What's up with Expats and Holidays?
What do Bolivians Think About Halloween?
Find Out About a New Place I Discovered!

Wow, with October we begin the last quarter of 2009 and with major holidays right around the corner, I want to dedicate the first portion of this newsletter to expatriates living in Bolivia. I know many people think we expats lead very exotic lives as world travelers. What they might not know is that holidays can be the most lonely and depressing times for those of us who are living very far away from our extended families. Actually, every day can be that way for some.

What is an expatriate?

The other day my six-year-old said to me “Mommy, what’s an ex-pay-drip? The other day you were talking to a lady in English and you guys were saying you’re ex-pay-drips but you were both totally dry!”

Now, he’s handling two languages at a time so he tends to get confused with words in English quite often (he thinks “isolated” means “frozen”) so it took me a few seconds to figure out what he was asking….only a very few seconds since I had only spoken to one English-speaking person that entire week.

According to WiseGeek.com (he must know, he’s wise and he’s a geek) “An expatriate is someone who has chosen to live in a country other than the one in which he or she legally resides…An expatriate is different than an immigrant in that most expatriates do not plan on residing in their new country permanently…Immigrants, by contrast, usually plan on residing permanently in a new country and acquiring permanent citizenship there. The word expatriate comes from the Latin ex meaning “out of”, and patria meaning “country”.”

I’m somewhere between an expat and an immigrant. I keep leaving Bolivia - but I keep coming back.

Because of this, I have two large sections on BoliviaBella dedicated just to those of you who live here or plan to. Please take some time to check out my Living in Bolivia and Living Overseas sections on the site now. The first has a continually growing amount of information about living in and moving to Bolivia, specifically the Santa Cruz area and the second has more resources on general expat living. I work really hard to contact expat experts who can provide us everything we need to help us improve our chances of loving our lives abroad.

The same goes for all of you who are Bolivian expatriates living elsewhere. Please do check out these sections. The books and other resources I’m busy listing there just as easily apply to you. Even thought I’m not truly Bolivian, I’ve lived here for over 30 years so when I move back to the U.S. I miss Bolivia like crazy! I really really (believe me – REALLY) know and understand those feelings of loss and loneliness! You’ll find resources like this:

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My friend Heather Markel is a Culture Transition Specialist. She’s also experienced the expat life, having lived in France and other places. She’s got some great tips for learning to fit in, enjoy your life no matter where you live, find friends when you think it’s not going to happen, and much more.

Heather has a super uplifting video message for you here.

Find out how she’s helping expats learn to get over the fear of new places, eliminate relocation depression from their lives, prepare in advance for what they’ll face overseas, and much more. Companies and other organizations are FINALLY beginning to take notice of the importance of actually preparing their personnel culturally for overseas life. It's really TOO BAD this wasn't done when I was growing up at ALL.

What is a Third Culture Kid? (TCK)

“A third culture kid is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture." TCKs are also expats. But they may go through even harsher feelings of loss and lack of identity than their parents. Their parents know where they’re from and usually have a strong sense of belonging in their “homeland”. They probably chose to live abroad once they were adults, and most move due to their jobs. But TCKs often don’t have the chance to get “rooted” anywhere and spend a lot of time moving around during their childhood, as I did. This means many of us have little or no sense of belonging in what our parents consider to be “our homeland”. Our country of birth may be just that – somewhere we were born but have hardly ever lived. TCKs often feel like strangers in the country their parents refer to as “back home”.


And now, thanks to the web, there are entire websites and blogs dedicated just to us like GoSouthExpat.com, the website I’m building just for you, TCKs and expats (and me ;-)

So enough about us already and back to the upcoming holidays:

When you’re living in Bolivia, or anywhere overseas really, one of the best ways to help yourself feel at home is to continue celebrating the traditions and holidays you usually celebrate with your extended family “back home”. Many of these are holidays you miss a lot because they aren’t celebrated in Bolivia or South America (like Halloween or Thanksgiving). Thanks to the Internet you can easily send your families a centerpiece, bouquet, or other gift to help them get through the holidays without you and remind them you’re thinking of them and missing them too.

In addition, if you live here in Santa Cruz you can order our traditional Pumpkin Pie for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas from my bakery NutriDiva. I bake by order only and am taking advance online orders now. The price includes the porcelain pie plate! Check out this and the other goodies for the holidays here in Santa Cruz and contact me directly from that page.

