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 intetn 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.
I have been here almost a week now and am beginning to get settled in. All the unpacking is done, and my room is just about fixed the way I want it. Some hot water would be nice occasionally, but you canâ€™t have everything!
The trip from La Paz went well, but I must tell about the mini bus ride from Rurre. Rachel and I had to wait several hours for the bus to get full before they would leave, but then the driver was not around. Finally another driver said he would take us. His bus was an ancient Suburban–Rachel and I figured it was from the early 70â€™s. If it had been in the states it would have been long turned into scrap. There was a man traveling with a broken leg, so he had the back seat and paid for 3 seats so he could stretch his leg out. That left where the normal third set would be. Well they had removed it and replaced it with a bench seat on each side. There were three of us on one side and four on the other. Most Bolivians are very short people and donâ€™t require a lot of head room, but I had to really pay attention to the road so I didnâ€™t bang my head on each bump. Those of you who have been here know there are quite a few pot holes in the roads here which are all dirt. With only two stops to make minor repairs, one being getting water out of a ditch to put in the radiator that was beginning to overheat a little, we made it to the Internado for supper. I made a grand entrance by toppling over backwards from the weight of my backpack as I got off the motor taxi I had ridden on from town. Needless to say all the kids had a good laugh.
Monday morning, we all went to work harvesting the rice. This was really an experience for me. All the rice is harvested by hand with a pocket knife. About six acres have been planted, and the harvest has just begun. I managed to fill a little over a half a sack. Needless to say, I had the least amount. Then you have to carry your sack back to the truck, which is a good hike. The kids work really hard and several were singing to pass the time. We saw several pairs of McCawâ€™s fly over while out there working. The countryside is so beautiful here, and being the rainy season, everything is very green and lush. The views out of my window are gorgeous, and I thank God everyday for creating such a beautiful world for his creatures to live in. Most nights are cloudy, so I havenâ€™t really been able to spend much time stargazing, but I anxiously await a good clear night because the stars look like you could reach out and touch them.
Thanks for all of your prayers for everyone here at the Internado.
Grace, peace and love,