Thursday, May 30, 2013

Made it to Cochabamba!

I arrived in Cochabamba at about 9am yesterday! Jennifer and Danyelle, the volunteer at the girls' home, came to pick me up at the airport. I will be living at the baby home, and there are 16 babies here. My room is not actually in the house, but it is behind the house. I haven't taken many pictures yet, but I'll upload them when I do.

After arriving here, we went up to the playroom so I could meet the babies. They are precious! It's day 2, and I think I have most of the baby girls figured out. Several of the baby boys look alike to me, so I'm still unsure of their names.

I think we stayed at the baby home for about an hour. On Wednesdays, Danyelle has to pick up Jhosi from school, so I went with her and then we went to the girls' home. Jhosi is blind so she goes to a school for the blind that is about a 45 minute trufi ride away. She is very sweet and kept asking for "besitos y abrazos" (hugs and kisses) while we were in the truck. Back at the girls' home I was able to meet everyone. They are a fun bunch! My Spanish is definitely lacking, so that was hard. I know it will get better with some more practice though. 

Before dinner, we loaded up in Casa De Amor's van and went over to the boys' home. Danielle is brave enough to drive us around... not sure that I would be! I think I only really learned one of the boys' names, so I'll need to work on that! We stayed there for a few hours and ate dinner there too. On the way back to the girls' home, they dropped me off at the baby home. I don't remember the last time I was that tired! I planned on going straight to bed, but when I got home, the 2 tías working the night-shift asked if I wanted to have some tea and bread with them, so I did. We talked for a little bit, and they were both very nice. They followed me to my room to make sure I had enough blankets because it's pretty cold at night. I think I ended up with 5 blankets and stayed warm all night! It was wonderful to finally be able to sleep!

Now for today, I slept in pretty late. Carlee, the volunteer at the boys' home, came over at about 11, so went upstairs to play with the babies. I am not scheduled to work any shifts yet, but I spent a few hours with the babies before they went down for a nap. The tías have been really helpful so far. Today they taught me how to make/fold/change cloth diapers... something I have never done before!

I think naptime ends around 4pm, so I have a couple hours to relax. I need to unpack some more. My room is a disaster!

One more thing, my laptop charger doesn't fit into the converter/adapter I brought, so I have no way to charge my laptop. So I guess that means I don't really have a way to upload pictures until I find a place to buy an adapter. I did bring my Kindle and can at least use the internet on that to blog!

The view while flying into La Paz

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Church Send-Off

Part of the application process for Casa de Amor asked for a recommendation by my pastor. Casa de Amor is very much a Christian organization, and they want volunteers who will show God's love to the people of Bolivia. Back in February (or maybe it was early March?), I spoke with Bro. David, the pastor at my church, about wanting to go on this trip. He agreed to give me a recommendation, and following the recommendation, my application was approved. 

He has always been supportive of my volunteering and has been especially supportive of this trip. Because today was my last day at church, he asked me to come up to the front at the end of the service so he and Ashley, our Associate Preacher, could pray for me. Some other members of the church came up too. It was a nice send-off!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cochabamba, Bolivia

I haven't shared about this trip with too many people. It's been a trip I've wanted to take for several years now, and it's come together kind of quickly. I'll be leaving on Tuesday, May 28th and returning home on Saturday, August 3rd.

I'll be spending the next two months living in Cochabamba, Bolivia. According to Wikipedia, the population of the city is about 700,000 people and the population of the metropolitan area is more than 1,000,000 people. I'll be living and working at Casa de Amor (House of Love), a series of four children's homes.

Casa de Amor 1 is considered the "baby home." There are currently 16 babies living there. Casa de Amor 2 is the "boys' home." Eight boys live there right now, ages range from around 4-10 years old. Casa de Amor 3 is the "girls' home," housing 7 girls, ages 4-10 years old. Casa de Amor 4 is family-run by the Booher family from Oregon. They have 6 children. You can follow them at

As of right now, I'm not sure which house will be considered "home" for me. I'm hoping to live at the girls' house!

If you want to learn more about Casa de Amor, their website is

Jennifer, the founder and director, keeps a blog ( that you might want to read! I actually found out about Casa de Amor through her blog about 4 years ago. 

There is also a blog about the volunteers at Casa de Amor (, although it is not updated as frequently. As far as I know, there will be two other volunteers at Casa de Amor while I'm there. I'm excited to meet both of them!

What's in a name?

I've never really blogged before, so I'm not sure where to start! Some of you may be wondering where the name "Another Pin on the Map" comes from, so I guess I'll start there...

A few years ago, my mom bought me a giant world map to hang on my wall. Not long after hanging it up, I added a few (push) pins to places I'd travelled. The more I've travelled, the more pins that I have added. On the sidebar, you can see the list of countries I've travelled to. On my map, I've pinned the cities, but that list is a little too long to type out! 

I've been really fortunate to have travelled every where that I have, especially at such a young age. My goal is to visit every continent at least once. Obviously I hit North America by living here. I first travelled to Europe in 2007, Africa and Australia in 2008, and South America in 2009. I've been back to a few of those continents since and have started this blog to document my return to South America (this time to Bolivia) this summer.

I'd also like to say that as much as I love travelling and seeing new places, I also love volunteering and spreading a little good wherever I go. Sightseeing is great and it's fun, but just by sightseeing, I don't feel like I can really immerse myself in a culture. Although I'll never be a local, I like living with the locals and learning about life from their perspective. Living in a new place is a challenge, but one I am ready to take on! 

If you'd like to follow along, click on the "Join this site" link over on the right. I'm not totally sure, but I think you can have posts sent to your email. Please feel free to sign up and leave comments (you can leave comments even if you don't sign up though!)... I'd love to hear what you're thinking or answer any questions about myself, this trip, Casa de Amor, etc!