Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The wheels on the bus

A few things that have ¨struck¨ me this past week:
  • Jenna poked me on the shoulder and whispered ¨you`re sitting next to a parrot!¨ Sure enough, I turned my head and found myself face to face with a colorful bird pirched on the shoulder of the girl next to me. At least this time I wasn`t face to face with a chicken head in my fridge.
  • Yesterday, I saw 121 dogs in the street. I started counting the moment I left my house. That means I see about 800 dogs per week. I`m telling you, they are everywhere!
  • When I commented on having a cold toilet seat in one of my previous blogs, my friend Krystal said ¨you have a toilet seat?¨ I am one of the only ST members that has one. Lucky me!
  • Two little kids approached me on the street and asked for money. I asked them what they wanted and they pointed to a small grocery store (of sorts). I ended up buying them a box of cereal to share. I asked them there names and ages.... 6 and 7 years old. Wandering the street. I hope I see them again; I want to ask them their shoe size so I can buy them a new pair. Their shoes were worn out completely. Their clothes a mess.
  • 2 dogs have wandered into the Internet Cafe. They sniff around, hit some patrons with their tail, and then eventually leave.
  • I`ve seen a lot of bumper stickers that say ¨Jesus is Love¨ & ¨My Nissan is Fantastic.¨
  • Prostitution is absolutely horrific. We`re going through a unit on prostitution as part of our book study. I just read an article called ¨Because She Looks Like A Child¨ which addressed the issue of sex-trafficking. Many of the women we work with have been trafficked... from other countries, rural areas, etc.. The facts are disgusting and it makes me angry that the demand for prostitutes is so high. It has made me think about how we view prostitution in the United States. I fear it is a lot more prevalent than we realize. More on this later...
  • I recently spent 2 days in La Paz and the differences are incredible. The air is fresher from lower altitude and more trees. The people are dressed fancier. There are restaurants, icecream shops, well-maintained parks, fancy perfume shops. Here in El Alto, the dress is more casual (it`s a good thing since I only have a couple outfits), the dust irritates my contact lenses, I am one of the only gringos, it`s much colder, and people from La Paz smirk when I tell them I live here.
  • These people are not entirely poor... most have food, family, and shelter. Maybe we (USA) are just rich - buried in luxury, caught up by status, extra things, cars, and clothes.
  • I gave 3 haircuts yesterday to women at Missionaries of Charity. I was helping to serve breakfast, and one of the sisters approached me and asked ¨do any of you (the other gringos) know how to cut hair?¨ I immediately said YES and she said some of the women desperately need their hair cut and they haven`t been able to find anyone to come in and do it for them. This random skill of mind isn`t so random after all!

I hope to post more pictures soon... this computer is rejecting my camera, so I´ll try again in a few days. If there are specific things you would like to see pictures of, please let me know and I`ll do my best.

2 comments:

chrislyn said...

when i hear how all of your "random" skills are being used i tear up! that is so incredible :) i guess you don't have to major in graphic design or be a hair dresser - just follow God's lead and you can be all of the above! :)

i love you and miss you!

Daphne said...

Elizabeth!

Parker turned me on to your blog and I wanted to pipe up and tell you how much admiration I have for what you're doing out there. Your powers of description are amazing, and it's very easy to visualize (but not always swallow) what you are saying. I'm interested in what follows...

It makes life here seem so cushy and almost like the gift of living in the states is one we should examine more closely...

Take care!