Monday, June 6, 2011
Bolivia Part II: Day One
After getting in bed around 4 am, we had the chance to finally get some sleep...at least until 9:30. We woke up and got our first taste of Bolivian winter, which translates into perfect weather. After two solid days of airport fast food, we got the chance to sit down and eat a real breakfast. I don't know if it was because we were still jet-lagged (despite only moving into the Eastern time zone, we had only slept a total of seven hours out of 48!) or because we had been deprived of real food, but I do believe that was one of the best breakfasts I have ever had.
After this we headed off to the mission to start our, uh, mission. When we had been driving from the airport earlier that morning at 3 am, we saw a billboard for Roman Jeans that was, truly, one of the cheesiest things I had ever seen. It was this dude with three denim-clad women crowding around him. It was ultra-Latin and I pointed out with excitement that we were officially in South America at that point. Our guide, Kattya, then told us innocently that the male model who was on the billboard was named Diego and he worked for Amistad. We all laughed that over-tired-where-everything-is-ultra-funny laugh and looked forward to meeting him. When we arrived at the Amistad, we found out it was true...and he was a total rock n' roller. He was completely humble and was more than willing to joke about being the Roman Jeans guy. (At this point I need to point out, ladies, that he is still not a valid reason for you to want to head off to Bolivia.)
We were shown around and one of Silena's favorite spots was Ms. Rosie's room. It was called the "Good Shepherd" and it was for kindergarten aged children to learn about the liturgy of the church. (Remember, we're in a Catholic country) Whatever your thoughts on high liturgy are, it was very cool. The kids really learned about the church calendar and were taught about the meaning of communion, even being allowed to set up the sacrament table made just for them.
One of the coolest parts was Ms. Rosie's table of Bibles. She had Bibles in an assortment of languages so the children could understand the reality that Jesus Christ came for all people, not just Bolivians. It was inspiring to see this lady instilling such truth in these young kids.
After a good lunch, we returned to the Saint Francis house to do some painting. We did some work, but we were just starting to realize that this mission trip was not turning out like we thought it would. It was becoming quickly apparent that Bolivia was doing much more for us than we were for it. The people we met were so genuine and full of life and love that we were already becoming convicted and began to feel great anticipation of what the Lord would do with the rest of the week in this amazing place.
Jasmine, Kendal, Mike, and Dedrick painting.
Silena and Ms. Cookie.
Bandanna of the day: Green.
Silena and our guide, Kattya. (One of our new favorite people.)
The team after a day of work. (Sort of)