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.

The last three weeks have been different because the kids of the Internado have been out of school for winter vacation. The vacation is supposed to be two weeks, but because of the swine flu outbreak in Bolivia, they decided to extend the vacation two more weeks. A week ago Bolivia had around 500 cases mostly in the Santa Cruz area. Unfortunately, we have a team arriving from Christ Community Church in Columbus, Ga., tomorrow. I am sure they will be disappointed not see all the kids here. However since the kids are not here, the team will be able to help us with painting the dorm rooms and lower level of the Internado, which we are unable to do with the everyone here. More about the team in my next post.

Midweek of the first week of vacation, Rachel, Mateo, Chas (our summer intern) and I departed for Rurre to get a flight to LaPaz. When we arrived, it was pouring rain. Rurre has a grass runway and no landing or takeoff when raining. Chas declined the bus trip and stayed a few days in Rurre. I had to go back to immigration to see if paper work was finished for my resident visa. Yeah, Praise God, it was ready and I have my passport with the resident stamp good until June 9, 2010. After six long weeks of work, I am legal until my departure in December. However, I still have to obtain my ID card. I was told to return in a week to have a photo made for my card. Guess what; when I returned I was told no photos could not be made because the printer was out of ink…so I will be returning to LaPaz with the team to hopefully have my photo made. I must tell that my return to Ixiamas was done in record time. I flew from LaPaz to Rurre and then took the minibus to Ixiamas in only 8 hours, the minibus being 4 of those, the flight from LaPaz in only 45 minutes.

In my last post, I told you a little about the brothers and sisters living here. Now I would like to tell you a little about the remaining girls. Pati (14) was here last year. Her mother runs a restaurant in town, but because of her busy schedule there, she is unable to keep up Pati’s school work.  Yoisy (14) and Rosa (12) are from the same community about one hour from here on the road to Rurre. We will be visiting their community next week with the team. Carmen (14) lives several hours away and about an hour in the jungle off the main road. Ericka (10) is our youngest girl and an orphan. Her uncle is raising her in the same community as Marivel and Miguel.Ericka is originally from LaPaz and has been a challenge to the dorm mom because she had not been taught a lot about the hygiene necessary living in a jungle area. Once, she had to be hospitalized for a few days because of an infection from scratching bug bites. She is learning the hard way, but she is doing better with her cleanliness.

Please keep our visiting team in your prayers for travel and health while here in Bolivia.


Hasta Luego,

Hermana Becky