November is my favorite month in Bolivia!

November is my favorite month here in Bolivia. It's SPRING time! And as everyone in the U.S. and other regions up in the Northern Hemisphere are getting ready hunker down for the winter, we're getting ready to face a hot and muggy summer (also known as the rainy season). Of course, Christmas is a little weird without snow but you get used to it (for those of you who don't know I'm originally from Minnesota). Big difference!!!

I'm feeling a little nostalgic with the holidays coming up. I'll miss like Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family so I thought I'd share with you a little about how I plan to spend my Thanksgiving here in Santa Cruz.

First of all, being a U.S. holiday, we don't actually celebrate Thanksgiving here. In Bolivia Thursday the 27th will be business as usual. But I, being the pecan-pie-sort-of-person that I am, will NOT be deterred! I always celebrate Thanksgiving in Bolivia, even if I have to make some compromises. So being as everyone will be working that day, and Friday too, I'm making Saturday my Thanksgiving. Better late than never, I say, especially when there are pecans involved.

I generally invite a bunch of friends and go all out with a very traditional Thanksgiving meal. Before dinner we all sit down and I tell my friends, and especially their children, the American Thanksgiving story and why we continue to give thanks for our blessings 200 years later. Then, during dinner as everyone is oohing and aahing about my hilarious candied yams with pink marshmallows (I know, I can NEVER find white ones here!) I quietly go around the table and place three small cards and a pen in front of each person. Dinners are usually long in Bolivia so I ask each person, as they're conversing and enjoying, to write down on each card one thing they are thankful for, without including their names.

When dinner is finished we clear the table and I serve a very formal dessert (pecan pie and thick, sweet Bolivian coffee). We turn out the lights, light up a zillion candles for calming effects, and everyone puts their "I'm thankful for..." cards in a basket. Then we mix them all up and I begin to pass the basket around. As it goes around the table each person takes out one card and reads it aloud so we can all hear what each person is thankful for.

The first time I celebrated Thanksgiving this way my friends loved it so much Thanksgiving has become a tradition for us here too. I try to invite at least one new family each time, so the tradition can spread. This year there will be five families gathered and I've got a LOT of cooking and baking to do!

So what am I thankful for this year? Many many things! But among these is the world that has opened up to me through my website so let me thank YOU and all my Bella readers this year for helping make THE top website about Bolivia in the world in English. We're now in the top 1% of ALL websites in the world and that means I'm reaching my most important goal which is to project Bolivia to the world in a positive light!

I've "met" a LOT of very cool people online because of my site and I get so many great messages and letters - I just cannot WAIT to get up each morning and check my mail, design new pages for you all, and see who'll join the Bella community next.

Thank you everyone!!!!!

Please join me in sending Bolivia some positive vibes:

Solidarizate! Envía vibraciones positivas a Bolivia:

Join or start a discussion topic about Santa Cruz:

News from Bolivia

“I will laugh at the world. For though I am nature’s greatest miracle am I not still a mere grain tossed about by the winds of time? Will my concern for this day not seem foolish ten years hence? These words will carry me through every adversity:
This too shall pass.”

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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 about your friendly neighborhood webmaster here:

Who is Bella really??

As you can see, we've been very busy working super hard to grow and improve 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 - 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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