Sunday there was a bunch of family in town so we decided to make pancakes for breakfast. Everyone here was excited for trying American food. We decided to make banana pancakes both because bananas are awesome here and because it might help make up for the flavored we were missing, couldn’t find vanilla or ground cinnamon. They have heard of pancakes and call them Panqueque (pan Kay Kay )
I used this recipe: http://iowagirleats.com/2012/10/31/my-brothers-banana-pancakes/
this is how you make pancakes in Bolivia
Wait for Internet to get fast enough to load page with recipe
translate list of ingredients to Spanish
send husband and brother to store to buy
they return 5 min later (store is only downstairs and a few blocks away)
need weights instead of amounts because you buy flour/sugar/etc in the amount you need
start cooking, try to find a pan big enough to cook more than one pancake at a time
light stove with match
burn first batch because pan is too hot
cook 4 more batches
put pancakes in pan for everyone to eat with coffee and jam (no syrup here, they eat with fingers like bread)
cook rest of batches
more relatives come
make another batch of batter(triple it again ). Use packs of squeeze applesauce from my traveling snacks to sub for oil/butter because we ran out after first 3 batches
Burn first batch
realize they are taking forever to cook because there is no flame on burner. Re light and try again
realize people are eating the half doughy burned ones that I had set on a towel
6 batches of pancakes later there are no leftovers
I think after reading yesterday’s post we think we went to the waterfalls on Saturday 🙂 well either way it was awesome. We are getting a bit behind on updates because the Internet is pretty iffy in The town of Coroico.
Many family members came to Coroico for the weekend on Friday night and Saturday/Sunday to see us and Richard’s brother Marco and parents. I can officially say I now understand what it was like for Richard when he met my whole family and a bunch of extended family from both sides at Josh and Candaces wedding a few years ago. Holy big family Batman!
We had fun going to the waterfalls, riding in back of the truck and when you get to the first waterfall, it goes over the road ( think river) and it pours over the rocks, which you drive over maybe a foot deep. cars are stopped there, not because of stalling, but people will pull out a rag and start bathing the car. Car wash at its finest, or washing clothes, hair, etc.
I thought it was kinda funny to wash the cars, then continue driving on the dirt roads. I suppose it is the same thing as when we wash cars in the middle of winter :).
We took a short hike, up to the falls, and again I was amazed at Tio Samuel and how spry he is for a 70 year old. Didia brought a bunch of apples, peaches, and prickly pear for snacks. The fruit here is good but needs to be washed and peeled to be safe to eat. Prickly pear are bright pink here and dark pink inside. I have only ever gotten green ones in my produce basket back home, so I didn’t know what they were.
Other fruit new to the kids and I are chirimoya and maracuya. The maracuya we liked as juice but thought was sour to eat. Chirimoya tastes like a cross between a pineapple, a strawberry, and banana. Very sweet and white inside. I’ll try to add photos later.
On Friday we went to a wild animal refuge that is here. It isn’t too far, maybe 20 minutes by car, so we crammed 11 of in the pick up truck and went for the morning. We were blown away by the variety of animals we saw, very different than the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado. We saw a bunch of different types of monkeys, parrots, toucans, turtles, lizards, copybarra, and snakes.
We walked around a bit then got the kids an ice cream before hopping back into the bed of the pick up for a bumpy ride home. Good news! Found out the girls don’t get car sick if they are in the back of the truck bed! 😉
We came back to have lunch at Casa de Mi Abuela, a restaurant that featured a pork dish Covered in a green sauce I can not remember the name of with rice and yucca. All 3 kids think yucca tastes like sweet potato And they think all the rice here is amazing (their mother can not make good rice.) Also a dish made of shredded beef with hominy.
Isaac thinks the fact that you drink Coke with every meal here is awesome. After lunch we went back to grab some towels etc to go to the waterfalls near here. La Jalancha is the name of the big one here.
We stopped, paid to use the restroom (still cracks me that you pay for toilet paper) and Walked up the short hill to the waterfall. So. Very. Cool.
On Thursday, Richard’s dad wanted to go to Coripata, a town about 2 hours away, to see if we could find any family of his. He used to live, go to school, and work there so he has many memories in this area.
Unfortunately, the girls were not feeling great and on the way a bit of travelers illness/car sickness caught up with both of them. Riding 2 hours on bumpy dirt rides in a van packed with 11 people was a bit of a stretch, but we are thankful for our pediatrician who thought to send us with Meds for that, and the prayers of so many who literally prayed them well.
We walked around Coripata and met Papi Hugo’s aunt, who cared for him as a boy. We had fresh empanadas and explored the town.
We saw lots of waterfalls and butterflies along the way. Very cool views and awesome adventures. Richard and I are so proud of all of our kids, they have been rock star travelers.
The first full day in Coroico we woke to pouring rain. It was a blessing to cool off the humidity so we could sleep a bit.
