|The mountains around Cochabamba|
As always, it is obvious from the moment you approach Cochabamba in the airplane that it is a different place from what you are used to. The city of over one million is at an altitude of 8,000 or so feet and ringed by mountains. We were there in winter, but the weather was in the 70s every day, though cooler in the evenings. It is called the City of Eternal Spring for good reason!
|Susie ready to catch the ball outside one of the houses|
|Bárbara all grown up and dressed up|
It was a wonderful evening where we all got dressed up, especially the 10 girls who wore custom dresses, makeup, and fancy hair with tiaras. Everyone from La Villa was there, from the littlest ones on through those in college as well as the staff and their spouses. It was like a family reunion for the extended Amistad family. The evening was a great time to catch up with some people I had not seen in years, renew friendships, and meet new people who shared a common love for the children of La Villa.
|Ten beautiful girls with their cakes and candles|
|Susie and I with one of the quinceañera girls|
|Alison dancing to her heart's content|
I think that is why I love going to Bolivia. Whatever my failings and limitations, while I'm there, I feel part of the loving, extended Amistad family.
Unfortunately, the trip ended with both of us getting sick. So, the transition back to normal life in the States was harder than it usually is. Regardless, the memories will sustain me for quite some time. I’m already trying to figure out when my next trip will be.