Now I am going to step back and tell you about our day at BO588 in Cochabamba. Since I don’t have any pictures of this day, I “stole” some from some of the other people on the trip. I don’t think they will mind, they did post them on Facebook.
Friday, April 6th, was our day to spend at a child center in Cochabamba. Part of the group was meeting their kids who lived in or near Cochabamba while the rest of us went to BO588 for the day. This was such a fun center to be at for the day! When we arrived there was a huge line of children, from the little ones right up to the teenagers excited and waiting for us to arrive! Many of them had signs and banners of welcome for us as we walked down the line waving and shaking those little brown hands. As we got closer to the center, we were showered with white confetti. I was excited because today, I had brought my lollipops to pass out. I did this on one of my mission’s trips to Ecuador and it made me very popular with the children so I had high hopes. When I got to the end of the line, I pulled out the lollipops as all the children were now coming following us towards the center, and I was quickly surrounded by little people all wanting a sucker. What I didn’t expect was all the mothers that got in line for lollipops too. It was sweet how excited they were, but I guess grownups do like lollipops too!
Like all the other centers we went to, this center was also excited to put on a program for us. There was singing and miming and a group of children dressed in the native outfits of each of the 9 states in Bolivia. They were absolutely adorable, let me tell you! Some of the church members also sang in Quechua and played some of the traditional instruments. It was pretty amazing! The center workers were so sweet in that they had all the sponsors come up to the front and they gave us gifts. Everyone is just so giving in Bolivia!
After the program, we split up again to visit classrooms. It seemed like my group always had the translator that wasn’t quite sure where we were supposed to be which made it all the more fun because we got to visit more than one classroom! This was the case today as we wandered through 2 of the younger classrooms before being told that our class was patiently waiting for us! We started out with the little kids as they were being taught a story about a little lamb who didn’t listen to her mom and the consequences that came with that. In the 8 and 9 year old room they were learning about how to prevent getting sick and especially about the importance of hand washing. We finally made our way to the classroom we were supposed to be in which was the 15 to 17 year olds. They were such a fun classroom! I was the youngest one in my group and they were quite thrilled to have someone close to their age to hang out with. A sweet girl named Lidia tried to give me her seat, but I told her we could share the seat. I sat down with her and she put her arm right around me and we had a great conversation. She said that her favorite class is Psychology so I got to tell her that I studied Psychology in college. The students asked of each of us what we did for a living, and when I said that I work with kids they said I should work with them. They have no idea how much I would LOVE to! All the students were eager to share their dreams for the future, and one of them, 17 year old Nelly (she is the girl in all red in the top photo), shared how she had been accepted into the Leadership Development Program. It was so awesome to hear. Then, they wanted us to sing an English song for them. Oh boy, none of us were singers and we tried everything to get out of it, but they were quite insistent. We ended up singing “Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah, Praise Ye the Lord” in parts by splitting the room in half and having them stand up for their part. It was hilarious and we were all laughing by the end of it. Most teens in the US wouldn’t have just let loose like that, but these teens were having so much fun. I just LOVED hanging out with them!
|Lidia and I|
|Armindo, Christian, and I|
In the afternoon, we went on another home visit. This visit was so much more encouraging than the last one we went to. The house was a bit bigger, but there was also 14 family members living in it. The specific family that we visited was Lidia, her husband, 6 year old Karla, 3 year old Abdiel, and little Carlos. This family was very much intact and involved in the church. Karla had recently gotten a sponsor and was excited that she had gotten a number of letters so far! It was heart breaking to hear Lidia tell about how sometimes Abdiel cries because he hasn’t gotten a sponsor yet, but my family group leaders, Jim and Donna, are now his sponsors!! Abdiel was so full of life and talkative and I know that he will be joy for them to sponsor!
This was another one of those centers that you just did not want to leave when it was time! So much love and so many hugs that I could have stayed there forever!