Thursday, February 18, 2010

Serving...and more!

Life has been busy.
Are you surprised?
About a week and a half ago our school did our first of four "service Fridays" where the middle schoolers and high schoolers went to 4 different non-profit organizations around the area and served in some capacity.
My group went to La Casa de Esperanza up in the city of El Alto (the poorest area of La Paz). It is connected to the organization Word Made Flesh and works with the prostitues in the area.
They are in the middle of building rooms for a new sewing program they are offering to the women so they can learn a new skill. Therefore, our job was to "paint" the rooms with primer...
and clear out some of the trash that piled up from their remodeling!
We didn't completely clear the pile, but I was so proud of each student and the creative ways they decided to transport the rubble from the pile to the truck. Filling less-than-sturdy cardboard boxes, dustpans, and our own manos (hands) are a few of the many different ways the work was done!

After coming home (tired) and packing up a few of my belongings, I headed out in the rain to spend the weekend in the "country" of Bolivia making a house for a family.
Un Techo Para Mi Pais is a non-christian, college-studen targeted organization that buses up students/25+ year-olds into a community to build, basically, as many houses as possible in one weekend (or more if needed..).
As you can probably gather, it was a crazy weekend filled with lots of spanish, youngins (high schoolers and even college students seem sooo young to me!), and sore muscles! But, it was an awesome way to see a different side of Bolivia and to work (and I mean, WORK) alongside young people who are choosing to serve the poor of their country!
My 3 teammates....2 Bolivians and 1 Taiwanese who spoke English but practiced his spanish alongside me (with a pretty hilarious accent that made me feel better, if I do say so!).

65 and 75 year-old Marcelina and Benito were the thankful beneficiaries of the new house. They were both very sweet and while Benito worked alonside us, Marcelina cooked us tasty and very typical Bolivian almuerzos (lunch). Even though I was a little worried about the reoccurence of typhoid in my body, I thoroughly enjoyed trying, mostly for the first time, these homemade Bolivian dishes. I only wish they hadn't fed us so much....working after eating was that much harder!

Some of my friends who helped me make it through the cement-floor-beds and the long days of carrying wooden strutctures that wieghed more than me!
To end this post, I would like to leave you with a few of the "ooops" pictures that were taken on our last "night"(we didn't arrive back in La Paz until sometime Sunday night after midnight!) working on the house. Because, even though my camera did a pretty good job acting as a flashlight, sometimes it reverted to it's ORIGINAL PURPOSE, and took a few pictures... or 30 (literally!!).
As you can probably guess by these pictures, we were NOT able to finish the house :( !
But, the house will be finished this month by more volunteers and I was just thankful that I could help and see a new, richer side of this country I'm starting to call "home"!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah... such great things you're doing... I'm proud to be your sister!!!
    LOVE YA!!!