Sunday, December 21, 2008

My first week at the daycare

Before I start talking about my week, let me show you my kids! But do to privacy issues, I can not give you their names or if they are HIV positive or not. Even I do not have that information. So here they are, pics of 4 of my 5 little darlings.

This picture didn't work out so well, my little escapee was... well... escaping!

This guy is awfully cute but he is my touble maker! He doesn't eat well and sleeps only when he feels like it! He's 8 months old.

He is my hyper one, never met a baby that doesn't like to be held! He wants his freedom and is well on his way to walking, he's 8 months old.

She is my little escapee! She's 1 year 2 months but not walking yet and quite chubby. Ever opportunity she gets she's making her way out the door, and the door is too big for a gate.

And she is my most precious doll baby. She is 5 months old and trying really really hard to roll over but she hasn't made it quite yet. She's come a long way in a week, when I first started she didn't know how to drink from a bottle, she downs them in no time at all now.

And this is how I like them the best! If I'm lucky, I have maybe an hour during the day in which they are all sleeping!

Not shown is my big kid. She's 1 1/2 years and walking all over creation.

So I spent my first week working only with the daycare for a number of reasons, which is fine with me. It is so close to my apt that I can walk there in 5 mins. My day begins at 8:30 AM when the kids arrive. Remember, this is a daycare to help families effected by HIV and AIDS. All the parents are positive and some of our kids are, some of them are not, and some of them are too young to test. There are 4 other older kids that come that I am not responsible for.

So the schedule looks something like this for the babies. Eat breakfast (bottle and babyfood), change diaper, bath, clean clothes, bottle if needed to go down for the morning nap. If they went to sleep like good babies, they get up at 12 and get changed and ready for lunch, lots of downtime just playing in the playroom. 1pm lunch and then bottle and naptime again, if they go down nicely they sleep till 4. 4:30 is another bottle and diaper change and change back into their clothes and wait for the parents. I normally leave at like 5:30 or so. I do have some help from the Bolivian workers as I can't change one kid and keep eyes on the others.

It is very important for these kids to eat a lot and get good nutrition. They also recieve medication (not from me) and are regularly monitered by a doctor. If any of them arrive sick they are turned away as to not infect the others. We sanititize everything after every child too. It is exhausting work and I smell and am starving when I leave there. I love these babies so much I can't even tell you. After the first of the year I will be there only every other day to guard against burnout. The other days I will be at the girls home helping with the 22 girls that live there. Update on Christmas week coming soon!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I am now starting my second week being back in Bolivia. And what a whirlwind it has been. It can only be described as my second culture shock. I say this because for my first year I was living with host families. I never had to deal with relators and finding a place to stay, I never had to wait for things to be repaired in the house, I never had to buy my own food (except snacks), I never had to pay bills or anything like that. So needless to say, these last two weeks have been... educational.

I ended up renting the first apartment that I saw. The first shock came when I discovered that for the location and security level I wanted, I was not going to be able to get an apt with what I budgeted. So I crunched some numbers and made it work. The apt is 3 bedrooms, one of which I hope to rent out short/long term. It has a decent sized kitchen and a good refrigerator (most here are very small), dining room/living room big enough to host the International Bible Study. It´s mostly hard wood floors except the bedrooms, it has two bathrooms. I did get it fully furnished which has saved me a TON of money. Just getting the things for my kitchen, cleaning supplies, TV, ect has cost me more than I anticipated. The location is perfect as I´m right in the middle of everything and have a lot of public transportation options and walking distance to many things as well. The downside, its kinda noisy. Dogs across the street bark almost constantly, traffic noise, occasional concerts and fireworks, ect. But all these things I´m getting use to and sleep quite well at night. The apt was also kinda a fixer upper and I knew that when I moved in. There was a really bad electrical porblem in the kitchen and about half the lights in the apt were burned out. After a week of people coming and going everything is just about done. One door knob still needs to be replaced and the rest of the curtians hung and the area rug delivered. Otherwise its perfect :) Pictures coming soon!

In other news, I´ve been rather anxious to get settled so that I can start working with my new ministry. At this point I´ll be doing half my days at the AIDS daycare and the other half at the Home. I´ve learned that not all the kids at the daycare are postive. Most are too young to test but all the parents are positive and the purpose is to help families that are living with HIV or AIDS. There are 7-8 babies that come daily with a possibility of twice as many. They get baths and heath checks everyday and are feed VERY well with lots of fruits and veggies. The normal bolivian diet is meat, potatoes, and rice. Not good nutrition for these kids.

So this week, if all goes planned (and thats a big ¨if¨), I will sign my lease on Monday and get some legal stuff done with that. And then Tuesday I will run around with my team leader from Operation Harvest and do some visa stuff (blood test, fingerprints, ect). And then start working on Wednesday! Woohoo!