Cristo de la Concordia

     Yesterday was a holiday and Juana told us that she wanted to make sure that we had an adventure.  She LOVES to get out in the city, walk around, go on short trips, etc.  We were trying to figure out what to do and we were all lost on ideas...so we got out a book on Bolivia that someone else left here at Juana and Sandra's apartment.  I was reading through ideas of what to do in the city and saw a paragraph on the Cristo!!!!!!  Perfect idea for a day trip :)

Trufi Ride

     Juana didn't want to take a Taxi because she said that they are too expensive...it costs about $2 for all of us to get across town (I know...what a rip off)!!!  So, we hopped in a Trufi (basically a mini-van) and all rode to the Cristo for a little over $1.  It's amazing to live in a city where you don't need a car and you can get everywhere you need to go for SUPER cheap!

We used to take the stairs...

     When I was growing up here in Bolivia, we had visitors from the USA pretty often...they would usually visit in teams from churches.  My family would always take them to the Cristo while they were here.  Some of us would be dropped off at the bottom of the hill and hike up over 2,000 stairs to meet the rest of our group.  It was always SO hard and we would whine and wish that we had gone in the car, but it was always so fun at the same time!!!  Having guests from the USA was always the best and we enjoyed every minute with them...especially if they brought American candy and peanut butter (just being honest).  One time, a team from North Metro Church in Georgia brought me a green American Eagle shirt and I treasured it for YEARS.  I wore it as often as it was clean and always remembered how surprised I felt at their generosity and thoughtfulness.  When you are living overseas, little American gifts are amazing!!!  If you have friends and family living in another country...treat them well...spoil them.  Anyway...long story short...its no longer safe to take the stairs, so the city built Cable Cars so that people can get to the top without being mugged :)  Yay!!!

Riding up to the Cristo

Riding up to the Cristo

     Isn't the Cochabamba Valley beautiful?!?!?!!?  Surrounded by the Andes mountains and known as The City of Eternal Spring...can't get much better than this!!!  The older I get, the more I am amazed that God blessed our family by allowing us to grow up in a place like this.  When I was younger, I thought it was totally normal and every one was doing it...I was living an adventure without even realizing it :)

Our apartment is behind us somewhere...

     Cochabamba is the 4th largest city in Bolivia with a little over 1 million people!!! I took this Panoramic photo, but I'm pretty sure it only captured about 1/8 of the city...

The Cochabamba Valley

The Cristo

     In the summer of 1997, my family spent time in Peru and Bolivia.  We climbed the Cristo and took a photo right here, with us all six sitting on these rocks behind Nick and me.  It's special to return to a place and take a photo again to see how much the city has changed and you have grown...at that time I was 11 years old...now I'm 29 (and married)!!!  Needless to say...a lot has changed!!!

Taking a photo in front of "THE" rock

Juana and Sandra

Trying to get the Cristo in the photo

     Once we came down from the Cristo, we had already planned that we would eat lunch at Los Castores because we were all craving Salteñas.  Juana loves to walk all over the city and assured us that it was only a few blocks...Sandra, however, doesn't like to walk that much and kept saying that it is too far.  So, we decided to make a bet, walk and count the city blocks.  23 blocks later, we made it.  We were all exhausted and told Juana that we can no longer trust her distance perception.

Salteñas for lunch

     After lunch, we still had to walk home.  Juana was (of course) happy and said, "But it's not far"...Nick, Sandra and I gave her "the look" and we all burst out laughing.

The river during the rainy season

     This river runs right through the center of town, so we cross it almost overtime we walk somewhere.  During the dry season, there is barely any water, nothing green and lots of homeless people and animals live under the bridges.  However, during the rainy season, it looks more like this and can sometimes flood, drowning the people and animals who seek shelter.

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