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Behind me     

Posted by Katherine Putnam on April 3rd, 2010


“Left my troubles all behind me, the moment that I climbed on board…”

In just a few short days (as of April 6th) it will make three months that Chris and I have been living in Cochabamba: that’s half our time that’s flown by!

We’ve just gotten back from our brief vacation to Santa Cruz, the largest city in Bolivia. This past week was our spring break, so we were asked to travel and see: more of Bolivia and more of SIM’s work in Bolivia. Tuesday morning Chris, the Lindquists and I piled into their vehicle for the 8+ hour trip to Santa Cruz, a much hotter, more humid area of Bolivia. We spent Tuesday through Friday morning in Santa Cruz, exploring a bit of the city and enjoying the beauty of a swimming pool at our hotel.

On Thursday Chris and I completed our SIM required portion of the trip, visiting a missionary couple (the Friths) at their house and enjoying their hospitality. We learned about the mission they had founded in Sucre: El Alfarero, a self sustaining student outreach program. The project draws funds from the mission run cafe and provides a safe place for students (and others) to hang out, find counseling, etc. They are now in the process of starting up an El Alfarero in Santa Cruz. During our visit the Friths treated us to a delicious barbecue (where I tried chicken heart: chewy, salty and delicious) and taught us to play Skittles (like bowling…sort of).

Wednesday gave us one of our best memories of Santa Cruz: spending the day at Parque Guembe: the butterfly garden. We had been told by several sources that we had to see the garden. We found their recommendation to be spot on, however, the park was not merely a butterfly garden. During our visit we were able to see their monkey island, a large field inhabited by large turtles (tortoises?), a large bird park as well as the butterfly garden. And last but not least we got to enjoy their many pools!

While Guembe was on of our best memories, the most memorable moment of all came Thursday night (April fools day) when the power went out in Abbey and my room. We heard shouts from the boys’ (and Amelia’s) side as they called out to see if we had somehow cut their power as an April fools joke. Once we assured them that we had not Abbey and I headed outside our cabin to check the breaker…only to discover it was on fire! Long story short the fire was put out and we were moved to a different cabin. Despite the danger it was quite a riot!

Going back a little ways (to our pre-vacation days): last week was parent/teacher interviews and field days. I didn’t have many parents show up to the interviews on Wednesday–I’m not sure if that’s a blessing or a curse–but those that did were a delight to meet and I felt the interviews went well. Thursday and Friday (March 25th and 26th) were field days; the school is divided into three colored teams (green, yellow and red, the colors of the Bolivian flag) and compete in track and field events. I spent Thursday timing the preliminary heats for the track events and cheering on the green team. Friday I was supposed to spend timing the final races, but I got sick again (this made the third time I was violently sick) so I instead spent the day in the hospital getting an IV (to replace the fluids I’d lost) and submitting myself to a few tests. This past Monday I found out I had some (mild) form of amoebas and was put on medicine that seems to have cleared everything up. Needless to say it was quite an adventure and I’m so glad to have my appetite back! (Ie: I went to Las Islas last night when Chris and I returned to Coch.)

I realize with the jumbled way I told the previous stories my time line is rather confused. To sum up, from last Wednesday it went: parent/teacher interviews, field days/hospital, a restful weekend of recovery, Tuesday through Friday morning in Santa Cruz followed by a long day of travel that culminated in our eventual return to Coch. As for today (Saturday) I just spent the last several (six or seven) hours grading the 9th graders’ poetry anthologies and essays. Whew. Remind me to never assign big projects again. They’re quite a pain to grade!

Anywho. Prayers would be greatly appreciated as we head into our last month (or less!) of rehearsals before Alice’s Adventures premieres. It’s getting down to crunch time: it’s quite scary! Also, please pray that the amoebas are completely gone and that I could finish out my time here in better health!

Pictures of vacation (and perhaps field days?) will come once I steal some from the Lindquists (my battery died at the start of vacation). Speaking of pictures, I finally added pictures to old posts (I have a few left to add)…so go re-explore the archives!

Cheers,

Katherine Elyse


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