English Class- Instituto Americano
Debbie with new Aymaran Peers
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Hola Amigos,

   We have settled pretty much into our house now in Copacabana, Bolivia. I bought a cellular modem from the largest mobile phone provider in Bolivia (Tigo). It has amazing service in the entire country. A prob is that mountains can make service dead or slow ares. Our house is in a bowl (except for lake titicaca on one side) that brings service down to a couple of ticks. good for email, but bad for uploading to websites and skype.
   The boulders and rise of land behind the house is sacred Incan ground, the mountain ridge to one side of the house is a site of one of the last Incan stand-offs with the Spanish. From the front we see the town and the Cathedral which rings its bells at 5:45 every moning as a call to 6 am mass and our wake-up call. the forth direction has a view of Lake Titicaca. Sheep, pigs and cows are herded down our street past our house, and up the stairs through the Incan sacred grounds in the morning on their way to pasture and then in the evneing back again. In our courtyard there are roses and sweetpeas, and geraniums, and poppies. they never go dormant so they are all huge. one rose is about 15 feet tall with a main stem of about 3" diameter. Oh there is an apple tree in our garden that has apples that look unblemished and ready to harvest!
The house is great. 3 bedrooms about 12 x 12 feet each. A decent kitchen. Lr/Dr about 14 x 20. An interior atrium with skylight, and 2 bathrooms. I bought a huge piece of eucalyptus tree and had the guy mill it into 4 planks 8 feet by 12 inches by 1.25 inches thick. I am going to make our table from this. The wood is red and brown with black and yellow accents. Beautiful. Been improvising alot for furnishing. We get wooden fruit crates from the market and stack them under our counters for use as shelving and use the apple tree to hang socks after they've been washed in the basin in the couryard. 
   Been traveling alot....Puno, LaPaz, Huacuyo. Visiting mission work-sites and making plans for when we get settled in
   Copa is an amazing town. Festival capital of Bolivia. Last weekend there was a festival to honor the Virgin of the Lake. The parade of 100s of bands and 1000s of dancers (like Mardi gras on steroids). We have been told to expect this type of festival several time a year. 
   We are taking Castilian (they dont call it spanish) lessons in Copa three days a week. Oh, we are learning some Aymaran too. Kamisaki = hello, how are you. Waliki = good, fine, doing well. Hikisingama = goodbye. Yospagada = thankyou. Karukama = see you tomorrow. Waliki Hootahra = Welcome! Manka = food (very important). We also learned that that Copacabana comes from Aymaran: Kaha Kahuana and means loosely: lake scenic spot. 
   On the request of our friend Moises Condori we are teaching English one day every two weeks to 13 to 16 year old students at the Instituto Americano in LaPaz. It has been an incredibly uplifting expierience. One of the student's big questions is "How much does a Nintendo WII cost in the States?"....young people the same the world over. This expierience has really help accelerate our learning of Spanish.
   We have been lucky with parasites even though we've had many a communitty meal served out of buckets into our bowls in handfuls and eaten with no utensils and then served pop in a plastic cup that is shared by 8 to 10 people. The communities we've toured have grandiose plans for our limited funds, and we are working long hours every day meeting with communitty and church leaders, going over construction plans and reviewing needs and implementation of training sessions for local peoples. Out of neccesity we are learning Spanish fast.  We are becoming known in town so people actually stop and say hi when we are out and about, and business owners are not trying to sell us stuff at tourist prices as often.
   As we are yearning for contact with home, and familiar people, we would love to here from you. Also, consider coming down to work with us. We think you would find it an amazing and rewarding expierience.

Bendiciones y chao,
Debbie and Jeff