I am currently on a mission trip in Bolivia with a team from St. Michael´s and a few other members of the board of Amistad.
Read more about Amistad here
This is my Monday Blog, I´m working on one for Saturday and Sunday as well. Please excuse any spelling and formatting errors, I´m working from an internet cafe.
Monday February 6,
Today was our second day in the Villa (the Amistad orphanage), but in many ways it felt like the first. We spent the entire day there Sunday, but we were still suffering from jetlag so today seemed like a much more typical day.
We awoke at 7:00 for devotions. Our word of the day was Servant, and we heard about the four different translations of servant in our passage. We then gathered for breakfast; cheese empanadas, fruit and yogurt, ham, and instant coffee (I know right).
After breakfast we headed to the Villa (the orphanage) and joined the children for their devtions. The kids have school either in the morning or in the afternoon. We had devotions with the kids and “mamas” that have afternoon school. The youth pastoral, Douglas, is a great singer and guitar player. As part of devotions we went up front and introduce ourselves.
After devotions we were given a tour of the entire villa by Chris (the Director of Amistad who is staying and traveling with us) and Leila, the Bolivian Director. There were a number of pretty amazing things that we saw including the offices, bakery, the Montessori classroom, the gardens, and the warehouse.
A few of the places are very cool. They use the Montessori method because it works well to interate kids who are coming from chaotic environments. They have a fully stocked classroom. Today was the first day of school for all of Cochabamba, including the kids who attend a Montessori class at Amistad (only pre-elementary).
The other very cool things we saw was the gardens. The director hopes to raise all the vegetables they eat in the villa. They recently hired a new gardener who is re-starting the garden. The gardens also include a new large water tank so that they can keep the gardens going through the dry season, which lasts for eight months a year.
After our tour we helped Don Porfioro, the new gardener, begin to build a fence around a small garden plot. We installed a few fence posts and then broke for lunch.
We had a typical lunch, including a siesta afterwards. Since I knew a siesta was in store, I had a second helping of lunch and desert, a dangerous precedent.
After our siesta we went back to the villa. The guys continued working on the fence around the garden plot and the ladies went into Casa Esparanza house (the house St. Michaels sponsors) and did crafts. We made a little headway on the fence but stopped because we needed to let the concrete dry.
After visiting the villa we went to drive through the barrio to see the neighborhoods that many of the kids come from. Our group was surprised to see much new construction in the barrio. Our group is wondering if the people who live in the barrio have been displaced or if they still live on their land in rebuilt houses.
We came back to the guest house and had snacks, stuffed chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner, and we will wrap up the night with some Bible study.