Two summer interns joined Becky in Ixiamas, Bolivia. Although they did not post throughout their time, we asked them to share about their experiences. This is the third part in a multi-post series.

Well, my name is Katie Acker, and I’m from Ohatchee, Alabama. I just graduated high school, and I’m about to move to Mississippi to attend Belhaven College. This past spring, I began thinking about my summer plans. I knew that I wanted to take a trip somewhere new, but I had no idea where. A couple opportunities came my way, but Bolivia seemed to constantly be on my mind. My mother spent a whole summer in Bolivia when she was about my age. I’ve heard many stories about this foreign country, but never saw myself actually going. I remember saying when I was younger I would never go there just because my mom had already been. Well, God definitely had other plans because as I type I am sitting on a bunk bed in a room with screen windows and no air conditioning. I stare out the window, and I see palm trees, little huts and buildings, and a sunset that will make you go crazy over your creator. I am here in Ixiamas, and I can’t believe it. It’s nothing short of an adventure when you’re following Christ and doing his will, and that is simply why I am here in Bolivia.

Two weeks ago, I met my team from Christ Community Church and braved the Atlanta airport. I was super nervous to meet them, but then as soon as I did, they immediately welcomed me in. I said goodbye to my family and headed off to security check. I looked back to wave my last wave, and there my mother stood crying, I can’t imagine what she was thinking. She was doing the same thing 30-something years ago. Now, her only daughter was leaving for the familiar country.

We landed in La Paz super early and slowly started to grab up our luggage and, hopefully, catch a flight to Rurrenabeque. We quickly found out that the plane was not flying due to a muddy runway, which meant we would be taking the bus. That’s when I started to get a little nervous. I began remembering all the stories I had heard mom tell about the “death road” and the pictures I looked up on Google. This is when I started fervently praying for God’s safety.

What a ride it was. We saw some incredible scenery, and oh, did I mention I slept through the bad part of the drive? Some of this could be blamed on me getting close to no sleep on the flight from Miami, but another factor might be the sleeping aids I took. Boy did they work! I felt good when we got to Rurrenabeque. We arrived in the early morning and then hopped on some motorbikes to go meet up with Rachel, Mateo and Chas. We ate breakfast, crossed the river and got back on our awesome bus to head to Ixiamas. We arrived in Ixiamas, and I got settled in to my new home for the next three weeks. I met some of the kids, and I met my roomie, Miss Becky. I automatically knew I was going to have fun with her.

The next week was a whirlwind. We had devotionals at seven in the morning before the day got started. I dreaded them every time I had to wake up, but they were so good. While the team was here, we went to a village in Santa Rosa and hung out with the kids. We did work projects at the Internado and even had bible school with 200 children. It was crazy. I didn’t realize how much I had enjoyed the team being here until they had to leave. I only knew them for a week and still I cried watching them go. They really blessed me.

Rachel, Miss Becky, and Mateo went with the team to go to La Paz to finish up some business. So that meant I would be here with the kids and Chas. I was a little anxious to see how Chas and I would get along and also, just to see how the kids would be around me. I knew that doing God’s will might mean me being “alone”, but it hit me that day hard and fast; I was no longer in my comfort zone. I was in Bolivia, and I might have to put my big girl pants on and grow up a little.

Come back to tomorrow to read Part Two of Katie’s summer.