Madre came to Bolivia this last week and we had a fabulous time together! Unfortunately she left today, but Miel and I are already waiting for her next visit!
Madre flew into Santa Cruz so I flew there too and we spent a day there.
Our first stop in Santa Cruz was Guembe Bioparque & Resort. I'd heard good reviews but wasn't really sure what it was like. It's a big hotel and park not far outside of Santa Cruz. You can pay to enter just the park area which is what we did. They had walking trails, a butterfly garden, a bird sanctuary, a monkey habitat and many other fun areas to explore. We spent a couple hours there and could've stayed longer.
We took this picture for Amy... Years ago when we were in Belize, there was a wagon similar to the one pictured (but much smaller) at our hotel. My mother, the photographer, insisted that Amy and I take a picture with the wagon (her pulling it and me sitting in it). Amy let go and the wagon and I flipped over. She still laughs uncontrollably about it.
There was a big area full of different kinds of parrots and some peacocks. I wanted to take a picture with these 2 parrots but as I got closer, one flew away and the other flew straight into my head!
When I was little, we went to a place that had butterflies and we have a picture of me holding on in my hand. As we entered this butterfly garden we were talking about how we should try to recreate the picture and then this butterfly landed on my leg... It's like he heard us!
After leaving Guembe, we went to the downtown area and wandered around for the afternoon.
Back to Cochabamba on Saturday!
On Saturday, Susanne and Chelsea (two volunteers from the hogar who came back for a visit) wanted to go visit some of the kids who used to live with us. Madre and I tagged along and it was great to see them again!
I should've taken a better picture at church but this is all I have... My church may have been more excited about my mom's visit than I was! They were counting down the days for months!
Sunday afternoon we met up at the water park with this sweet girl! Long-time blog readers will remember her as "Baby C." back from our hogar days... Every time I see her now I can't believe how big she's getting!
On Monday we went up to school so Madre could see where I work. They'd been painting the classrooms and building some new rooms and it was a bit of a disaster!
Madre bought Miel a fancy new bed! She hasn't embraced it quite yet but I'm certain she will one day.
Madre redecorated my house while she was here. We bought furniture but it couldn't be delivered until the next day. We didn't think it'd be that bad not having furniture for just a day, but seriously... You can only sit so long on that hard tile floor!
I had lots of people I wanted Madre to meet and these great friends were at the top of the list! I have the best coworkers ever and we met up for dinner one night. I hadn't seen any of them since school got out so it was fun to catch-up!
Madre and I at dinner... Thank you Nena for the picture! :)
One day while going home, we passed a park with 2 super slides. Madre insisted we go back another day and ride them... They were lots of fun!
Miel helped us plant some new flowers... She was just as helpful as you can imagine ;)
And now begins the saga of the hammock... I have a big balcony but there wasn't any place to sit outside. We decided a hammock would be a great addition. We both thought the best place to hang the hammock would be where the clothesline had been hanging. In the above picture, that's the metal thing coming off the side of the wall on the left. First, Madre moved my clothesline so it wouldn't be in the way of putting up the hammock...
Briefly, we had a hammock... Even Miel loved it! We spent several hours outside in the hammock thinking it was the greatest thing ever. The more we sat in it, the more we thought maybe it needed to be higher up...
...and then this happened! Miel and I were laying the hammock while Madre was tugging on the rope trying to get it higher. All of the sudden, the hammock with us in it came crashing down!
She pulled so hard that it broke the wall!
Finally yesterday the last piece of furniture was delivered and I have a brand new living room!
Every time I walk into my house I can't believe how great it all looks! The brown Hawaiian flowered sofa is gone (Sarah, what were we thinking?!) and it actually looks like a cute little apartment now!
Come back soon Madre... We miss you already!