The title of the popular country music song certainly rings true for me. Life passes too quickly, blink and you´ll miss it. I´ve been busy this week and haven´t even found the time to blog until now.
It is hard for me to believe that I have already been in Bolivia for 1 month! I have met so many people, seen so many things, and learned so much that I hardly know where to begin anymore. This last week seems to have just flown by. Last Saturday I attended my first Babywashing since I arrived (it had been cancelled the weeks before). I´ve now gone twice and each time is different. Different volunteers, different number of kids, ect. Its fun getting to know people as we chat while washing these little ones. My Bolivian sister Natalia has taken to calling it a ¨baby shower¨. The kids are so different from one another, some splish & splash in the water, others scream bloody murder, some actually help us wash them. Ever Saturday feels like a brand new experience. My schedule should nearly always allow for 2 hours or so for babywashing.
As much as possible I have been trying to run my errands by myself. Sometimes I am successful, sometimes I want to cry because I can´t communicate well in this language or I just can´t find the store that I am looking for. My pride has taken quite a hit this week. I have finally managed to: make photocopies, mail something to the states, drop off money for my one year visa, and buy a half a dozen donuts. That last one I just returned from. It took an hour round-trip on foot. Speaking of these donuts... they are the closest thing to Dunkin Donuts that they have in Cochabamba. and there is only ONE store. My sister here bought me one a few nights and I fell in love with it! Not bad for 50 cents US!
One night I attend a free piano and cello concert with my sister and was treated some amazing music. It was associated with the music college here. The woman was born in Cochabamba and the man was from the states. Both with musical resumes a mile long. I am so glad that I am friends with my sisters here, I am never lonely for friends. If I ever get to feeling lonely or bored, all I need to do is walk out of my bedroom and find my family. Problem solved.
Along with Thanksgiving this week I was also celebrating the birthdays of 2 of my friends. So I´ve been introduced to two more restaurants with good food. I don´t eat out a lot normally since I have 3 meals a day at home. But a birthday is a birthday and it calls for a change in schedule! And something else I have noticed... it is important for me to have a life here in Coch. It doesn´t mean I have to spend a lot of money, but it does mean that I have to spend time with friends outside of ministry and just build relationships with them. I miss all my family and friends at home dearly. The friendships I have here are just in the beginning stages and will take some time. But I´ve realized that it means I have to actively pursue them. Yeah, so I can have a somewhat normal life here with ministry and social life.
OK, Thanksgiving! I was so happy to answer my Bolivian families questions about this North American holiday. They wanted to know the history, the food, the traditions, ect. But mostly the food, I had a heck of a time trying to describe stuffing! So the day finally came we headed over to Earl and Rosie Adams house. We had an amazing meal of turkey, stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberry stuff, melt-in-your-mouth rolls, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and chocolate cake. I ate soooo much food! I still can´t believe I actually ate desert :)
Following dinner Earl read a passage from Psalms about praise and thanksgiving. Then came a time of just sweet fellowship as Earl (they call him Carlos) told about his church-planting ministry among the Quechua people, as my family recounted my many mis-adventures here in Bolivia, and the rest of the family talked a lot in Spanish so I didn´t always know what was being said. But talking about huge dragon flies and the spider in my bathroom that my sister kindly killed for me, I got the gist of those!
Here is a picture of my family, minus Jaime who didn´t come to dinner
And here we all are at the dinner table
One last thing! Rainy season is on full swing here in Coch. Coch doesn´t nearly have it has bad as some areas in Bolivia. This last week we had 2 solid days of the dreariest weather I´ve ever experienced in this city. Cold, about 40-50´s I think, which is a big big change from the strong strong sunshine and 80-90 degree days. I´ve also learn that my shower is solar heated. No sun, no heat. After 2 cold showers I started showing upstairs where they have electric heated showers. As long as it was sunny the day before I am A-OK though. The cold weather has also sent me on a shopping trip. I came down ill-prepared for rainy season and have been borrowing warmer clothes from my sisters. My family worries about me constantly, more so when its cold. I try to tell them I´m from Chicago and I´m USED to this kind of weather. But they worry anyway. So now I have proper clothing, its only took nearly 4 hours in La Concha!