We finally caught our flight to Rurrenabaque yesterday and began the treck to Ixiamas. We took a bus, then a ferry across the river, then hopped on the back of the truck for the 4 hour drive to the Internado. We met Rachels parents and sister who are incredibly nice. The drive was beautiful. The scenary was lush and green with mountains all the way around us. We were all surprisingly comfortable and had fun kareokeing for the ride which did not seem as long as it actually was. We were overjoyed to meet some of the children who were still awake last night, and jumped right in this morning. We have been getting acquainted with the Internado, the children, the schedule, the town, and our respective duties. I am really excited because I get to teach piano and work on building a new wood burning stove. We are also preparing for a Mothers Day program tomorrow which should be alot of fun! -Abby


One Saturday, I told the small kids we could go fishing in the river. Whenever I wash clothes in the river , I noticed that there were many fish.

Judith told me sometimes the small boys go fishing. Others heard me told the little ones, and they got excited too. I asked the small boys to prepare; the fishing pole and the baits. They were quick to move found some fishing poles, some insects and worms for bait.

About 10 kids (which was not a good idea to have that many company) came with us.

I told everybody, we will all go fishing but you have to be silent because the fish will go away if they hear you.

They said, “bien,bien”. They almost promise to be quiet. As we walked down the trail to the river, it seems they forgot the rule right away. They were talking, giggling, and the littlest one, Zorayda was too excited that she kept shouting. While walking someone will yell, “Maria, I need a bait”. I had to keep reminding them, “shhhsssh. Silencio!”.

I told them to spread out, so off they go with the poles. They put the baits, then threw the poles to the river. We saw fishes, but nothing came off with the baits. (with the noises, the fish were smart enough), After few minutes, the kids decided to move to another spot. They said, “there are more fish on that side, lets go”. I thought okay, you go, I’ll stay here. The fish don’t come because they hear you.I was waiting for everyone to move. Some moved, but 3 kids stayed with me. I told them to go, but they stayed, they wont let me be by myself. When I realized they wont leave me alone, I moved with them.

We walked through the trails, bushes and trees and got to the other spot.

They were right, there were more fish in that spot. We put insects in the bait and threw the poles to the water. More, and more baits but still no fish in the hook. Some kids were not patient enough and left. The two small kids saw the tiny fishes and tried to catch them as baits for bigger fish. Still no fish were caught, except for the tiny ones for bait.

Then the kids told me that there is another river across the forest. They said there are bigger fish there. I do not know the place and I didn’t know if it would be safe. So, I said, no, we stay here. I told them if they would be quiet the fish wont go away. They tried to be quiet but they couldn’t help it. Kids are kids. I realized okay, its not really about getting fish. I was serious to catch fish, and even prayed. I wanted to have some fish for diner so we all could have some meat or protein (which seems to be scarce here ). I was reminded that the whole thing was not about the fish or about fishing, but to have fun. I saw the littlest girl, Zorayda, She is suppose to be 9 or 10, but she looks like 6 years old. She looks filthy and grimy the whole week, and was wearing the same clothes the whole week. I kept saying to her the whole day, “Would you like to have a bath?” She would laughed and giggle and say “No, its cold”.

When I saw her in the water trying to get some fish, I told her again, “Its time for bath!”.

And she wiggle and giggle. She finally got to wash and bath, as I tried to help her clean her hair (with full of dirt) and body. The other kids followed and dived to the water. Julio the other 11 year old boy, who I was nursing for a wound on his face, asked me.

“Hermana, could I swim?Could I wet my face (as he pointed out the newly dressed wound on his face)?”

I thought for 2 seconds, and said, “Si, si! (yes, yes, Go!).

Everybody dived to the water and played and had fun. I was happy to see them having fun, then I suddenly thought.

Everybody had fun and they forgot about the fishing.


We are HERE (in LaPaz).

After a little bit of a delayed start in Miami (a couple of hours) we finally made it to LaPaz to meet Isaac´s smiling face. It was such a joy to see him in his SIFAT hat that matched mine…it felt like home!

He helped us get into a hotel, exchange money, etc.

After a good nap, we had a lunch (And the worlds BEST chocolate caliente!) and are exploring the city. It feels great to finally be here after a semester of thinking and praying about it. We head to Rurry tomorrow to meet Rachel then off to Ixiamas!

Check back in a few days for more updates!!


Today, three groups came to SIFAT to tour our campus and learn how we “share God’s love in practical ways” from Alabama. If your group is interested in coming for a tour, contact Haley Lewis, lewish@sifat.org. Tours are available on Thursdays throughout the year.

Our eight Learn & Serve counselors will begin training on Monday. Please pray for their safe travel as they arrive throughout the weekend and for their stamina as they prepare for the next nine weeks of camp. Are you still interested in registering for L&S? Limited space if available. Visit www.sifat.org/learnandserve for more information about L&S 2008: 360.

The Field Course Study begins next Wednesday, May 28. Many participants will begin arriving Tuesday afternoon for orientation. For more information about this 10-day training, visit www.sifat.org/fieldstudy.html.

 Rachel asked me to teach computer and English lessons. I have almost 6 classess a day, and a Chinese class with 2-3 boys. And a session/playtime with the elementary kids, 6 of them..

I think my favorite is my time with the elementary kids. We just read stories and play and do crafts. Its more like  a Sunday School.

The other day, I taught the kids to do stamping on cards. I told them to make cards for their mother for Mother’s Day. One kid, Julio said I don’t have my mother, she passed away when I was 7. The other kid, Zorayda said,”I don’t have a mother too.” Another kid reacted, no we have.(her sister) Zorayda said, (she is like 9 years old but she looks like 6 years old),  “I don’t like my mother. She left us and she has  another boy”.

They still made the cards, and they got crazy about stamping.  They stamped the whole page of the cards with different images and colors. The two of them, wrote: “ Para mi padre (for my father)”

( for a mother’s day card)”.