Sunday, November 24, 2013

Animal Friends

Let's check out all the animals you would most likely encounter in the Andean part of Bolivia...

Chanchos, chanchos, chanchos!! They are everywhere. I step right outside my door in the morning and there they are just wallowing and hobbling around.

Muchas ovejas. Bolivian sheep may not be pretty and dolled up like other places.. but they get the job done. 

Dogs love the roofs.  

Baby caballo

Joel holding a chick. We need lots of chickens around. So we can eat them.

The pink flamingos !! found in the lagunas of southern Bolivia.

The Bolivian squirrel. Pretty sure that's a chinchilla. But not positive cuz it looks different from the chinchillas from Peru. So whatever this squirrel creature is, it's munchin' away on some dried-up noodles.

Last but not least: The Andean Llama. They are EXTREMELY rude. They don't like us and immediately rejected our offers of friendship. Just look at Javier in the last pic. His heart is broken. How sad.
 But I still love those llamas. #teamllama


El Pueblito

This post is dedicated to give you more of a sense of the territory of our home base: Villa Serrano.  This is a collection of some views of the town.

 The "Puente Colgante" the suspended bridge that takes you over the river.

This is where we catch the bus to get to other towns/cities.

 Guess their pretty serious about littering here. Not too sure it works so well.

 The Hall.

This is the exit/entrance to Villa Serrano via the road to Sucre. As you leave you see the sign that says "Feliz Viaje"

This is the road I live on. My house is a short 5 minute stroll from here.

Villa Serrano is a great little town. Mountains are close by on both sides. It only takes about 15 minutes to climb up. There's rivers and farms. The rurals are a wonderful place to live.


As we are instructed to let everyone know that our Kingdom News #38 campaign is a global effort and everyone is receiving the same timely message, I thought it would be cool to show some photos of the work here in the rurals of Bolivia.

 Taking advantage of the Swiss sister's height to make sure the tract makes it in the house.

 Tiziana leaves a campaign tract with the sheep woman.

Joel and Rocio Pecho doing the campaign work just outside town.

 Making sure every passerby recieves a tract.

The milk farm. Preaching here, there might be a chance you could get pure milk straight from the cows.

 Lil' Josue from Padilla shows his enthusiasm for the campaign! He loves leaving the tracts in the doors.

The Villa Serrano congregation has to cover a bunch of towns with the campaign work. Villa Serrano itself, which we finished rather quickly, also Padilla, Tomina, and Nuevo Mundo! Not to mention all the houses in between the towns! Mucho trabajo.

Goodbye Javier

I initially came to Bolivia with my buddy Javier Lemus who stayed for a month. Now he is gone.
This post is dedicated to him.

While he was here, Javi made the best of it and truly enjoyed the service and new experiences.

Alia, who was visiting a sister in our hall who lives in Padilla, Debby, also was leaving. So at the end of their last meeting, we sang them a Kingdom melody, and then they gave their going-away speeches. It was emotional.. tears were shed. And much hand gesturing going on. As you can see in both photos their hands in constant motion.

 We even got to fulfill one of Javi's goals, to teach everyone to play Ultimate Frisbee!! It's what we do on Long Island and it was a blast playing in the mountains of Bolivia, even though it's harder to run.

In Bolivia, even the animals are players. Even though their team participation skills are horrible. Nataly here is trying to reclaim the disc.

Javier was a huge help here in Bolivia and it was awesome having him. We all wish he didn't have to leave. I hope Jehovah continues to bless his efforts back home and keeps pursuing the "pioneer spirit" as he did here in Villa Serrano.

Group to Congregation

Just before we arrived to Bolivia in the beginning of October, there was an announcement during a meeting of the congregation Sucre Sur, which is the congregation that the Villa Serrano Group belonged to, that Serrano is now it's own OFFICIAL CONGREGATION!

The first official day the new congregation would be in effect was November first.  Very exciting news and it's a privilege to be here during it.

These photos will show you some of the activities that have been taking place, as the new Congregation of Villa Serrano.

 No longer a group in an isolated territory. Now a congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.

When we first arrived here.. the sign said "Lugar de Reuniones de los Testigos de Jehova" ... Jehovah's Witness Place of Meeting.

That was about to change.... hey look, some crazy gringo, robbing the sign

First congregation gathering at the Swiss girl's place. We danced to Bolivian traditional music.

Joel and I. Getting to work on the new sign.

Next. Putting up the signs. 

And the service group heading out to do campaign work...
We are now proud to have an official "Salon Del Reino" Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses !! 

Songs from Serrano: Rockin' In The Free World

Continuing the tradition of music making and recording music while living in a foreign country, I've made a new series of recordings I'll post from time to time. The series shall be called, "Songs from Serrano" since all recordings take place in my home here in Villa Serrano, Chuquisaca, Bolivia.

The first installment of the series is a simple cover. A Neil Young song... "Rockin' in the Free World"

I've been experimenting with the new instrument I'm learning. It's an Andean, mandolin-type, stringed instrument, called the CHARANGO. It is usually accompanied by pan flutes, classical guitars, and violins, to form the traditional music here in Bolivia.

I bought my Charango from this cool dude. His name is Don Felipe. He lives on the far side of town. And he makes some of the best charangos around.

Here's a recording of the song... Taking the bolivian instrument, and using it to play our American tunes. It has an... interesting sound.

K. Enjoy... Part Two is going to be an original.