Our current intern in Ixiamas, Bolivia, is 2008 Practicum graduate Becky Forrest. During Practicum, Becky shared her experience on our blog. Now that she is in an intern in Bolivia, she will post updates as our interns in 2008 did. Becky served on short-term mission trips in 2007 and 2008 in Ixiamas.
Finally after six very long weeks, I have returned to the Internado. This trip back was only 30 hours because we had rain in Rurre again, but not as bad a last time. The bus was finally able to cross.Â Words cannot express how great it is to be home again and to see the kids. My papers were finally given to immigration on Friday, May 29th — thank the Lord! The kids will be on winter vacation the last week of June and first week of July, so I will head back to La Paz at that time to pick up my ID card and passport with my resident visa, which will be good for one year. I guess that means I will return next year since I went to all this trouble to get the visa.
The last six weeks have been very emotional and a learning experience for me. I hit so many roadblocks on this journey. Each time the first thing out of my mouth was â€œWell maybe I should just go back homeâ€, and the next thought was â€œNo! God wants me here, and I will fight to get my visaâ€. I had some wonderful folks helping me here, especially a young lady named Marlene, who was my translator and traveling companion. Marlene has been studying English for several years and was in need of someone with whom to practice, so I hope I helped her as much as she helped me by letting me cry on her shoulder and praise God with her. Then, there was Pastor Ivan Roman (Bully); we also cried together when I had doors close, but he was really good at getting them to open up again.
I learned a lot about trusting God and that He has a big plan for us, even if we donâ€™t always understand why things happen the way they do. He is in control. He opened up border crossings for me and always provided someone to inspire me to continue the fight. It would come in form of an email at just the right moment or a stranger on a bus or traveling through La Paz. I met people from my home state and all around the world. Each one heard my story and had one to tell me that would keep me going.
I did get to visit the floating islands on Lake Titicaca while in Puno, Peru. What an amazing place. There are around 40 islands built from reeds that people live on and have for centuries. We were taken on a ride in a boat made entirely from reeds. Lake Titicaca is so large that in places it looks like the ocean because all you can see is water on the horizon. In most places, you can see the peaks of the Andes Mountains surrounding it. I will try to get back to posting a blog every two weeks and look for blogs written by Chas Jordan our summer intern.