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!