News From a Friend in Bolivia

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A little introduction: The letter below is from a friend of mine (a single girl) who is serving in a children’s home in Bolivia. I recieved this the other day and thought that some of you might find it informative and also want to pray for her and the work there. I asked her if I could post her letters on the blog- so here is the first one.

Greetings to all!

Today was a great day! I have to tell you that because my last letter must have sounded rather down. Life here is pretty good – though I really wish that I could skip all the initial adjustments! But let me tell you a little about life here.

A couple of minutes ago the girls came and wanted me to see something, it was another frog in the house. Now these are no ordinary little green frogs, these are ordinary HUMUNGOUS things! Don?t ask me how they ever got in the house, but this is the second one that I put out. The first one – well one evening Renita opens the bathroom door and in the dimness, kicks something with her foot. She sees this huge frog and thinks that the girls are playing a trick on her. And then when everyone acts innocent, I looked, and the thing moved! Both are safely outside now.

And then, they are things like bats that somehow get in the house. Those go out again on their own usually, but the geckos on the walls, they stay to eat the bugs. And after dark, not only are there lightening bugs, but also another bug that seems to shine a flashlight as it flies. But I just love the many butterflies! We walked past a mud puddle that must have had at least a half a dozen different kinds of beautiful butterflies fluttering around. And I can enjoy butterflies flying in and out of the church windows, but wasps?.

But life isn?t all about nature here, though it plays a major part. Take for instance something like doing laundry. We are now in the rainy season and so even if a lot of the time it is hot and sunny, about every day we suddenly get a rain shower. Now I love it when it rains, except when the laundry is supposed to be drying on the fence. Or, like on Monday, when it started raining while I was in the middle of washing. (I started a description of what constitutes the chore of ?doing laundry?, but I think I will save that till next time I write)

Last week I had a rather unexpected initiation to Bolivian travel. I needed to go into Santa Cruz with Ed to work on my legal papers. He comes about 8:30 pm, and we go into Concepcion (about half an hour in the pickup). Part way there we meet up with these folks pushing their cycle. Ed stops and we find out that their chain broke, so they load the cycle on the back of the pickup and we take them along. We drop them off in town and go to the bus station only to find out there are no seats left. Well, Ed says that we will go to the corner and get a bus there. So he drops me off at the corner and goes to park the pickup somewhere. When he gets back, we wait for the bus, but all the buses are full and they will not let us on. We wait on the other side of the street for more buses ? and one after another, they are all full. Finally about 11:30 one says that we may be in the aisle till the next town, San Ramon (about 2 hours). Ed stands, but I end up sitting down on the floor in the front because there is a little step there. Then it starts raining and the water drips down right by me. I am so glad that I had a black skirt! And when we get to San Ramon it is raining so hard that Ed asks if we can stay on. About half an hour later, the bus stops. There is a blockade. We are stopped from about 2:00 am till 5:30 am, and there are 4 of us on this bus that do not have seats. I think the blockade had to do with gas, and about daylight I guess they got something worked out. We finally got to Santa Cruz at about 8:30am. It was quite the night!

In Santa Cruz, we went to the lawyer?s office and the plan was that he would take me to the International Police dept to do paper work while Ed did other things, and then Ed would come back there to get me. Well, the lawyer had broke his leg playing soccer, so he made sure that we had the papers we needed, and then Ed and I went. It worked out fine except that Ed didn?t get his stuff done. We then went back to the bus station and Ed got me my ticket. I sat down all by my lonesome to wait for 2 hours till the bus came, and then rode that bus, by myself, 5 hours to Concepcion. It went ok, but I did not enjoy it! Especially when a man comes to collect a fee and I didn?t realize what was going on quick enough, and the guy tried to figure out who I was traveling with. It seemed like EVERYONE was looking at me, and then he never would take my money.

And when I finally get to Conce, I stand and wait to be picked up. I buy some conupe (a kind of cheese roll) there on the corner and eat that. Finally Phil comes on the cycle with Jasmin. I had a short ride on a cycle in Paraguay, but nothing like this! It really felt so fast and exposed and dangerous. I?m sure that I made it hard for him because I was clueless what to do, and then when we had to go through water, we almost spilled twice.

And then I was home again, finally!! It really was quite the experience!

As far as Spanish, I understand more and more, but I am so impatient. The daily living and interaction is so good for me, but learning would be so much faster if I were a naturally talkative person. Too often I gladly resort to silence.

But really, it is feeling good to settle in here. And I thank God that it has not been harder, especially on Sundays. And the one Sunday, well just before church, June hands me a letter that Ed had just brought back from the city. Thanks Dianne!

Phil & Joyce and family

Bertha Dueck went home to Costa Rica for the death of her brother. She is planning to come back, probably in January. I look forward to her being back again. And Phil & Joyce are hoping to move out to Palmarita as soon as things work out for that. At this point they are still here, and I am so glad! And then there is a young fellow, Miguel, from down south of here at Antre Rios who is here to help until Christmas.

God is good!

Jewel

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