I haven’t seen my feet in two days. It’s too cold to take off my socks. In fact, I am wearing two pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, two T-shirts, two long-sleeved shirts, and a jacket.
I haven’t changed my clothes in three days. I don’t notice a smell yet. I haven’t showered or washed my hair in three days, nor do I have any desire to. It’s freezing here, and the water feels like ice.
When I step out of our room, I see a green plain dotted with houses of adobe, mostly only one or two room houses. Beyond the plain that is green because of the potato plants, there are rolling hills. Beyond the rolling hills are sharp, jagged mountains with large areas of snow even though we are in the summer months. The Cordilleras are on the left side of the view, a tall, white mountain pyramids off the plains toward the center of my view, and to my right I see Illimani looming over the city of El Alto, which I can just barely see on the horizon.
I see sheep and cows grazing as the shepherds push them onward. Little plants cover the plains, mostly potatoes, but also alfalfa, little brown plants that turn circles when you pick them, and well-chewed grass.
I feel like I have finally arrived in Bolivia. These people, this culture, this lifestyle, this landscape, these people’s clothing, these red cheeks, these happy, shy smiles… I love it here. I am finally on an adventure again. I feel alive living, sleeping, and evangelizing surrounded by friends. Kindred, Cross Fire, I miss you! There is a slightly different feel to this mission trip than there is on team. This time we are only working in this capacity for 13 days or so. I give it everything, holding nothing back, knowing that our time here is short and I will soon sleep again, shower again, work my normal job again.
Today my quiet time with God was filled with kids. My lunch was spent enjoying three year old Ani, the daughter of our main contact here. I learned a lot about Compassion, International today. We had a program for the parents of the sponsored kids this morning and then gave out the school supplies provided by Compassion sponsors. I learned that some of my friends from CEC were sponsored as kids! I also learned that one of my CEC friends works for Samaritan’s Purse in the Bolivian jungle. It is so cool to see the continuation of these two projects here in Bolivia, as I have seen much work for both in the United States.
We had a youth group time in the afternoon and watched a Christian movie in the evening. I made some more friends and enjoyed sitting by some of the kids.
A man came up to me after the morning program with a voice recorder to interview me for the radio. Apart from being white, I am not sure why he chose me. I had to laugh, as I wasn’t even sure I would understand his questions, much less be able to answer them in understandable Spanish. But I did my best and hopefully the people of Pucarani enjoyed a good laugh over my Spanish and received the message of Christ even without correct words, pronunciation, or grammar.