Rachel, Addison, and I will be leaving for Santa Cruz tonight around 7 or 8 and should arrive there around 11 am tomorrow. From there, I believe we will be riding with the group from Texas another 2 and 1/2 hours to another town. For the next few days we will be receiving well drilling training with the goal of successfully installing a new well at the Internado and maybe after that at 2 Trees and ultimately in the future (after we have gone) needed communities around Ixiamas. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of a partnership between SIFAT and the Texas group, Water for All. – Jarred

Sunday night, Rachel told Addison and Jarred that the van to Rurrenabaque would be leaving at 4 a.m. Monday morning and they would need to be up by 3:30 in order to make it into town before the van departed. They slept peacefully, as if it was the night before Christmas and all through the Internado was well, except for the mice in the wall by their heads. The young, handsome men woke to the booming of a sub-tropical monsoon that little did they know would not cease until 10 a.m. Addison, the bravest of the two, put his life in the hands of the Lord, started the moto promptly at 3:42 a.m., and drove into town through the relentless rain in search of an answer as to whether or not they would be leaving. Jarred stood motionless, watching the taillight fade into the storm and thinking, man, its pretty wet out there. Addison returned at 3:58 with an affirmative response from the driver whom who awakened. Even so, the young men and lady decided not to use their ticket and wait for a time when they thought the rivers were crossable for sure. In a nondramatic turn of events, the vans departure had been postponed until 3 p.m. on the same day. The trio carried their luggage into town along with no idea of when, or if, they would return. They boarded the van along with 11 other citizens of Ixiamas with the goal of eating supper in R’town. The van reached a distance of 200 yards when the conductor received word that the series of creeks between the two towns were un-fordable. The departure was delayed 12 more hours until 4 the following morning. The third time was the charm. The trio arrived in R-town in time for breakfast Tuesday morning and to purchase floata tickets to La Paz. The 20-plus hour journey had the trio encountering a delay due to an apparent landslide of somesort that had held up traffic for an undetermined amount of time. or, predetermined depending on your view of Calvinism. The journey also had Addison fending off a pack of arctic wolves with only a dull arrowhead fossil. Jarred slept most of the time. Rachel talked with strangers. The three amigos arrived in La Paz at 6 a.m. local time, and they are now, with the exception of the lady whose whereabouts is unknown, restfully sleeping in Hotel Sagarnaga after the men hunted and found the #1 Whopper Value Meal.

Nathan ‘Watson and Crick’ Paulk, Jamie ´The Cannibal´ Waldhour, and the rest of the Domestic Staff

Call us at 256’396’2015. We need more work to do and want to fill the remaining Learn and Serve Slots.

Yesterday, Addison and I went to put a tree out of its misery. We needed a couple of good size trees to use as a supporting frame for when we begin the drilling process. Addison had already begun chopping a tree that met our qualifications. It also happened to be the one of the prettiest I have seen in Bolivia. Within a few minutes, the tree lay on the ground and we proceeded to chop it into manageable pieces. I noticed an ant, probably the size of a baby seal, scurrying around Addison´s foot, who by the way was wearing chacos and shorts. We knew immediately what it was and decided we needed a break and would resume at 5 pm in the afternoon. This was around 9 am. This was the first buna that we had seen, an insect which we have heard horror stories about. A bite from its mouth has been known to make women grow beards and men slip into seclusion for months. Ok. Maybe not that extreme but rumor has it they are extremely painful and may cause a fever.

      Early mornings are always crazy in Ixiamas. No one needs an alarm clock. The question of each day is ¨what sound will I wake up to today?¨ Machetes whacking? Dogs dying painful deaths? Children screaming ¨Hermano! Hermano!¨? This morning I awoke to something I have yet to experience. I was convinced for a while I was dreaming the sound, but alas I was not. The pastor had been up since 4. Sometime around 5 he began to play creepy sounding keyboard music which lead me to believe I was living in some haunted hostel or something. I later discovered that the reason he was up so early was that around 4, a group of pigs had gotten into the rice that we harvested last weekend and he had chased them off.

   I dont know where Addison is right now. He walked by the internet cafe a few minutes ago, mumbled something really fast, and left. The motorcycle is broken again and he is wandering back and forth across town trying to get the necessary parts and a mechanic to repair it.

Just an ordinary day in Ixiamas,


This is the second installment of SIFAT Remembers by Ken Corson, cofounder of SIFAT.

After Cuba, Sarah and I went to the missionary language school in San Jose, Costa Rica. The school was a mosaic of missionaries in the last half of the 20th Century: Catholic, Protestant, Southern Baptist, Pentecostal, high church and things in between.

Varied Christian traditions that often found it hard to cooperate in other things were neighbors, friends and classmates in learning Spanish. We all learned more about God by hearing the testimonies of how He had worked in the lives of people different from us and different from each other. None of us have a monopoly on God; none of us understand perfect doctrine. As I Corinthians tells us, now in this world, we “see through a glass darkly.” We can learn from each other.

Years later when we were working in a fairly remote area in Haiti where we were some of the few Caucasians in the area, we met a Christian couple serving as missionaries up in the mountains. We enjoyed fellowship with them for a few minutes in the market. Before leaving we invited them to come visit us. We were shocked at their reply. Their denomination forbade them from associating with “The World”. In other words they did not acknowledge anyone as Christian that was not a member of their denomination. How sad, I thought. How narrow. How limiting. How do we let our light shine if it is set under a bushel?

From its earliest days, beginning in 1979, SIFAT declared that we build bridges not walls, bridges that bring people together, not walls that separate. SIFAT character is inclusive, not exclusive.

First off, a hen just walked past my chair in the internet cafe. In other news, Addison and I will be going back to La Paz on Monday night. I am guessing we will arrive there around 10 pm Tuesday night if all goes well. I am not sure what the itenirary is but we will be going to Santa Cruz from La Paz for well drilling training from a group based out of Texas. From my undersdtanding, Santa Cruz is another day´s drive from La Paz in another direction than Ixiamas. Hopefully we will have a good grasp on what to expect with the drilling process after a couple of days and will be able to ride back with Rachel who will stay in La Paz for about a week. Unrelated to that, we will be harvesting rice again this weekend in the Chaco. Unrelated to that, if anyone can overnight me a sloppy, mayo dripping cheeseburger, I will be happy to reimburse you.-Jarred