Friday, August 5, 2011

The Lesson I Learned

There are quite a few things about our trip to Bolivia that I have come to love. The people here are for certain at the top of the list, if there is even a list. They are a very quiet, reserved people group. Very different from my personality altogether. But once you do sit down with them and start talking and wanting to know more, it is as if you opened a book! They are taught from a young age to be this way. It reminds me of that old saying of don´t speak unless spoken to. They are beautiful, but you can see that over the years beauty took a back seat to the hard life of providing for their families. I am still amazed at the women here. Not a day goes by while we are out that I don´t see a lady old or young, pushing a wheelbarrow full of whatever she intends to sell miles out of town heading to the market. Not only will she be pushing a 100+ pound wheelbarrow, but she may have one child tied to her back and another one, or two , or three that are old enough to walk tagging along. So there she goes, pushing past me and I am reminded of all the times I drove around the parking lot at HEB so I could get the closest parking spot. I think from now I will make sure to park far away just for her! I understand that me parking far from the door will not be of any benefit to her, but maybe it will benefit me to remember just how blessed I am. God has really been working on my heart these last few weeks. Reminding me of just how lucky I am and how easy I have it. I have a truck that gets me where I need to go, I am not pushing a wheelbarrow from my house in Sonora to San Angelo to sell what produce I grew, I have cold and hot water at the turn of a knob, a roof that is not made of palm tree bows that doesn´t leak when it rains, a warm bed when its cold and an AC when it gets too hot, I can wash my clothes and have them dry within a couple hours and the list can go on and on. I really am blessed! Thank you Lord for allowing me this opportunity to be reminded of that, and please help me to always be mindful of it even when I am having to sit and wait for a table at a very nice restaurant that is making me pay too much for the food I will eat. I could have it a whole lot worse!

Monday, August 1, 2011

So far in Bolivia...

It is hard to believe that we only have a little less than three weeks left here in Bolivia! Our time here so far has been great. Our second week here we went out into the brecha to work with a drilling club that has been working on several wells and to check on the wells that had already been finished. We accompanied Teo, Elias, and Sergio (the Water for All Bolivia guys) on the trip, along with Todd who is making a video about WFA. It was a long three hour drive out to where we were going so this meant that we would spend two nights camping. We set up our tents in a lady`s front yard right next to the roosters and her pigs. We would grow to hate those roosters come two or three in the morning! We got to eat some pretty traditional dishes while we were out. Up until then Colin had never had pork cooked with so much hair on it.
The guy in charge of the well club that we were going to assist is named Victor. He was a young guy in his early 20’s and has a little family. He was in the first drilling club that went through that area and was now showing others how to drill. We got to eat with his wife and mother and that was really a neat opportunity to be a part of. They prepared a big meal for the Water for All guys to show his appreciation. At the end of our meal he stood up and thanked the guys that were with us for helping him get water out on his little place. He told us that it was a dream of his to be able to farm and live on his own place and that he was now living out his dream. (For the record, I didn`t know that was what he was saying ‘til later, but I did know that what he was saying made him very emotional at the end.) Needless to say it was very clear that he was very grateful to the Water for All guys. He took us around his farm and showed us the crops he was growing, his garden, his fruit trees, and the rest of his property. Another thing that will forever stick out in my mind about our day with Victor was when we went to the town where he had been living before he had a water well on his farm. We got to meet with two older ladies that lived in this small village and Terry gave them a solar powered radio that only picks up two Christian stations and a Bible. We later found out that the village does not have a church. Terry told us as we were leaving that if there was a church in that village all the locals would come. To me that just means more people are needed to go and live with these people and become a part of their community and bring Jesus to them!
The next day we went out to help out and watch the water clubs drill a full well in one day! In one day they did everything! It was pretty great. This was their 8th well and you could tell they knew what they were doing. Victor did a great job training up this club.
We came home mid week, just in time for a cold front to make its way to us. I was glad to not be out sleeping in a tent once that hit.
Last week we went out and looked at five wells that were drilled and took pictures and marked them with the GPS. Then mid week we went to a new well club that was getting started. It was close enough that we could drive home and didn`t have to pack the tents. Thank goodness we came home! I had my first bout with food poisoning and was ever so thankful I wasn`t out camping somewhere. Colin went back the next day to help the group finish up and I slept in.
Terry had a meeting in Santa Cruz on Thursday night so he spent the night in town and we went in the following day to go to the Santa Cruz zoo and see the animals of Bolivia. That was neat, but once you know what animals are out in the woods where you are camping, it’s a bit un-nerving!
Another cold front has made its way to us and we are all bundled up tonight. Along with the cold air came rain! It is a bitter sweet rain for me. Back home in Texas we are going on record breaking days without rain so this is a treat! But it may postpone our trip out this week. I really want to drill and if it rains the roads get too bad to drive on and we won`t be able to make it out to the site.
The circus is in town! I don´t know if we will go or not, but every day a truck load of circus performers drives around town announcing over an horrible loud speaker that we should bring the family to their show. Well…I now understand why small children and some adults fear clowns and things of that nature.
One of the greatest things about this trip has been an overwhelming desire to go into full-time missions work. Just more conformation! It’s really not as though we needed more, but seeing what Terry has done here over the past 20 years just lights a fire under us. We know that we have a long road ahead of us, but we also know that our God is big and will be there with us, and has gone before us, no matter what we will face. I find so much comfort in that. A peace has settled over both Colin and myself and with it has come a great joy, it’s a joy that I want everyone to know and have in their own lives and hearts.