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.

This is my third week back in Ixiamas, and it has been so good to be back. English and computer classes have resumed; the kids did not forget everything in the six weeks I was gone. English is progressing well. They are now reading some small books and doing very well with their pronunciation.


This past Sunday afternoon I looked out my window to see Sneakers with something white in her mouth. It just happened to be the Angora rabbit that Rachel and I gave a haircut (see my last post). The rabbit cage got a hole in it, and the rabbit got out of the Bunny Hut. Sneakers was properly shamed, but I doubt she learned her lesson. We retrieved the rabbit before she tore into him. So, guess what was for supper Monday?

There was no school here last Thursday and Friday because it was the weekend to celebrate the town’s anniversary. The staff went to our cook Catalina’s farm about 3 hours or 26 miles from here — past Two Trees — to get a female pig for the new addition to the pig house. What an interesting trip we had! I had never been that far out before. Several of the kids live out there, and we dropped them off at their homes. We crossed several large rivers that could never be crossed in our truck during the rainy season. We had lunch and harvested some plantains at Catalina’s farm and put the pig in the back of the truck with several people. We had not traveled very far when he jumped out of the truck. This time we tied him down from both sides.

On the way home, we made two interesting stops. The first was to see a German Amish couple’s farm. We had given them a ride from town, and they wanted us to see their house with a basement and a washing machine run by horses. They have only been here for four years, but have done so much work. The basement housed the family’s bedrooms for the parents, four daughters and three sons. This would have been hand dug. I wish I could explain the washing machine system better but basically the horses were harnessed to go round and round and that pulled a system of pulleys that ran a regular washing machine. The next stop was at the house of the Mennonite pastor about one hour from Ixiamas. They have been here less than a year and are from Tennessee. Their home has five bedrooms and three bathrooms with a large family room and kitchen. It was really hard to believe you were so far out. They had solar power and water that came from a mountain stream pumped in to a big holding tank, so they have running water in the house.

I wanted to tell you a little about some of the kids here. We have 3 sets of brothers and sisters. Nancy (15) and Julio (11) were here last year and their father works for one of the saw mills several hours from town. Their mother was killed in a wreck when Julio was very young. When school is out for long weekends, they usually stay here because the saw mill is not a very good place for a 15-year-old young lady to stay. Marivel (15) and Miguel (12) are from a community about 1 ½ hours from here on the road to Rurre. They have a small store and farm there. My mission team visited their church in 2007. Samuel (12) and Joel (10) came the week before I went to LaPaz. Their family lives in the jungle several hours from here.

Hasta Luego,

Hermana Rebecca

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.

Finally after six very long weeks, I have returned to the Internado. This trip back was only 30 hours because we had rain in Rurre again, but not as bad a last time. The bus was finally able to cross.  Words cannot express how great it is to be home again and to see the kids. My papers were finally given to immigration on Friday, May 29th — thank the Lord! The kids will be on winter vacation the last week of June and first week of July, so I will head back to La Paz at that time to pick up my ID card and passport with my resident visa, which will be good for one year. I guess that means I will return next year since I went to all this trouble to get the visa.

The last six weeks have been very emotional and a learning experience for me. I hit so many roadblocks on this journey. Each time the first thing out of my mouth was “Well maybe I should just go back home”, and the next thought was “No! God wants me here, and I will fight to get my visa”. I had some wonderful folks helping me here, especially a young lady named Marlene, who was my translator and traveling companion. Marlene has been studying English for several years and was in need of someone with whom to practice, so I hope I helped her as much as she helped me by letting me cry on her shoulder and praise God with her. Then, there was Pastor Ivan Roman (Bully); we also cried together when I had doors close, but he was really good at getting them to open up again.

I learned a lot about trusting God and that He has a big plan for us, even if we don’t always understand why things happen the way they do. He is in control. He opened up border crossings for me and always provided someone to inspire me to continue the fight. It would come in form of an email at just the right moment or a stranger on a bus or traveling through La Paz. I met people from my home state and all around the world. Each one heard my story and had one to tell me that would keep me going.

I did get to visit the floating islands on Lake Titicaca while in Puno, Peru. What an amazing place. There are around 40 islands built from reeds that people live on and have for centuries. We were taken on a ride in a boat made entirely from reeds. Lake Titicaca is so large that in places it looks like the ocean because all you can see is water on the horizon. In most places, you can see the peaks of the Andes Mountains surrounding it. I will try to get back to posting a blog every two weeks and look for blogs written by Chas Jordan our summer intern.


In Christ,