Our current intern in Ixiamas, Bolivia, is 2008 Practicum graduate Becky Forrest. Becky served on short-term mission trips in 2007 and 2008 in Ixiamas. She is now in her second year as an intern.
Yay! The heat has broken for now in Ixiamas! Easter Sunday blessed us with a thunderstorm and cooling winds. It finally got below 80. I believe winter is on its way. They say it has been cold in LaPaz; I guess I will see for myself in another month when I go to start the process of renewing my visa. I pray it will be an easier process than last year.
Most of the students went home over the long Easter weekend. Schools were closed for Good Friday here. Easter is not celebrated here like it is in the US. In fact, church services were not held in Ixiamas because it was Election Day to elect a new mayor. There are no chocolate bunnies or marshmallow Peeps to eat or colored eggs to hunt. Thank the Lord I had CD’s of last Easter’s service at Belin UMC, my home church. Holy Week was always special for me, since the choir had a lot of special music at that time. I have to admit to being a little homesick. With the students gone, the staff took turns cooking, so we had some really good meals that were different than what we normally have. I still had a little cornmeal left from the bag a group brought me last year, so I cooked black-eyed peas and cornbread muffins.
We also had the big chicken slaughter. We have been raising chickens to sell as one of our money making projects. Saturday, we sold around 20, so there was much work to be done since they had to be slaughtered and cleaned. I back away from the task and took the position of photographer and helped with some cleanup afterward. Rachel stepped right in there and plucked three. She did a good job but was a little slower than Mercedes (our cook), Delia (animal and grounds caretaker) and Nancy (our only student here). Those ladies have had much experience with chickens–a lost art in my family, and one I donâ€™t really want to learn.
English classes are going really well. We have had a request for another class on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. At the present time, I have 10 students with classes 4 nights a week. They seem to be enjoying learning, and we have a good time with lots of laughs at some of the pronunciations. It is also helping me with my Spanish, which is coming along. I am trying to do my devotions with the students in Spanish this year. I write it out in English, and then translate to Spanish. Eduardo, my Spanish teacher, then reads it and helps me to correct the grammar. I have really been learning a lot that way and he says he enjoys my devotionals.
We will be finishing the rice harvest this week. We had a lot left over from last year, so Andres did not plant as much this year and planted later in the year. Many people in the area who planted early lost most of their crops to disease, but God has blessed our harvest. We will have plenty.
Please keep the Internado in your prayers.