Friday, June 8, 2007

I´m feeling tension-filled.
Home means:
family, friends, a cell phone, good food, a hair-dryer, a change of wardrobe, and coffee shops. Leaving means:
goodbyes, adios to this special simplicity, chao to my lack of distractions

Only 3 women showed up at La Casa today. One of them came with several devastating stories... She has a visible, painful outbreak of Herpes. She begged to receive some medication for free, even though it only costs 50 centavos, which is equivalent to 4 pennies - but she doesn´t have pennies to spare. Her young daughters are also always filthy, soaked in urine - we offer them lunch and showers at the center. I´m wondering if they don´t have running water in their home? Her sister just had a baby a few days ago and the baby has a bruised nasal passage, which has left the doctor in bewilderment and is sending her to a specialist. The baby´s mother is very sick and can hardly walk. I kissed her cheek as I said goodbye and couldn´t help but notice the pain in her eyes - physically and emotionally.

When I was at a table by myself, Humberto told me today that he is going to miss my presence here...

It´s painful to think about what I´m leaving behind, knowing that my friends here don´t have the immediate option of financial security, life off the streets, medical treatment....espresso drinks, cable television, cell phones. Their life is in El Alto, never to be elsewhere, and I get to go home... to comfort, relaxation, security.

My final days are filled with activity. We attended a soccer game in La Paz´s huge stadium. Last night we rested and watched a movie. Tonight we´re attending a worship service with several other missionaries in the area. Saturday and Sunday I´ll be in Copacabana with part of my B-family on our final outing. Monday night we´re having a dinner with all our families as a way to show our gratitude. Tuesday night I´ll visit the brothels one last time. Wednesday night is Cara´s birthday, and a sleepover at her house since we have to leave at 5am Thursday morning...

Please pray for me as I struggle to integrate dreams of home with my goodbyes here. Also, for my trip to the streets next Tuesday... (see my previous blog for suggestions on what to pray for). And finally, no flight delays on my trip home; I´m supposed to arrive HOME at 2am on June 15th, which gives me 5 hours with my brother before he moves to Boston, and delays might mean I won´t get to see him.


ryanmortinson said...

it's now june 15th my time. wow. how has time gone by so fast? let me know how plans go in the US so i know how i should eventually start preparing... :)

meredith said...

El--By the time you read this you will probably be in Oregon. I hope you'll have seen Parker and connected with all your family. Blessings on you friend! May your heart, mind, and spirit receive what they need.