Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Village

This week Nathan and I took a trip out to the village where we hope to work in the future. We are so thankful that Nathan's parents were willing to watch the girls for us in the city while we traveled, especially so I could see everything without the additional stress of taking care of the girls in a situation that was really out of my control.

We left on Sunday morning and were able to stay two nights. My first reaction was very discouraging. I was overwhelmed and couldn't imagine myself making that move with our little family. When you arrive it is just so real. The pictures, the training, nothing could have prepared me for what really hit me that first night. The heat was almost unbearable, the bugs (mosquitos, chiggers, beetles, among others) were everywhere and everything is so different from anything I've ever known. Our training really did prepare us, don't get me wrong, but it's just so different in real life.

The "Laundry Room"
Me in the "Laundry Room" :)
This trip was really for me, to see and experience the village for the first time. (I didn't take very many new photos with how overwhelmed I was. . .and trying to take it in as it was, not through a lens.) We spent a lot of time talking with our future coworkers, a Bolivian couple with three children (one is now in the city at the university). They are pleasant people with a heart for their countrymen. It was good (and hard) to hear their stories from the past three years of living in the village. It has been quite difficult for them. The village is mostly Catholic (in an "old world" way) and most are not excited to see evangelical missionaries in the area, especially the nuns and priest.

The Catholic Church and grounds
We asked questions about housing and found that there really is nothing available, mostly land for building. We asked about groceries and found that we will be able to purchase dry goods in town but will have to travel an hour (on bad roads, see below) to get dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt) unless we want to purchase from the lady in town who sells fresh milk from her cow. :)  We would also need to make our own bread or purchase in the same town as the dairy products. All fresh fruits and vegetables are purchased in a town about 3 hours away (on our way in and out from Santa Cruz). We learned that the soil is good but because the fruits and vegetables are not natural to the area the people do not grow them. They do have grapefruit trees, mango trees, some lemon trees and a couple of different fruits (native to Bolivia that I don't know the name of!). They also grow corn and rice and fish in the local rivers (but the fish population is dwindling).

One of the fruit trees. The fruit grows on the bark.

The road to the village. It was full of washboards and potholes.
You can see a bit more depth to the potholes in this photo.
We walked around town, visited the music school, and stopped in at the nun's shop where she sells the work that the locals create (with materials provided by the Catholic church). The nun pays the locals for the work they did and then she sells the items with the profits going to the church. Their handwork is very well done. The men have wood working specialties that include making violins. The women specialize in weaving hammocks but also crochet, knit and embroider. There are classes available to learn the wood working and hand crafts for a very affordable price, about $3.00 a year. (You can read more and see examples of the handwork here.)

Lord willing, we would like to join our coworkers in this village. After a lot of time talking, praying constantly through out the day and getting past the initial shock I was able to get past my initial discouragement. I know that we can do it. It's going to be the hardest thing I have ever done but I know it's possible if I trust in our great God!


  1. Amen,Kaylee. So thankful you know the source of your strength.

  2. Thank you for filling us in and helping us know how to pray! I was blessed and encouraged by your attitude and honesty. Linda

  3. An excellent description of it all! Glad to hear the first-hand experience. Will be praying for God's working to continue to prepare you for the road ahead.