I also put up a page on my site that explains in Spanish what Halloween is, and how and why we celebrate it. More and more Bolivians are beginning to celebrate Halloween and as it gradually (very gradually) becomes more popular, especially among kids and teens, the debate about allowing kids to celebrate Halloween is getting strong and loud. Many Bolivians believe that on Halloween we actually practice Satanic rituals.

So here’s the history of Halloween – porqué y cómo celebramos Halloween in Spanish for anyone who’s curious to know why so many American kids (and adults) get all googly on October 31st.

Oooh! That just reminded me of something!

ATTENTION UK EXPATS!!! Speaking of Halloween… Boy you guys sure chose one bummer of a day for your tax DEAD-line! I mean really guys...when what’s-his-name said “The only two sure things in life are death and taxes” I don’t think he meant you should try to kill two birds with one stone...LOL!

"The tax filing season for UK expats is rapidly approaching its finish. The deadline for submitting your tax refund application is the 31st of October 2009. We recommend that you contact the expat experts of Taxback.com in order to fit in the timeframe."

Featured cool new place I found out about...

Two weeks ago I visited a place just a few minutes out of town called Quinta Victoria. So enamored am I with this place that I want to be sure you all hear about it and don’t miss the new page where I wrote all about it. Quinta Victoria is a family-owned private property just 3 kilometers past the little town of Porongo. Owner Mario Andrade and his wife Norma Velasco built this weekend country home with all the amenities a quality bed-and breakfast should have. It’s only 30 minutes from downtown Santa Cruz and a great place to do something new and different with your family, take your “media naranja” for a romantic getaway, or even hold a company conference or seminar. It’s got a pool and a volleyball court, room for up to 20 people to sleep, a fully equipped office with a computer and Internet, and much more! It’s a great place to get out of the city. It’s cozy and beautiful and a wonderful option for day trips, weekends, vacations or holidays.

Quinta Victoria is offering an additional discount EXCLUSIVELY to visitors who mention they heard about it on BoliviaBella – so read more about it here, see my photos too, and check out something new and lovely to do locally.

Don't Miss this in October and November!

Here are some of the most important upcoming events for October and November that you should NOT miss if you’re here!

Alasitas – ongoing through October 23rd

Julio Iglesias – in concert in Santa Cruz only. October 17 OK personally I love Enrique but I saw Julio in concert in Houston a way long time ago and it was very good.

Chacarera Festival in Villamontes. November 6-7 Personally my favorite Bolivian music. It’s very lively and joyful! I love this dance.

Oktoberfest (in November hahaha). November 7 Beer, beer and more beer. Take kids early. Leave them at home after 5:30.

Reina Hispanoamericana 2009. October 20-30 If you’re into modeling and fashion shows Bolivia is hosting this year.

Stay informed throughout the month

The Message Board is where I post messages about things I think you might be interested in throughtout the month. Anything goes as long as it’s useful! Check it out daily – things change here quickly. You can also sign up to my RSS feed to get updates each and every time I add or modify a page. It’s the best way to stay informed between issues of this Ezine! You'll find interesting news, great flight deals, reviews of new books about Bolivia, highlighted articles, and anything else that's useful to Bolivia tourists and expats.

Help Bella Raise Funds for Wanides.org

Wanides.org (Association of Washingtonians for Needy Bolivian Children) is a non-profit organization established by my aunt Margarita Hassenteufel and a group of Bolivian women who live in the Washington D.C. area. They raise funds every year to donate hospital equipment, clothing, and many other types of items to children's charities and children's hospitals in Bolivia. I just had to be a part of this somehow so I pledged to donate 20% of ALL sales made at Bella Store to Wanides. Visit their website for info. Check out all my Bolivia designs at Bella Store.

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Welcome to all our new subscribers!

We had a lot of new BELLA NEWS subscribers this month - welcome to the BoliviaBella online community. For those of you who don't yet know, "Bella" is actually an American living in Bolivia. She works as a professional translator and interpreter and also spends countless hours designing this site just for you! Find out who is Bella really??

As you can see, we've been very busy working super hard to grow and improve BoliviaBella.com and make it the number one English site on Bolivia. Parts of the site are also being translated into Spanish due to the large number of visitors we have from Spanish-speaking countries. We're always looking to improve - this site is FOR YOU so be sure to let us know what you want to see included on BoliviaBella.com - we're not on our way to NUMERO UNO for nothing - we're working very hard to get there!! Please direct your comments to webmaster "Bella". Tell Bella what you want!


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