I have my final farewell from Internado and Ixiamas folks last Thursday. Since most of the kids have left school and Internado at different times for the last 2 wks, I have been saying good bye for the last 2-3 weeks. Our dorm supervisor for the girls left about 3 weeks ago also.

Our oldest boy in the Internado, Miguel is having his high school graduation today in Ixiamas. I felt so bad to miss it, as I needed to be here in LaPaz to catch my flight on Monday.

We had our farewell dinner with all the kids, Internado staff and parents last Sunday.Some kids are left in the Internado this week for their make -up class and exams.

I will be at SIFAT, Alabama from December 2nd to December 20th. It`s a long journey to get home to the Philippines. I hope to be in the Philippines just before Christmas Day.

I have had many, many  good -byes in the last 10 years of my life, still I am not good with it. I have improve though. It`s still always emotional. 

I hope to share some of my reflections with my time here in Bolivia and Internado in my next  posting.

Hasta la vista,




Here´s a letter I posted to the SIFAT staff last weekend. I want to thank the Lord for those who have been praying for me and with me for the Internado folks. Also I thank the Lord as  once again has shown that He is a God of impossibilities.

About same time last year, when the opportunity to go to Bolivia came up, I had no imagination how in the world I could get to Bolivia from my far away country. While praying to go to Bolivia or not, I also did research on how to get a visa and exhaust all possibilities of flight routes. For about 4 – 5 months I tried to find a route from Philippines to Bolivia. I thought it was almost impossible. I did not know that time of any Filipinos going to Bolivia.

However, the Lord made a way! To God be the Glory! Here´s my letter to SIFAT staff just to share with you. I wrote this last week, I only have a week now in Bolivia. (Courtney, thanks for your letter!Its an encouragment to know that there people reading my blog :))

Hola SIFAT staff,
Can you believe I only got 2 weeks in Bolivia, but only 1 week with the kids? School year ends by next weekend. And kids go back to their homes. It seems it was just yesterday, when I started researching for Bolivia. Around same time last year, when I was looking and researching on visa how to get to Bolivia, and praying same time how to get here. And now, my time is over.I can´t explain all the mixed emotions going on inside of me. I wish I could describe it better with words on how I am feeling right now. Of course, very sad to leave…I am excited though to see yall again, and anxious for what is next.
Just when I hit 5 weeks before  I   leave BoliviaI I almost checked out. I started to think of things I will be doing next. I started thinking what I could be doing, and the things I hope I could do, or will do. Again, I forgot this main thing…here, now. 
Here.Now. With due respect to the Learn and Serve folks, please excuse me Nate and Jamie for borrowing this title,”Here.Now”, just to share some reflection and thoughts as I leave Bolivia. “Here and Now” is a big lesson I´m still learning (todavia) in my life.
Actually, few months prior to coming to SIFAT last year, I wrote in my journal an article on my reflection from my time in China, and the title is the same, “Here.Now”. So,  I was surprised when I came to SIFAT and saw the theme of the Learn and Serve as the same.
I realized that one of my regrets or mistakes,or a main lesson I should have learned long time ago, is to be “Here and Now”,  Which means, to enjoy the moment. I had the tendency to make myself busy with so many things, at the same time think and plan ahead or sometimes worry about the future, instead of enjoying the time being, for that particular time, for that particular place with the very people I am with. I ended up loosing the  joy of capturing the opportunity, the moment.Then, afterwards, I ended up wasting my time regretting what I have lost. I was also guilty of wasting the time by complaining and whining instead of being “thankful” for what God has given me for that time.
One week, 7 days, and two weeks, 14 days. I could still watch the orange -yellow sun that  rises above the trees infront  of my room   when I wake up in the morning. I could still watch the colorful sky that turns yellow, with pink,to purple as the sun  goes down behind the hills at the back of my and balcony.
I could still see the birds that fly around and above the building. I could still watch the zillion of bright stars that dusted the sky on every pitch dark night.  I could still enjoy playing and washing in the river.   I could still enjoy my walk to and fro the town as I watch the little and big pigs on the road, with the chickens, and wild horses and cows roaming around the town. I could still play with Snicker,(the little black dog) and sometimes with Scott and Stronger (the other dogs of Internado).
And most of all, I could still be with the Internado kids, for now, here at this moment.
Right here, right now.
The Lord has taught me a lot of things while being here in Bolivia. HE has blessed me in everyway. I hope to share more next time.
Hasta la vista!


