Welcome to Cochabamba!
My first post from Bolivia! It will be short and sweet.
Most flights went off without a hitch, at least too big of a hitch... and we all met in Santa Cruz airport officially! I was the last one on the plane... go figure :P
We have all been bonding, mostly over laughs and sharing experiences. The team is made up of 4 people: myself, Sarah, John and Justin. The two 27 year old girls and the 20 and 22 year old boys is a hilarious combo and we all tend to laugh at just about anything. Being led by Mario doesn´t help with keeping serious either haha!
We have had little to no altitude sickness yet (minus the in-plane layover in La Paz. Depending on who you asked, it caused nausea, headaches, and difficulty breathing but only for an hour or so) and have been exposed to menthe de coca (herbal remedy), coffee and tea sweetened with honey, and AMAZING hospitality from Carmen and her family here at the House of Hope.
Driving through Cochabamba, I was having mixed memories of Italy (because of the types of roads as well as some cultural things We are near northern Argentina which has strong Italian heritage... we even say "ciao" as a goodbye!) and Nairobi with the types of buildings and car driving! We have seen an abundance of playgrounds and basketball and volleyball courts. We have seen a lot of graffiti (some quite impressive) and some addicts in the streets It is certainly an urban area which is a change for me!
We have seen the work done here at House of Hope: hydroponics (minor and major), composting, and a beautiful ministry area. Medicinal resources for the many who are undernourished (80,000 children a year die in Bolivia from preventable causes), art by the community... all beautiful things.
Tonight is our first orientation session with the wonderful Dan Buttry!
That God would help us through these amazing living resources we are spending time with here while in Bolivia, to better understand our calling here and be better equipped to follow through the way that is successful in God´s eyes.
That God would continue to strengthen us against sickness, and loneliness as he has done so far with such an awesome and open team.
For healing for the people we saw today that need it... all of them... and in the mirror. That God would heal those relationships the way only He can with our willingness to submit to his calling of LOVE!
GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!