is a great way to do a quick "¿Como Estas?.

Leia Mais…