Por fin…the last tales of my Bolivia trip

 

I believe I shall wrap my Bolivia story up today. I’m in the midst of packing for school…granted I moved in on Thursday but I didn’t bring any food, clothes, cosmetics, or shoes which has now resulted in an additional 8 boxes/bags/suitcases. To think I took only my carry on luggage to Bolivia. I am a miracle packer when it comes to trips abroad but if it’s within the tri-state area I guarantee you that it will look like I’ve packed my entire life away.

In my last blog I promised to talk about food, Sidewalk Sunday School, and my last day in Bolivia.

Starting with food…I know I’ve mentioned it before but the food was so amazing. Every day we had fresh fruit and juice. My favorite dish the whole time (sorry if I’ve talked about this before) was silpancho. So good. You construct it yourself so if there’s something you don’t like you don’t have to put it in yours. This is what mine was:

Rice on the bottom, then fried potatoes, then a fried egg, then a burger patty, then pico de gallo, and ketchup.

The only thing I left off was mayonnaise because I hate mayonnaise with an undying passion.

But my main focus when I wanted to talk about food is the steakhouse we went to. We all went out to eat dinner one night at a Brazilian steakhouse and I tried….CHICKEN HEARTS. Okay, I know that’s not that weird because my mom grew up eating that but to me it was really freaky! Definitely not my cup of tea because it was waaaaaaaaay too chewy and that makes me cringe. But everything else I tried was really good!! Normally there’s cow udder to try I heard but it wasn’t there so maybe next time.

Now onto Sidewalk Sunday School. Basically we did the same thing Monday-Thursday but in different villages. We’d arrive in the village and make an announcement for all of the kids to come out and play. We did everything from jump rope to basketball to chalk to bubbles to that little colorful parachute thing. Once a kid asked me to spin them around in circles and when I did that I instantly became the most popular person there. I felt like a celebrity (haha) with kids fighting their way to me just to be spun in a circle. I always narrated the skit that we performed Daniel y el Foso de los Leones. After the skit there was the memory verse which I still know by memory…Hechos 2:21 “Y todo el que invoque el nombre del Senor sera salvo.” I loved how excited those kids were to see us. I also really loved that there was no language barrier really for those who didn’t speak Spanish. The kids still wanted to play and talk.

This last part of my story is probably going to be a large chunk so I’m attempting to shorten it.

Our last day was full of activities. We woke up early to say goodbye to the boys who had school in the morning. It was hard knowing we were saying chau but that’s not a permanent goodbye so it made it easier. I got to see Isaias again and we took some more pictures together. He’s a lot cooler than me…or at least he and his friends think that haha. They’re awesome even though I’m a lame 19-going-on-20 year old. The morning was kind of hectic between loading up suitcases, eating breakfast, and saying bye to all of the kids. It was so cute when we were leaving because Ricardo (who always teases me saying he wouldn’t miss me) gave me a huge hug and kissed me on the cheek. I hugged Isaias as well of course and some of the other boys and we were off. I’m definitely coming back next summer though!! The impression that the boys made on me was huge and I cannot imagine not seeing them again so I’m already working on raising money for next year.

So we took the bus to the church to drop off our suitcases lalala fast forward some and we are preparing to climb the 1,600 (the number I’ve heard) steps to the (tallest in the world) Christ statue. You’ve probably seen this statue a lot in movies, it’s in Brazil too but the one in Bolivia is slightly taller. And when I say “we are preparing to climb” I mean me, Kristen, and Julie. Everyone else took a gondola (that’s my plan for next time haha.) Climbing up this mountain when I was already 8,500 feet in the air made me feel like I was in the worst shape of anyone in the whole entire world even though I work out frequently! Some little old man ran past me, made it to the top, and then ran past me on his way down again. I’m glad no one knew me there cos it would have been awkward haha. But I survived and made it to the top! The picture below is photographic evidence of this incredible feat.

After we got back down to a slightly lower altitude we went out to lunch for saltenas. There should be a tilde over the n but I haven’t been typing any accents or tildes in this blog because that requires copying and pasting. The saltenas were good although I think empanadas are more my thing. But I’m glad I got to try them because I’d heard so much about

I feel like this story is out of order but I don’t think it is.

Anyways, so after lunch we went to La Cancha which is the largest open air market in South America. It was pretty ballin’ I’m not going to lie. I bought so much candy and so many Mabel’s Galletitas Wafer (Mabel’s little wafer cookies) that Molly recommended. So delicious. I also bought a few purses, pairs of earrings, shirts, and some wall art and frames for souvenirs. La Cancha was HUGE and we only had time to see part of it but it was so awesome. After La Cancha we went to dinner and then headed to the airport. It was a long journey but well worth it. 🙂

I know I’ve said it a million times but it was honestly such an incredible trip. Everyone I met was amazing and the boys from the BLC and the Sidewalk Sunday School kids have left a huge impact on me.

 

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