Home base

The past two days we’ve basically stayed here at El Jordán.

Yesterday was pretty much a rest-up day, and today Yoli was teaching a cross-stitch class in the afternoon.

We didn’t bring many (make that “any”) toys for the girls to play with. I like to pack as light as possible, but we still ended up bringing a good deal of luggage because Yoli brought many gifts and clothes to give away.

But we spend time playing around on the patio using an old basketball as a soccer ball. We have also been doing a lot of reading. Today we finished “Little House on the Prairie.” Jadzia had really been pushing me to read a lot chapters each day because she and Ludi wanted to begin the next book, “Farmer Boy.”

One thing we did bring with us was a bunch of table games from the girls’ “High Five” magazines. Each month there is a different game at the back of the magazine. Yoli painstakingly cut all of these out and put each one in a separate ziploc bag. We even laminated one game’s board. We usually wait for Josie to be put to bed before getting out these games because she can’t play, but she wants to … (her definition of play is to grab everything, throw it everywhere, and scream when she gets in trouble)

One unintentional packing omission was that we forgot to bring our DVDs. I have my laptop, and obviously playing DVDs is a great way to keep the girls occupied at times. But we left them behind by accident. So, our media library consisted of two episodes of Mr. Rogers that I still had on my thumb drive. I had hoped to download more from veoh.com, but when I tried, I found that site blocks access from countries outside the U.S. Then today I found that someone has re-uploaded a bunch of MRN episodes to YouTube. So, I spent about 2 hours today downloading two episodes (the internet connection is much-better-than-average, but it cuts out regularly. Thankfully, I can resume the YouTube downloads, which hasn’t been the case with downloads from other sites/FTP servers)

Also, all during this trip I have been letting the girls fool around with some video games. They like to play Super Mario Bros. 3, but none of them can really play it right (they get a big kick out of Ludi always being killed by the very first goomba of the game).

The temperatures dropped here two days ago. Today the wind was pretty fierce. Weather.com said 20 mph, but I’m sure the winds must have gotten higher than that at times. Jadzia connected this with all the talk about the loud winds toward the end of “Little House.”

One thing we have not yet found the time/opportunity to do is to go to the market for food. We had hoped to do it tonight, but it didn’t work out.

Consequently our diet on this trip has pretty much been:

  • Breakfast: Fresh bread, tea (sometimes with peanut butter and marmalade)
  • Lunch: Either soup from a packet, or something from Hot Burger
  • Dinner: Same choices as lunch, or possibly just more bread (sometimes made into a sandwich with a slice of ham or some tuna)

With lots more bread in between.

A note about bread: In Bolivia, they bake small buns of different variations. Some are plain, some have cheese inside, some have a sugar/flour topping, etc. But generally these are eaten fresh, that is to say: what you eat for breakfast was baked early that morning or maybe the day before. Most folks buy it from a little corner kiosko. The bread Yoli has been finding near El Jordán this time around has been very, very good.

Tonight Yoli is baking some peanut butter cakes that she will give to Marco’s leatherworking class here at El Jordán.

Tomorrow we plan to visit Yoli’s sister Eliza, and also to see a special presentation at a neighborhood school connected with Bolivia’s upcoming (Aug. 6) Independence Day celebrations.

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