Sixty Days in La Paz – and I’m in love…

29 Sep

The Queñoa Tree, with its beautiful red bark, grows higher than any other tree in the world.

We’ve been at post for two months now. A lot has happened during this period, especially regarding our foreign service community, worldwide. We’ve got friends posted everywhere. We’ve got friends working back home. We’ve kept in contact, ensuring that all of us are well, safe, sane… We’re all, somehow, moving on with our lives. It’s our work, our lifestyle, our choice… And we’re proud of the choices we’ve made.

These past two months have been filled with cultural, linguistic, social adjustments for our family. For the five of us. Our oldest son is an active first grader, and thrilled with the discoveries that the ability to read has brought him. We, as parents, are pleased and keep encouraging his success. Our middle daughter has a more intense social life than her parents do, often invited by her kindergarden peers to play dates and birthday gatherings. And our baby girl, who’s approaching her second birthday, is simply enjoying life, chasing birds in the yard, having picnics on the grass with her mama, exercising her constantly learned Spanish skills

All in all, we’re fine. And as I stated earlier, I’m in love. I’m in love with this new, calm, high-altitude, slow-paced life. I’m in love with the possibility to spend more time with our kids, and to be more involved with their school, offering my help and skills to the American community.

And I’m in love with our yard, our Fall-colored plants (even though it’s Spring here!), the eco-projects I’ve been working on, and, most of all, I’m in love with our tree, the typical Andean Queñua (or Kenua) – the first thing I see in the morning, from our bedroom window. I wrote about it before [excerpt below], and, as a way to bring my mind back to good things, a strategy to temporarily forget about recent unhappy events, I decided to create a memory of this one natural feature, painting it on canvas. We still don’t have our HHE, nor my brushes, paints, but a simple problem that was easily solved. So, in order to honor my ‘newest love’, here it is, the recent creation, with a few other ‘creations of mine’… and I’m proud of all of them! ♥

Cheers to building memories!

Feeling very proud of my ‘creations’, right now…


[From original post about the Queñua Tree]

[Español] La keñua o queñoa de altura (Polylepis tarapacana) es una especie de planta con flor de la familia de las rosáceas (Rosaceae). La especie se distribuye a lo largo de la Coordillera Andina desde Perú hasta Chile, incluyendo Bolivia.

La especie se encuentra en floración entre diciembre-enero y marzo-abril. Fructifica abundantemente, en racimos. Parte de las hojas y de las últimas ramificaciones, cae durante el invierno; cuando el nuevo follaje está completamente desarrollado, se desprenden las hojas restantes.

La especie se distribuye en un rango elevacional entre 3900 hasta 4700 m, algunos individuos aislados pueden llegar hasta 5200 msnm en el Parque Nacional Sajama. Es conocida mundialmente porque en su distribución la especie alcanza más altitud que cualquier otro árbol en el mundo. Queñoales eres una comunidad vegetal en que es dominante la Queñoa (Polylepis spp.), árbol característico del Altiplano. Los troncos, de madera dura, son generalmente retorcidos, y están cubiertos por una corteza exfoliante, formada por múltiples láminas de color castaño rojizo.

[English] Polylepis woodland is a distinctive, high-elevation Andean forest habitat that occurs above cloud level (3,500-5,000 m) as patches of woody vegetation surrounded by paramo (e.g., Festuca species) or puna (e.g., Ichu species) grass and shrub (e.g., Baccharis species) communities. These high-altitude woodlands tend to be relicts of a once-widespread habitat and comprise mainly evergreen trees of the genus Polylepis (Rosaceae) which are highly drought tolerant. The trunk and branches are laminated with brown-reddish bark that peels off in paper-like sheets as a protection against extremely low temperatures, and often have mosses and lichens growing on them.

Learning something new everyday here! 😮


Posted by on September 29, 2012 in ART, BOLIVIA, expat, foreign service, photography


Tags: , , , , , ,

12 responses to “Sixty Days in La Paz – and I’m in love…

  1. mirana

    October 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Hi! Nice painting! I actually want to return to painting activity too. Congrats! I know how difficult it is to “return” once you left it behind. Skills get rusty…and disappointing to see a mediocre work telling how far you lagged behind. Please continue… you have great inspirations over there! Have to find mine again!


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      October 15, 2012 at 11:24 pm

      Thank you very much, Mirana… you’re totally right about being/getting ‘rusty’… my greatest inspiration are my kids, and they’re also my best supporters… they’re like, “now mom, can I paint mine?”… 😮 Thanks for stopping by and checking the blogpost out… glad you enjoyed it!


  2. ioanna aggelidaki

    October 3, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Awwww, the shot where your kids hold your painting is so lovely…. you have done a good job, in all aspects! 🙂


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      October 3, 2012 at 8:51 am

      Thank you, thank you! As I state, I’m pretty proud of my “creations”… 😮 Thanks for stopping by!


  3. adinparadise

    September 30, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Beautiful children, and gorgeous artwork. What an exciting challenge for you and your family. Enjoy! 🙂


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      September 30, 2012 at 10:42 am

      Thank you so very much! It’s great to see our efforts are being appreciated! 😮


  4. Lucid Gypsy

    September 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    It sounds like you’re going to have a great time there, perfect!


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      September 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks, Gilly! At least found a lot of things to keep myself busy… and sane! 😮 Thanks for stopping by!


  5. Melissa van Herksen

    September 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    you are making me miss la paz even more!


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      September 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      You see? I hope you’re adjusting well to Chile… but, seriously, you guys should be here… Leonel still needs a good tennis partner… and Cesar would love to have Luka (and Sam!) around!!! 😮


  6. Angeline M

    September 29, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Beautiful painting! Your yard looks lovely, I’d want to be out there all the time.
    Much happiness in your new home. And I thank you and your husband for the American goodwill you take to these countries.


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      September 29, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Ohhh, Angeline… Thank you so much for your kind words! We’re trying our best to adjust to new life, and we’re enjoying the experience. Painting seems to be a way to express our feelings, and I still have a long way to go, but it’s a nice start. Began last post, in Recife, Brazil, with a couple of canvases. Let’s see what the beautiful Bolivian landscape will bring as inspiration… And thanks again, for all your support. Much appreciated! Take care, R.



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