The Club, Bolivia-style

Day two of my Bolivian experience ran the gamut. This entry was written Friday night, but I couldn’t post it until Saturday (today).

I woke up early Friday morning and prepared to take a shower. Thankfully the guest shower has hot water. It doesn’t use a hot water heater like in the U.S. Instead it is an electric shower head that heats the water as it flows through the head. I was a little scared of the thing, truth be told. I envisioned being electrocuted or something. Actually, it worked well. The problem was that the water pressure was too high and caused the bottom of the head to pop off. I had to screw it on several times before I got it tight enough to stay.
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Safe and sound

Here I am at the Seminario Teologico Hebron, and already it’s been a long day!

I arrived at Santa Cruz’s Viru Viru airport at 6 am (Bolivia time). My journey began at 10 am (CST) the previous day. There were a few curveballs during my connections (one flight was switched to a different plane and delayed almost 2 hours) but everything worked out okay and now I’m here.

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A trip to the market

Thursday was an interesting day. First, the weather has been unusually mild the whole time I’ve been here. There were a few hot days, but overall I have to say the weather has been great. Today was especially mild, and it sprinkled a few times.

Thursday morning, Yoli and I had breakfast together and then I dried off the clothes I hadn’t finished yesterday. After that we were ready for our main activity of the morning: going to the market.

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Bureaucracy gives us a headache instead of fixing a knee

A few days ago, Yoli hurt her knee somehow when standing up to leave a restaurant. We’re not sure exactly what happened, but it swelled the next day and she couldn’t bend it much. Her family tried several different creams, but I’m not sure they did a lot to help.

So, yesterday we went to the Caja, which is a big health center for all workers who have national insurance. Yoli had made the appropriate insurance arrangements the day before and had secured an appointment. When we got there early in the morning, it was already packed with people.

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Good weather and the Lord of the Rings… who could ask for anything more?

Well, I’m still behind with my entries. This entry was originally written Saturday.

Saturday was Registration for the seminario. There were many students who came to get registered for classes. They come from all over South America, and some of them are Indians. Originally I was supposed to help calculate the total cost for students’ books as they came through the line. But it turned out that they didn’t need me to do that, so I stayed in the office with Yoli and the other secretary, Noemi (not Yoli’s sister). I ended up working on the website. I did some basic layout things and also visited many other seminario websites for ideas. I also am thinking about revising the seminario’s logo using Adobe Illustrator. We’ll see how that goes.

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Readjusting

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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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. 🙂

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Blustery birthday

Thursday was Yoli’s birthday and her dad insisted we have a big meal of salteñas to celebrate. So we came over in the late morning to his place so Yoli could watch/learn/help him prepare the food.

A big wind had kicked up that lasted all day. Dust was flying all over the place. It was Ceti Alpha V come to life.

(How do you like that for a Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan reference?)

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