Hola de Ixiamas! Believe it or not, I  only have 3 weeks left here in Bolivia, and only  couple of weeks with the kids! I am having all kinds of mixed emotions.

The kids at the Internado finishes their school year by the 3rd week of November.  I will be in the USA for 2-3 weeks in December to visit SIFAT,  then back to the Philippines for Christmas time.Yeah, time flies!  
 It has been an interesting and challenging time being in a new continent and a different culture from Asia.  As I mentioned earlier,  Bolivia I would say is a unique nation and very diversed compared to other Latin American nations.  I enjoyed the warm weather in the tropical jungle where I live with the Internado folks, and the same time,  I also enjoy my visits to the cold- weather highlands in LaPaz.   I see more and more the beauty of God`s creation in this place.   As I get to know more the culture and  the people I have come to appreciate more  this nation. I observe that Bolivianos seemed to be the most polite and the sweetest people I have met.  They are very humble people too but, they also have an interesting  way of expressing themselvesas their history have accounts of  a series of revolution, civil wars, political unrest, violence.Anyway, God has been so gracious to me allowing to be part of the ministry of SIFAT Internado, even though it was only for a short period of time. It has been a challenge, fun, adventure and a great blessing too. I had fun with the jungle tours I had been, the hike to the Falls, knowing all kinds of trees and shrubs, fishing piranhas with the alligators in a muddy river, and playing with the kids in the river. Washing my clothes in the river has been a normal way for me to have clean clothes.. For more than 6  months I survived without a phone!  I wish I could share more my fun and adventures here in Bolivia. But just to update you with the Internado folks.

Life Goes On in the Internado…

It’ Spring -Summer here in the tropics of Ixiamas. The weather is great at night and early mornings. And of course very warm on daytime.  Only two more weeks left for the kids to be in school, and It´s more challenge for Rachel and the dorm parents with the kids as they become more restless, awaiting for their grand school vacation. The kids are also busy with their school tests and completing their school requirements. 

Within the 6 month I have been, it seems to me that most of the kids have grown a inch taller, or maybe just my imagination. However, Snicker the used -to- be small pup has grown bigger for real. Scott the white-brown dog still chases the motorbikes, the pigs , chickens, and continues to pick up fight with the other dogs in town. He is now a mainstay on the road, and rarely visits Internado. Stronger the other dog, seem to support Scott more being on the road. The used to be three little pigs of Internado, are now two big fat pigs.

For about 2 weeks,  we had a new member in Internado, a brown squirrel that kids held in a small cage and became their pet. Rachel being merciful, let go of the poor little creature, and sent  back to the mother nature. Construction of the new building has done a lot of progress. The rabbit house is all ready for the rabbits to come.

I continue to take kids in the Internet to learn this technology. The kids are enjoying learning to write emails to our past interns. I really appreciate the Auburn interns as they faithfully answer each email of the kids.

Anyway, would appreciate your prayers for all of us as we finish the year. I would like to have a meaningful time with the kids for these coming weeks.

God bless yall!

Ciao, Vicky 


We have asked Practicum student Becky Forrest to let us publicly post the recaps e-mails to friends and family. Becky is an American and has just begun full-time missions after 29 years as an accountant. Through her posts, we hope you will understand a little more about what the Practicum is and what students are learning. Below is her most recent e-mail. Thanks for sharing with us, Becky!

Last week. Wow, I can’t believe the last week of training is here. It is bittersweet. I look forward to returning home, but I will miss my new family I have made here so very much. All 16 of us have gotten so close, and we realize most of us will not meet again until we see the pearly gates. I have gotten very close to two of the Nigerians, and maybe one day I will get to visit with them. I plan to stay in touch with email. The internet is a great tool for keeping in touch. Friday night we have our graduation ceremony, and it will be very special for all of us.
Last week, we learned about solar cooking, HIV and AIDS prevention, Christian sexuality and family planning, and we ended the week with “Where there is no Dentist”. We were shown a method taught to community health workers in developing countries of how to drill out tooth decay and fill it. A local dentist goes to countries and teaches this method. We had teeth set it plaster that we actually drilled with hand tools and filled glass ionomer cement. This last week we will be learning about “Where there is no Doctor”. The information we have learned in these 10 weeks is incredible and can be useful in so many places.
When I get home I look forward to sharing with anyone that wants to listen to me.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and regardless of the color of our skin or the language we speak we are all God’s children.