All it took was three cars, five hours, and a lot of dust to move from the desert of La Paz to the jungle of Caranavi. We ended up coming down on Wednesday. The view from the “death road” is amazing. It used to be the most dangerous road in the world, but they have fixed the worst parts. It is amazing to see the clouds rising up from underneath you as they (the clouds) move rapidly through the mountain canyons. We ended up having two taxi drivers that we knew (Well, I didn’t know either one, but I knew our driver’s daughter, Cindy).
Since we got back to Caranavi we have been settling in and meeting with people. Yesterday we saw our friends Paul and Jay, who were so amazing to Kindred in 2007. They have a bird I really like, who says things like “hola,” and “wowowow,” and also has a funny laugh. I got him talking and he almost seemed to remember me. Do birds have a good memory? I think I just wanted him to remember me.
Today we had school in our new classroom and then I went to the neighbor’s property. The neighbors are called Casa De Esperanza, one part of a large orphanage in Caranavi. The kids came up to me as soon as we got out of the car. What’s my name, where am I from, have I been there before, etc. Some of them remembered Kindred and even one of our songs. Yes, trompetas-may it live on forever. I hope to spend some time each week there at the orphanage, but we shall see. I need to talk to the directors before I know anything for certain. We went there to deliver some stuff and then take them down the hill to school. I rode in the back of the big truck surrounded by about twenty girls (we were in the girls’ truck). The girls were singing and laughing and chatting. They told me everything they knew in English, which is always really cute. I was completely surrounded by kids as we were jostled down our “driveway” which is a 15 minute ride on a dirt and rock road down switchbacks on a steep hill. We have a great view of the mountains and jungle, but it’s a long and hot drive or walk down to the town.
As we had school today I kept looking out the windows of the classroom. It seems surreal to be here amidst the green vegetation, the beautiful hills, the hot climate while I should be in the midst of another cold winter…I love it.
As we are getting settled into our house, which will be ours for awhile, it is good to be living more simply. It took me about an hour to unpack, which included a lot more cleaning than unpacking. It is a blessing not to be burdened with stuff. It is more of a blessing to be surrounded by Bolivian children from the Casa de Esperanza. It is also a blessing to be teaching again. Moses has improved drastically in his reading in just the last week. It is beautiful to watch a child learn. It is also pretty fun to learn from the kids.
Though it is a challenge to be here, I am glad for it, and am so thankful for the opportunity to meet new people and experience new things.