From August 5, 2011
I think tomorrow I’ll go over the whole study abroad [application] process but for tonight I want to talk about my trip to Bolivia.
I first heard about the mission trip to Bolivia through my friend Morgan. She’s gone several times more than I can remember off of the top of my head and she always talks about how incredible it is.
I apologize in advance for excessive use of the word “incredible.”
Basically one day last semester I was sitting in class and I just thought to myself, “Wow…I really want to go to Bolivia.” So I called my mom about it to get permission and then basically applied right after that because the deadline had passed. Luckily Allie, the mission trip coordinator, gave me permission to apply late because the open team wasn’t very large. (There ended up being 10 of us total haha.)
My parents were nervous because Bolivia is quite corrupt and there are a lot of kidnappings (apparently), but not in the area where I was going.
So anyways, let’s fastforward.
I took a flight to Miami that was a little less than 2 hours. Meet rest of team. 7 hour layover. 11 pm – 5 am or so = flight to Santa Cruz. Not a happy camper. After that flight to Cochabamba. Get off plane. Wait forever for checked bags. Mine (full of supplies) doesn’t show. See Morgan and meet Anna. Get excited. Take bus to orphanage.
Now this is where everything starts.
As soon as we got to the orphanage (The Bolivian Life Center), the boys were rushing to greet us. They’re so excited but so shy all at the same time. I was overwhelmed but in the best way possible.
The boys helped carry all of our bags upstairs and then we had a bit of time to get situated and Anna gave us a tour of the BLC. From there on we had a little bit of downtime but I went downstairs with Adam to hang out with some of the boys.
It takes a minute for them to warm up. I also heard that it also intimidates them sometimes when Americans speak Spanish. I think it’s because if someone can’t understand them then the boys can crack jokes and feel like they have a slight advantage. Hopefully that comes off right…like when little kids have their own “language” and “talk” about adults in it. Same concept, except Spanish is real…(I think…haha.)
So once the boys warmed up to me some they started showing me the really awesome photo album book thing that Adam had created. Soon enough soccer balls were flying past my head like it was no big deal. Then I went to shoot hoops with some of the older boys (fail) but it was fun to get introduced to them and hang out.
I think this blog post is getting super duper long so I’m going to stop here and resume tomorrow…this should get completed soon enough. Goodnight!