Thursday, May 24, 2007

Up, Up, UP!

Cara and I
Originally uploaded by Elizabeth in Bolivia.
Despite the fact that my clothes and skin are covered in a perpetual film of dust from the atrocious wind we´ve been having, my toothpaste has been freezing because of the cold, and I´ve seen a few very large spiders, I´ve been feeling pretty ¨up¨ as of late.

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...


ryanmortinson said...

wow. so awesome. what would we do without music. someday you will need to listen to the korean praise music i have on my ipod. especially "jesus loves me". I keep hitting the repeat button on that one.

PS did i tell you that summit sent me some black boxer briefs made from quick dry material? I couldn't stop laughing.

May you continue to Bless and be Blessed.

Anonymous said...

Happy 23rd Birthday Elizabeth!

We are looking forward to your return home soon. May the Lord richly bless these next 20 days in Bolivia - and all the days beyond.

Mom and Dad