What’s been going on at SIFAT? A lot! We’ve finished Learn & Serve for the summer and welcomed Practicum students. Schools and groups are coming weekly for CARES field trips, not to mention the retreats on weekends. Wow. Busy!
We have asked Practicum student Becky Forrest to let us publicly post the recaps e-mails to friends and family. Becky is an accountant who has been called to missions. Three years ago, she went on a short-term mission trip to Panama. In 2007, she traveled with an UMVIM group from South Carolina to Ixiamas, Bolivia to work with SIFAT. In 2008, she returned to Ixiamas to work with SIFAT again. Now, she has quit her job and is taking part in our training to prepare for being in full time ministry.
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, and welcome to the SIFAT blog!
Chaco Day, A Bugs Life,
The last few weeks have gone by quickly and here are some of my adventures here in the Amazon Forest.
Chaco Day. FewÂ weeks ago, for 2 weekends, the Internado folks Â (workers and kids) had to go to chacoÂ Â (farming field) to work. Its about 3 miles from the Internado Property. Hermano Andres works there everyday taking care of the banana trees, cacao and other vegetables. For 2 Sundays, we helped him weed the plants.Â On the first Sunday, we worked all day using machete to cut the tall weeds and other wild grass that grew aroundÂ the field. Â Few kids were assigned each row. I paired up with some of the girls, and since I was not familiar with how they do it, I had to ask her where is our area. As I carpir (cut) the tall, wild grass and other weeds, I was excited cutting anywhere. SoÂ the girls had to Â tell me several times, â€œthat is not our rowâ€.Â Besides the heat of the sun, we also had to work through some attacks of the bees and other bugs.Â I tried to be careful as I was already beaten by a wasp just few days before that. Sad to say, Rachel was beaten by some wasps. She is okay though Mrs. Marsha.Â We brought our lunch ( a vegetable salad with sardines and rice of course) and had a picnic at the barn.Â After the long day work, some of the girls walked to the nearby river or streams of water.
The followingÂ day Â I didnâ€™t realized how tiring it was, and I was sore and achy all over. I thought it was the age, but some of the girls had the same thing. Â Â Â We all showed each other the callous and cuts we had on our fingers from the carpir. I enjoyed though working with the earth. The following weekend, some of the kids who didnâ€™t get to go the previous weekend, had to go. For which I had to stay in the Internado to watch the kids who didnâ€™t go the 2nd Sunday.
A BugS Life.
Back to the story where I was beaten by a wasp couple of weeks ago.We normally have wasps and other bugs flying around (of course) esp at night when there is light, all kinds of bugs in different colors, shapes and sizes fly around. One lunch time, as a usual thing there were some wasps flying around, I did not notice one on my drinking cup, until I felt a sharp pain and sting on my mouth. I screamed but it was too late. (most of the kids were gone in the river, they did not hear my scream.) Â Just after few minutes, a kid noticed my lip is different. For a couple of days, half of my lip is swollen, andÂ I felt the sting, eventhough I put some hydrocortisone and took some paracetamol. Â Â Just before that, I was also beaten by giant red ants that leftÂ some marks around my right hand up to now. Its funny for me that it seems coming here in the jungle has change my prayer from he place where I used to be. Before, I would pray, â€œLord protect me from watching eyes, and from dangers of being caught by the country authorities because of the work I do for you.â€
Now my prayer sometimes is like this, â€œLord protect me from the bugsâ€ and when I go to the river, â€œLord let me not meet a bibora (snake) today, or something likeÂ this â€œ I would not really appreciate a visit of a cayman, not today!â€Â Some kids claimed that they saw some snakes in the river.
To be continued…a Bugs Life
Once again, I apologize for my poor writing from last time. Im sorry for grammatical and typo error. I meant to say last time, “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not break”.
(Please excuse my writing as English is not my first language.And I am still struggling to learn my fourth language-Spanish)
Just a quick update. Our kids continue to have the mini-olympics with the colegio (middle and high school). Our girls fotsal team won because the other team did not show up.
It was a bit challenging witht the girls basketball team, as last week, Rachel was in La Paz. The girls did not had a coach for practice and the game. Ruth the dorm mother, usually come to the game. But during the game she had to go somewhere. I was left with the team who had to play against the team from the senior year (whose players were muchÂ bigger and taller). They just swept our girls (like cats against small ants).Â With my little knowledge of playingÂ basketball, I wanted toÂ do some encouragement and coaching with our girls, however, I did not have words to use forÂ playing Â basketball in Spanish. I tried to tell our girls whatÂ might help, but they just looked at me as if saying “what do you know about basketball?”, orÂ ” what are you trying to say?”
Anyway, it was still fun afterall, thoughÂ the Internado girls scored half of the other teamÂ´s score.
We were also blessed last week with the visit of Tom Corson , SIFATÂ´s Director in Alabama.It was short but good. I continue to have computer and English classes everyday with the kids. Its fun also to as the kids learn more stuff in the computer.
Blessings to yall,
” Blessed are the flexible, but they shall not break”. I think the last time I heard this word was from Nate Paulk (SIFAT). However, prior toÂ coming to SIFAT and relearning this principle, I had learned to live with this early on my in the missionfield.Â It is actually the grace of God that helped me learn and live with this.
The other Sunday while waiting for my flight fromÂ LaPaz to Rurre to go back to Ixiamas, this word was reminded to me.
After 3 hours of waiting for my flight, the TAM airline people announced that the flight was cancelled for the following day.Â I ended spending the night with a friend near the airport, and flew the following day, after a weird and strange ordeal with the airline crew.Â Besides that the cause delay toÂ the passengers,Â I still have to pay them extra money just for them to let me fly after a day delay. Anyway, I got back toÂ Ixiamas last Monday afternoon,Â Thank God ! The kids were all happy to see me again.
Im back to my classes everyday. Then Saturday, August 30th, Rachel celebrated her birthday with us.Â We had a good supper that day, and had a good program afterwards. (Brian, your three little pigs story, is now only two little pigs, and they have grown now).
With the game series, thank God the boys won in the soccer game.Hoorrayy!!!Â And the girls won also on the footsal. The basketball teamÂ still needs to practice more.Â Â Â
Til next then.Hasta luegoÂ ! Vicky
PS I apologize for my grammar and spelling error with my past writings.