We unpacked a bit and had some instant oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. Peaches are sweet and in season here and bananas grow everywhere so we enjoyed getting to eat something fresh after 2 days of travel. People don’t really eat anything here in the morning, just coffee and a bit of bread.
We were invited to Richard’s cousin’s Rut (Ruth) y Rodo’s (Rodolfo)house for lunch/dinner. We took a taxi because of the rain. There is only 1 main meal of the day here. We were served soup made with corn and peppers Laua, it was so delicious! Served with platano. Then we had a pasta dish for segundo, made with onions and sardines and I’m not sure what else. It was pretty tasty and I would not have guessed there were sardines, if Richard hadn’t said so. It is a favorite dish of Richard’s dad.
We were treated to a mini concert after lunch, as this family are professional musicians. Mandolin, guitar, so cool! We will have to post video when we get home, the Internet is too slow here I think.
My favorite memory of this day was Richard’s Tio Samuel telling a story, I guess they used to fish here with dynamite, which is now illegal for obvious reasons, but the friend of his used to wrap the dynamite in clay, then newspaper. He said why do you wrap it in newspaper, the friend said, of course, because the fish come and read the papers and then they explode! This was so funny, for me because I have never gotten the punchline of a joke in Spanish before 😉 Sure is funnier when you don’t have to wait for the translation.
Then we went to Richard’s mom’s brother, Tio Abdon’s house for coffee. I loved that he was sitting outside and waiting for us on the bench by his house.
The kids loved his house, it has a cement open area they played in. And apparently broke the neighbor’s clothesline, but that is a story for another day.
We were all pretty exhausted after traveling for 18 hours and only sleeping about 5-6 on Monday night. The awesome sleeper on the plane award goes to Aliyah. We were thankful to Richard’s cousins who let us stay at their beautiful home in La Paz. Richard and I shared a twin bed and the girls and Isaac slept in the room next door. Girls shared a bed also and everyone slept great. We woke up to amazing views of Iimani (the volcano) and a sunny day (it is cool in La Paz, similar climate to many mountain towns in fall.)
Richard’s 74 year old Uncle, Tio Samuel, offered to drive us the road to Coroico. This drive is extremely treacherous in parts and where the “road of death” is. We did not take that road because fog was rolling in as we moved down towards Coroico and it would be too dangerous. Also it is usually busy now with mountain bikers. We saw an amazing zip line as we were getting into the more tropical part. We stopped to buy fresh bread along the way, and to have ice cream( and to use the bathroom, which we had to pay for, and we were handed toilet paper, a few squares each with payment.) by a waterfall where bananas and avocados as big as grapefruit grow. This drive included sweatshirts, sweaters, mountains, llamas, amazing cliffs, fog, clouds, so many waterfalls, hundreds of stray dogs, and by the time we got near Coroico, sticky humid and warm sunshine (think FL in springtime) and tropical flowers, lush vegetation. All in 3 hours. We are now staying at a home that Richard’s other cousin lives in and his parents are staying upstairs. They have a 5 year old girl, Cielo, who is Aliyah’s new BFF. The weather was so hot and sticky it was a bit difficult to sleep and the power went out for some reason before bed. But it was starting to storm and the mosquitos and bugs are pretty persistent so needing to sleep wth windows shut trumps being cool. (There are not screens on many windows here)
Answered prayers include safe drive without car seats and seatbelts on a crazy road, more family to stay with, gifts of invitations for every meal and coffee each day. Not too many mosquito bites, and getting to visit so many uncles and cousins here. Hearing stories Richard’s parents and siblings are telling are priceless memories we will always treasure.
Our trip started off well with 4 pretty smooth flights from Denver to Miami, Miami to Lima,Peru, Then to Santa Cruz Bolivia and Santa Cruz to La Paz, Bolivia
Kids traveled awesome they slept some on the red eye, marveled at the crazy middle of the night meal service (except Aliyah who slept straight through dinner) and Isaac fell asleep on the table at breakfast.
Answered prayers included; health of all of us, no altitude sickness upon landing in La Paz (the highest airport in the world is basically like being dropped on the top of a 14-er with no chance to aclamate) wonderful places to stay with relatives and safety driving with 11 people in a 5 passenger vehicle sans seat belts or carseats. We went out for dinner the first night at Pollo Copocabana. Which was special because they don’t really eat dinner in Bolivia, they usually just have tea or coffee/pan at about 5pm. Also because this place was a fast food place, famous for its fried chicken and French fries. Imagine Chic Fil A with more salsa.
We did arrive without one suitcase, which wasnt super surprising considering the number of connecting flights. But it arrived a day later which was an awesome bonus. Before we had left La Paz, so Richard’s uncle was able to pick up the suitcase before the 5 of us and his uncle and his brother and all our suitcases crammed into a pick up truck for the 3 hour drive down to Coroico.