El Jordan’s workshop for boys

The boys all come to El Jordán after school to get help with their school work.
The boys all come to El Jordán after school to get help with their school work.

For many years we have supported El Jordán, which calls itself “a crossing ground for those who desire to change and find freedom from the daily struggles of life on the streets.”

These struggles include drug addiction, delinquency, abandonment, and abuse.

Initially the ministry reached out primarily to “street moms” and their children in Santa Cruz. These women could come to El Jordán, take classes in practical skills like baking or sewing, and get medical and dental care for themselves and their children.

In recent years Corina and Marco have added a center which focuses on boys from ages 12-16. Until this trip, Yoli and I had not been able to see this boys’ ministry. But Monday, Marco took us out there.

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A rocky return and a reconciliation

At last it was time to say goodbye to La Víspera and Samaipata and return to the big city.

I woke early and climbed back up to El Trono to try to take more panoramic photos. I’ll have to stitch those together when I get back to St. Louis.

We ate the rest of our bread, cleaned up the cabin, and prepared to get a taxi.

The thing with taxis is that no matter how clearly you explain that you want something, such as an express taxi straight to Santa Cruz with no stops to pick up passengers, the drivers always seem to be unaware of the arrangement you made in the phone. One side of me thinks this is innocent; another side can’t shake the feeling it’s a ploy to charge higher fares, since it’s happened to us three times so far.

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HEAT WAVE!

There wasn’t much new Monday, except for the heat. It got very hot today!

Monday morning, Yoli and I went back to El Jordán to do some work. She spent much of her time translating a prayer newsletter for Corina, while I brought my laptop and did some work for the El Jordán brochures I was asked to do.

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A story about El Jord�n (no, not Michael)

On Wednesday we visited El El Jordán, which is a place street kids can go to when they want to turn their lives around. At El El Jordán, there are people the kids can talk to. They also can come to learn something practical, like typing or macrame (a type of knitting or sewing), that they can use to earn money. There is also a dentist’s facility and a nice library. I spent time searching for Waldo in a “ñDondñ esta Wally?” book.

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Josh tames a PC (for a while, at least)

On Monday I grappled with a PC and came away from the battle victorious.

The problem computer belonged to Rusty. Our goal was to get digital photos he had on his home computer onto my computer. The easiest way to do that, I thought, would be to hook up a CD burner to his computer and burn a CD.

But in a typical illustration of why PCs are inferior to Macs, his home computer had trouble understanding “plug-n-play.” Rusty had trouble getting the drivers for the CD burner installed by himself, so in the morning Yoli and I went over to give it a try.

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Attack of the Mosquitos

I forgot to write about my adventures Saturday and I didn’t write about Tuesday, either, so I’ll share some anecdotes from those days, as well as Wednesday.

On Saturday, Yoli took me to see Santa Cruz’s relatively new Botanical Garden. The original one was located near the river and was destroyed be a flood in the early 1980s. She hadn’t been to the new one, and was looking forward to seeing it.

Well, neither of us thought to bring bug spray.

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Home base

The past two days we’ve basically stayed here at El Jordán.

Yesterday was pretty much a rest-up day, and today Yoli was teaching a cross-stitch class in the afternoon.

We didn’t bring many (make that “any”) toys for the girls to play with. I like to pack as light as possible, but we still ended up bringing a good deal of luggage because Yoli brought many gifts and clothes to give away.

But we spend time playing around on the patio using an old basketball as a soccer ball. We have also been doing a lot of reading. Today we finished “Little House on the Prairie.” Jadzia had really been pushing me to read a lot chapters each day because she and Ludi wanted to begin the next book, “Farmer Boy.”

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