On August 1, the last of our guests left. Troy is back to the USA and college classes, while Bolivar traveled to Santa Cruz for some additional training in well drilling. It was really quiet around the Internado, especially after having guests here since June.

We did have some excitement on August 6, which is Independence Day in Bolivia. All of the students were in the parade in Ixiamas. The girls were majorettes all dressed up in their costumes, hair and makeup to perfection. What a good time they had fixing each other’s hair and makeup with the help of Veronica (the dorm mom). Rachel and I cooked chocolate and carrot cakes along with cornbread muffins to sell in town. We set up our table in front of the town government office where all the festivities were taking place. We had mocochinche, which is a fruit drink made from dried peaches with cloves and cinnamon (really good), and our cakes for sell. It was a good day for sales; we sold out and cleared more than 300 bolivianos, while watching the parade of each class of all the local schools.  It was quite a parade and fun day.

This was the last holiday for a while, so classes have all gotten back to normal and the same old routine. My new English class started up with only 3 students, but they all work very hard and have a desire to learn.  My other classes are still going, but after vacation in July many have not returned for various reasons. I still have two faithful students determined to learn the language.

Bolivar returned from Santa Cruz to work in the communities of Nuevo Esperanza (New Hope) and Tahua. He has about 15 wells to help people with before his departure back to Ecuador the middle of October. Please add this project to your prayers.

Last Tuesday I spent the entire day with Mateo in line to purchase gasoline. This time of year the logging industry is operating full force before the rains start, so the saw mills purchase a lot more gas. Ixiamas is on the end of the line so gasoline is not always available, but when it is, it sells out rapidly. They had just had a shipment on the previous Thursday. We arrived at 10 a.m. and left at 6 p.m. There were four lines: one for cars, one for motorcycles, one for people with containers and one for trucks that use diesel. They only have one pump for gas and one for diesel, so you can understand why it takes so long. Mateo waited with the containers, and I sat in the car reading. It was very hot, so I got plenty of company from people I knew in the container line trying to spend a few moments out of the sun. Vendors were selling food, drink and frozen treats. People were visiting with neighbors. Unfortunately, many people that had waited all day were unable to make their purchase before the supply was gone. I was surprised at the pleasant attitudes everyone had. No one was short tempered or angry when they had been there all day for nothing. It’s just a way of life here. I could just picture the same thing in the United States. I just don’t believe it would have been as calm. Americans, you need be grateful for your way of life and not take it for granted.

May the peace of God be with you,