Well, I’ve been back in the U.S. for a day now, and I’m still somewhat in culture shock. It’s not really severe or anything, but it’s just strange to here in the land of television and very sweet candy.

My trip home was bittersweet. It’s always tough to say goodbye, but maybe Yoli and I are getting to be old hats at this. This time is different–we have very real things to look forward to, and very real work to do during our time apart. It was also hard for me to say goodbye to Bolivia, to the seminary and the mission and the people in those places, to her family, to her friends.

We did so much more than I ever dreamed we would. I came there to learn about Yoli’s culture and her family; I ended up joining them by getting engaged. I came here to design a website for the seminary; I also designed two brochures and started a website for other ministries. I came, planning to stay for four weeks; I stayed five.
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The Voyage Home (yet another Trek-inspired title)

I got into St. Louis at about noon on Thursday. I was tired and sore and scraggly-looking. But my mom was pleased to see me, and it was good to be back.

My departure began on Wednesday. Yoli and I spent the day finishing the last details of the website, then burning CDs for everyone I had done projects for–the seminary, El Jordán, and Casa Hogar Nacer. I made sure I burned a special CD for Glennie that included the lone Jerry Douglas song I found for him.

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Twice the rice

Monday was a tough day at the Seminary. They’ve been facing an incredibly tight budget and now they have a personnel problem as well.

It was frustrating for me, because I wanted to purchase web hosting and get the site online before the day was over. But Rusty, the rector of the seminary, was busy most of the day and couldn’t come until late in the afternoon.

On the lighter side, Louise took a photo of Yoli and I with her digital camera, so enjoy!

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Winding down (and still very rainy)

Well, now we’re down to the wire. Two and a half days left before I return to the U.S.

This weekend was pretty nice. I got to spend a lot of time with Yoli’s family, and the two of us got some important things taken care of.

On Saturday we went to have our pictures taken. It’s a requirement with this fianceé visa application. The funny thing (to me) is that here in Bolivia all photos for official documents are very strict.
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Media scares

On Wednesday we were invited to eat lunch with Glennie and Marilyn Wry. They are my neighbors, physically. Their house is on the ground floor of a 3-story student housing building which is right next the the guest quarters where I live.

Upon arriving for lunch from El Jordán, Marilyn called to let me know that my dad had called Becky Turner. Apparently someone in my family saw a news report on CNN about flooding in Santa Cruz — so bad that the water had carried people away. They were afraid for me.

Well, rest assured that I haven’t been swept away anywhere (unless you’re talking about love…).
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Assorted amusing anecdotes

In the aftermath of getting engaged and having the opportunity to remain here for another week, I’ve been somewhat busy. So I’ll just fill today’s entry with a few anecdotes you’ll probably enjoy.

First, let’s talk about sandals. On Saturday, Yoli took me to the Feria, a giant place filled with different vendors selling all sorts of things. It’s mostly nonperishable stuff like clothes, furniture, etc. I was hoping to find a pair of sandals.

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ENGAGED! (No, Star Trek fans, I’m not pretending I’m Captain Jean-Luc Picard)

Saturday night Yoli and I cooked pizza and then we got engaged.

We’ve been planning this for a while, and I must admit to you now that I left all the details related to our engagement out of my entries for the past two weeks so it would be a surprise.

It didn’t happen exactly as we originally envisioned, but it still went well. She said yes and she’s wearing the ring, and that’s the main thing. 🙂

Continue reading “ENGAGED! (No, Star Trek fans, I’m not pretending I’m Captain Jean-Luc Picard)”