Our current intern in Ixiamas, Bolivia, is 2008 Practicum graduate Becky Forrest. Becky served on short-term mission trips in 2007 and 2008 in Ixiamas. She is now in her second year as an intern.
The last few weeks have gone by so fast it is hard to believe. God blessed me again with a companion to travel with on the bus down the “BIG HILL” because I am still uncomfortable traveling alone. The first few days I spent unpacking and getting adjusted to being back in Bolivia. Life is so very different here, and it is the rainy season so the heat and humidity take a while to get adjusted to. It was so good to see the students from last year and meet the new ones. We have 10 girls, 5 returning from last year and 9 boys, 3 from last year so far this year. I have finally learned the names of all the new students, and for the most part, I have the pronunciation correct. We also have a new staff member this year working with the animals and agriculture on the campus. Delia previously worked at the internado in Sapecho as a cook when the internado there was open and caretaker after it closed. She has a son who is now one of our students. We are very blessed to have her here, and I look forward to getting to know her.

Week 2 started out with a bang, English and computer classes with the students, staff and 8 people from town. Some of the new students have no computer experience, but they really seem to be fast learners. I was pleased to find out that many of last year’s students remembered a lot of the English they learned last year.  My biggest challenge right now is the classes for the people from town. They are a group of people forming a tourist association and want to prepare by learning to speak English. It is very different from the kids because they have a greater desire to learn, but share some of the same problems in pronunciation that I have with Spanish. We will both learn a lot from each other. I have also started back with my Spanish lessons, and fortunately, I did not forget all I had learned while home for 2 months. I thank God I am much better at communicating than a year ago.

The rice is now ready to harvest, and we had two afternoons working in the chaco. I was asked to stay and help cook so our cook could go harvest rice. She was the champion and harvested more than anyone else, so I guess that means I will be in charge of cooking on the afternoons of working at the chaco since my harvesting skills are lacking.

I made the bad mistake of bringing a room thermometer with me this year. Yesterday at 6 p.m. it was 98 degrees in my room. Thank God for cold showers and my fan. The rainy season is starting to change, and we have not had rain for five days with hardly a cloud in the sky. The heat has been on. I have a hard time getting the students to drink enough water. They are like the kids at home; they want soda all the time and spend their own money for it. At our meals, we usually have fresh fruit juices and herbal teas, which are very refreshing. As I finish this post, I see clouds moving in so maybe today will be the day the heat breaks.

Until next time, please remember all of us here at the internado in your prayers as we try to teach God’s way to the students here.

Grace, love and peace,