Thursday, May 24, 2007
Up, Up, UP!
It´s been in the 20s at night, which feels even colder without heaters, carpet, and an enclosed house.
I still think about the women in the brothels and my experience there, hoping for another visit to the streets before I leave. I´m also processing the recent announcement one of my teammates who has chosen to leave Bolivia early. I´m trying to find a balance of my feelings of disappointment and support.
Yesterday, I spent the morning in La Paz by myself. I developed some pictures for the photo album of La Casa de Esperanza that I´m putting together for my Servant Team project. I sent my parents another postcard. I wandered around in several shops with beautiful homemade handicrafts. I bought myself a birthday present. The fresh air and time to myself was invigorating after some especially difficult days last week.
When I arrived at the La Casa for lunch, I was immediately greeted by my little friend April, who is 3 years old. Since I had arrived late, she had been asking the other Gringos, ¨where is the ´other?´ I´ve befriended her many times at the center with gifts of stickers and questions about favorite colors. Her laughter is contagious, which could be another reason we´ve bonded. When she had to leave, she ran up to me to say ¨chao¨ and kiss me on the cheek, calling me her ¨Amigita¨ - ¨Little Friend.¨ I melted.
Chris Tomlin has donated $10,000 to WMF Bolivia for the purchase of a new building. We are thrilled by his generosity and excited to continue our search for another building that will be even more perfect than the one we currently have.
I cut Cara´s hair, which I must say, looks beautiful. We set up a beauty parlor in her hallway where a patch of sunlight was streaming through, while Jodi practiced the guitar and Jenna made the most delicious oatmeal chocolate chip M&M cookies. She has definitely perfected the art of high-altitude cooking. None of us wanted to leave when we were all finished with our various tasks, so I plugged in my iPod to Cara´s speakers and sang along to my favorite songs. I laid on her hardwood floor in a ray of sunlight, occasionally busting out with some awkward dance moves from my position on the floor.
We laughed. We rejoiced. We worshiped.
We ate delicious cookies... and Wheat Thins w/ Cheeze Whiz - the combined goodness of Jodi and Cara´s recent packages. I´m still not sure how I feel about cheese in a can, and it felt very non-Bolivian snack, which was a nice change.
I had my last Spanish class today... which begins the end of my time here. Tomorrow, I turn 23 (although I feel like I should be much older for some reason) and we´ll host our last party at La Casa de Esperanza to celebrate Bolivia´s Mother´s Day.
Good emails from incredible friends continue to lift me UP, as does my wall which is almost full of cards.
3 more weeks from today...