I want to start by saying that I hope everyone’s holidays went well. I genuinely hope your time was filled with so much love and happiness. As you can imagine, mine was a bit different. This was the first Christmas that I have ever been away from my family and I didn’t realize how much I cared until the day of. It’s not the actual holiday of Christmas that I really care for.. it is the comfort of being around my family and being able to continue our traditions together. Things like Christmas tree shopping, decorating the tree, watching The Grinch, and wearing Christmas pajamas. I wasn’t able to do any of that with the people I love most in the world, and it took a bit of a toll on me. I was able to facetime with them on Christmas morning and as soon as I saw everyone, I had this very intense longing to be there with them. I honestly took for granted all of those small traditions. I now realize how valuable even the simplest of moments are.. and how much love and joy can be found within them. I miss my family so much, but even though I’m thousands of miles away, it makes me extremely happy to know that they are together and healthy.
I have officially been here for 5 weeks. Time here feels way different than in the states. I never know what day it is and I am always caught off guard by the time. There’s been several instances where I thought it was Tuesday and it was actually Thursday or Friday. My days are so slow, but the weeks seem to fly by. Also, time isn’t very important here. In the states, there’s this need to always be on time or to rush if we’re late. I was definitely one of those people who felt embarrassed if I were late or would literally not show up if I was too late. However, Bolivian time has definitely mellowed me out. Here, if they say something starts at 7:00.. it really starts at like 8:30. You get there when you get there and there’s no need to ever rush. And I absolutely love it.
Things at the Neuro Rehabilitation center are going well. As of now, I am taking vital signs of the kids in order to improve their therapy. Because these kids are so delicate, it’s important to know how their bodies are doing on a day to day basis. I measure their weight, height, temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate and pulse. I also check for signs of dehydration and anemia. Knowing their vitals allows the therapist know how the child is doing so that they can adjust their therapy to what suits the child best. The children here are so beautiful, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to be able to help in some way.
My Spanish is definitely improving, thank the Lord. And most importantly, I’m not afraid anymore to say that I don’t understand something. The first 2/3 weeks, I would literally say “yes” to anything anyone asked me, even if I didn’t understand. That might have been a mistake because I probably said yes to something that I should’ve said no to.. but oh well. Now, I actually let people know that I don’t understand and ask them to repeat it and at a slower pace. The joke here is that when people talk to me, they have to speak like Dory from Finding Nemo when she is trying to speak “whale”. Very slow and exaggerated. It’s pretty funny but it helps me out a lot. The people here are very understanding and patient with me.
One thing I think that the Lord is trying to teach me right now is to wait. Obviously this is a very exciting journey, and it is easy to unintentionally expect big things. I am not a fan of routine or monotony at all. I love experiencing new things, places and people, and I am constantly wanting change. And right now it feels like I have fallen into a routine where I am not experiencing anything new. Yes, I know I have only been here a little over a month, but that feeling of wanting “more” is still present. Having patience and waiting for God to reveal a new opportunity for me to share His love is a little hard, but I know that it is necessary. I have come to realize that in this time of waiting, I need to be falling more in love with Him. Resting in His love. Remembering HIs goodness. Trusting His timing. Being in the moment and letting go of all expectations so that His will can be done in my life. I am learning that it is okay for me to want change and seek new opportunities. However, I need to seek Him first. And to be thankful for all my of current circumstances.
I’ve added a few pics of the place I have been to in the last few weeks and some of my host family as well. Thank you guys for reading along 🙂
Con mucho amor,