The Longest Day.
June 9, 2016 what a week!
our first team was a success! it was super cool to be on the flip side of CIN during a team visit. its amazing to see and be a part of all the work that goes into everything we do with the teams, the boys, and the local people for Sidewalk. it definitely gives me a new perspective and respect for the staff and the hosts I have been with in the past!!
after our Greeneville team left Friday morning, we had a few days off to rest, replenish, and clean up. these days were the most relaxing and also the busiest we have had. our first day off was GLORIOUS. we woke at 3am to send the team off to the airport, then we came back and slept until 11. we stayed in our pajamas all day and lounged around eating and watching movies and just being together. that night, we cooked a yummy dinner (omelettes with onion, tomato, and cheese; leftover pizza; and hashbrowns) and set up a home theater in our living room! it was great to relax and be a family – because honestly, that is what these people have become.
Sunday we headed to church. something about the worship was so powerful to me. one of the songs we sang simply said “transform me, oh God” and it broke me. that’s all I’m here for – to be an open vessel for whatever God wants to do through me. it has been so difficult stepping out of my comfort zone and breaking away from my introversion and wanting to curl up by myself any time I’m tired, but I know it will be so so worth it in the end. after church, Allie and Gerson took us to an authentic Bolivian food restaurant where we all split pique (AMAZE) and charque (llama meat). we also hit up Capresso café in the city where they had REAL COFFEE and it was beautiful. then we interns decided to do something special for our ‘house parents’ Ashlen and Ronny. they just got married in April and came straight to Bolivia shortly after. they have been so inspiring, and their hearts to serve and love when they could have relaxed in the beginning of their marriage is something worth celebrating. SO we cooked (from scratch, might I add) pasta with alfredo sauce, vanilla cake with dulce de leche icing, and an appetizer of crackers with meat and cheese. we set up a table on the other side of the apartment for them to have a quiet dinner together, and they seemed very grateful when we surprised them! it was fun to do something for them since they are spending their summer with us – and we’re a crazy bunch!!
the days that followed consisted of so many housework chores – including but not limited to washing ALL OF THE COMFORTERS BEFORE WE HAD FOOD OR COFFEE one morning, spending a day in La Cancha searching for new fans and mirrors, washing all the windows and organizing the deposito.
these days were long and tiring but we got so much done, and it was fun being a team and accomplishing so much in such a short time. but I want to focus specifically on yesterday.
we woke up and did a few chores around the apartment, then Ashlen, Dany, Ronny, Fernando and I headed out to buy paint for this new team’s work project and groceries. We were supposed to be done at 1, but didn’t make it home until 5.
the day was tiring and hard and never ending. we first headed to the paint store where Ashlen and I waited in the car for an hour and a half while the boys picked out and bought the paint. however, the clerk told us to come back at 3 because the paint would not be ready until then, so we set out to IC Norte (our go-to grocery store) to pick up everything we would need for the team. we found almost everything here, but they didn’t have two types of meat that we needed so we had to head to another store to buy that. we headed BACK to the paint store and finally picked all of that up, headed to the other supermarket to buy meat, picked up chicken at a DIFFERENT store, filled the car up with gas and headed home. now this isn’t like America where these places are all 10-15 minutes apart from each other. we drove AT LEAST 30 minutes to each different place, so we spent a total of 7 hours in and out of the car all. day. long. to make it better, we later found out that those who stayed behind had a relatively relaxing day to chill because they finished everything at the apartment so early in the day.
you’d think I would’ve been upset and angry and frustrated by the end of all this madness. you’d also be horribly wrong.
during our long wait at the paint store, Ashlen and I had great conversation about music and I was able to share so many of my favorite songs and artists. at IC Norte, I was able to connect with and talk to Fernando more (who is from Columbia and only speaks Spanish). in all our time in the car, I was amongst all bilingual people who only spoke Spanish to each other, and I was able to understand and contribute to conversation without much difficulty. we all jammed to music and sang and danced and had a great time together, and it felt like family. we came back and had a whole family dinner and movie night, which was so relaxing and fun.
the day was tiring and hard and never ending. but it was rich in love and full of grace. always grace.
-for all of our stomachs to feel normal again!! its been a few days and it is disgusting and not fun at all.
-one of our interns, Emily, is starting to feel feverish and we want her to feel completely healthy!!
-a new team arrived today! pray that we will all get along and be able to contribute to their time here in the best way we can.
-pray for NO BLOCKADES because we are so sick of them.
thank you so much for all support and prayers. it means the world to me that you are on this journey with me, and I thank God for you every day I am here!!